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VCE Leadership Awards and the 2018 Leader of the Year

Victoria Hirt

Victoria Hirt, Melton Christian College

Victoria Hirt from Melton Christian College was announced VCE Leader of the Year at the VCE Leadership Awards ceremony on Friday 21 September 2018.

VCAA Chair, Chris Wardlaw, opened the ceremony and recognised individuals from the supporting family, school and community networks which support young people to develop leadership skills. 

Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Judith Graley, spoke to the students about the challenges of being a leader and a change-maker. When faced with challenges as a leader, her advice was ‘stay the distance.’

2017 VCE Leader of the Year, Joe Collins from Tyrell College, was a guest speaker and spoke to the students about a leader being someone ‘who achieves many things for the broader community without needing any recognition.’

Each of the eight finalists was invited to the stage to collect their trophy and certificate, Lenovo tablet and photographs with the Parliamentary Secretary. Each finalist spoke of their leadership journey, as they accepted their award. The event culminated in Victoria Hirt being announced as the overall winner and VCE Leader of the Year.

Victoria credited her school, Melton Christian College, with providing students with an environment of continuous personal development and encouragement. Being a member of several of Melton Christian College’s leadership initiatives has assisted Victoria in taking the lead in situations far away from the school, including in Cambodia.

Victoria Hirt with David

Victoria Hirt with Dr David Howes, VCAA CEO

’I’m going to really miss school now that I’m finishing up the VCE. My teachers and the extended leadership team of the school have been instrumental in helping me to achieve my personal best. I’ve learnt so much about the importance of self-worth and building yourself up so that you can help others.’

Teachers from Victoria’s school commended Victoria’s selflessness and paid tribute to her leadership at school, including her mentoring of younger students.

Victoria’s leadership has helped to channel resources and skilled volunteers to Cambodia, to improve the lives of some of that country’s most vulnerable people, women, girls and those incarcerated in the prison system. Despite working part-time to fund her frequent trips to Cambodia, Victoria has also worked hard to make a meaningful contribution at school and in her local community. 

’It was such a privilege to meet and get to know the other finalists. I was in awe of their accomplishments. I don’t see leadership as a special role, it’s about doing what you have to – or what you can – to help others.’

Special thanks to the students from the McKinnon Secondary College Clarinet Choir who provided music for the ceremony and reception.