Celebrating qualities and skills of a Lauriston graduate

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change” – Carl Rogers

Many years ago as a student about to enter the first year of my tertiary course, I would not have given much consideration to my ‘personal brand’, networking skills or whether I was on my way to building a resume or LinkedIn profile. For today’s graduates, these are some of the things they need to consider as they leave school, enter tertiary courses and look towards future careers.

The Seven Survival Skills

Tony Wagner’s book The Global Achievement Gap notes Seven Survival Skills required in the 21st century to manage tertiary studies and careers. These skills encompass; critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and leading by influence, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analysing information, curiosity and imagination.  

I would argue that Lauriston graduates have well developed these skills by the time they finish Year 12 and that they will continue to develop them as they move into the next phase of their lives.  

Through their studies in their chosen subject disciplines, our students develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving in and out of the classroom and are able to see problems from different angles and formulate their own solutions. Our students contribute strongly to our co-curricular program, whether through sport, music, debating and public speaking or the various clubs on offer with many of them putting their hand up for a leadership role during their senior years.  

Collaboration and leading by influence are well developed in our senior years. I have been particularly impressed with the leadership demonstrated by our students, whether in formal leadership roles or through their participation in Friday Night School and myriad of community service activities, over the last few years. Our girls work collaboratively and are inclusive and supportive of each other in their studies and co-curricular pursuits around the school. An example of this are the number of student-initiated clubs and activities run by young women who understand the value of getting to know one another and understanding the benefits of working with people who may not think in the same way as yourself. 

Willingness to adapt to changes around them is very much part of the DNA of a Lauriston graduate. Their lives, like the lives of every person around the world, have changed as a result of the COVID pandemic. Our students continue to respond effectively to change and have relished their return to school and more normal activities. Our Howqua students have particularly impressed me with their desire to make the most of all that the campus offered and the gratitude they show for being able to experience such a unique year. Howqua’s Outdoor Program provides opportunities for adventure and challenge, helping girls to step out of their comfort zone, become independent and learn more about themselves. 

Today’s students need to be able to take initiative and contribute to the world, and our G.I.V.E Program provides ample opportunity for girls to be active in their local community. Not only have our students taken responsibility for planning and executing activities at school, including community service activities, but many have individually looked for ways in which they can make a contribution to their local community.  

Curiosity and imagination are in abundance since a Lauriston students’ first day that our graduates began their Lauriston journey. We have done our best as educators to not to take away their curiosity about the world around them. We are fortunate at Lauriston that many of our students can demonstrate their creativity through the Visual and Performing Arts, competitions ranging from writing to STEM activities, and through co-curricular activities. We are appreciative of the success our students achieve through such participation.  

We know that our students graduate with effective written and oral communication skills, and it is encouraging for all of us to know that our students can offer their perspective on a broad range of topics and freely communicate with us about what is important to them and propose different ways of doing things. We frequently read that women continue to not have a strong voice in our society, and I am proud that Lauriston graduates have the skills, confidence and courage to ensure their voices are heard. 

Lauriston students learn essential skills regarding accessing information and assessing the value of that information. With the continued development of Artificial Intelligence, our students will also be making decisions which will call upon them to use their moral or ethical compass. Our girls have a strong sense of right and wrong and this will be tested in the years to come.  

Lauriston is filled with a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, vibrant personalities, and different perspectives on how our world is tracking but every girl has a sense of purpose and is keen to make a contribution to the world in which they live. They want to broaden their horizons, meet new people and maintain their strong relationships with their peers. They are generous young women who appreciate the talents and interests of their peers. They have appreciated belonging to a school where they are known and valued for their contribution. We all believe they are well placed to flourish in their tertiary studies and future careers.

Susan Just, Principal