Celebrating Victoria's senior secondary leaders

Back row (L to R): Jake Kirby, Thomas Velican, Gemma Martin, Georgia Lee. Front row (L to R): Sara Elhouli, Margaret Tran, Ms Judith Graley, Elizabeth Vu.

Back row (L to R): Jake Kirby, Thomas Velican, Gemma Martin, Georgia Lee.
Front row (L to R): Sara Elhouli, Margaret Tran, Ms Judith Graley, Elizabeth Vu.

Nine outstanding senior secondary students were commended on Monday 21 November at the 2016 Victorian Senior Secondary Leadership Awards, which includes the Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL Scholarships and the VCE Leadership Awards. Ms Judith Graley, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, presented the awards alongside VCAA Chair Chris Wardlaw, and Jim Williamson, husband of the late Lynne Kosky.

L to R: Jim Williamson, Dylan Henry, Crystal Strobel, Ms Judith Graley

L to R: Jim Williamson, Dylan Henry, Crystal Strobel,
Ms Judith Graley.

Dylan Henry (Narre Warren South P–12 College) and Crystal Strobel (Wodonga Senior Secondary College) received a Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL Scholarship in recognition of their significant contributions to their schools and communities. In its second year, the scholarship provides students with financial assistance of $5000 per year for up to five years while engaged in education and training. The scholarships, honouring Lynne Kosky's advocacy for quality education, give the recipients the best opportunity to succeed in their studies, regardless of economic, family or social circumstances.

VCE Leader of the Year 2016, Thomas Velican speaking at a lecturn at the awards ceremony

Thomas Velican, VCE Leader of the Year 2016

Thomas Velican (Nossal High School) was awarded VCE Leader of the Year. A dedicated youth campaigner, Thomas demonstrated outstanding leadership as a member of various youth-focused groups including the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) and the Casey Tech School Peak Planning Committee, an advisory panel helping establish an innovative high-tech learning centre for almost 18,000 students. At the VicSRC Thomas has made sure that student voices are valued in every aspect of education, surveying his peers and presenting his findings to the Deputy Premier. In 2015 Thomas travelled to Sydney to contribute to the diversity of voices represented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and give recommendations on empowering young people to speak up and feel supported at school. Thomas hopes his legacy will continue to inspire students. 'I hope young people out there can be more empowered and optimistic about what they can do and what they can change,' he says.

 

In her speech Ms Graley expressed admiration for all the VCE Leadership recipients. 'The class of 2016 has been leading from the front, working to develop its skills to bring about positive change. I can't help but be impressed by their selflessness and generosity of spirit,' she says. The 2016 VCE Leadership Award recipients are: Sara Elhouli, Gilmore College for Girls; Jake Kirby, Sandringham College; Georgia Lee, Birchip P–12 School; Gemma Martin, Leongatha Secondary College; Margaret Tran, Mac.Robertson Girls' High School; Thomas Velican, Nossal High School; Elizabeth Vu, Suzanne Cory High School.

Find out more about the 2016 VCE Leadership Awards and Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL Scholarships.