VCE Leadership Awards 2020 finalists
A panel of five judges from the VCAA chose the 2020 VCE Leaders. The awards recognise active participation and contribution of outstanding Victorian Certificate of Education students in their schools and in the community. They were particularly relevant in 2020 given the challenges faced by students, schools and the broader community.
The six 2020 VCE Leadership Awards finalists were interviewed as part of the selection process. They are:
Hume Anglican Grammar School
Caitlin Angelino is a passionate advocate for social justice and a great promoter of human welfare. As Social Justice and Community Service Leader at her school, Caitlin has played a vital role in organising events, including a fundraiser for the Anglicare Winter Appeal. She has been an active member of the School Environmental Group and has promoted environmental awareness by initiatives such as the introduction of tubs for paper and cardboard recycling in classrooms. Caitlin is a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and has volunteered abroad where she worked with disadvantaged children in Nepal.
In response to the obstacles and challenges faced this year, Caitlin has assisted the Year 12 Fundraising Committee in designing and developing a website to use as their fundraising platform. As part of the School Leaders Team, Caitlin has developed and offered online co-curricular activities for students to ensure they stayed connected during remote learning.
Caitlin is a member of the Wallan Fire Brigade and has served as Junior Lieutenant for three consecutive semesters. She has made a positive impact on her peers by training and assisting them to increase their skills and confidence in areas of firefighting.
As College Captain at his school, Cobi Fitzpatrick is a representative on the College Council and plays vital roles on the Curriculum, Canteen and Wellbeing subcommittees. Cobi has represented his peers on the Student Leadership Council and has gone above and beyond in the role by leading student meetings and organising and running a range of events, including a breakfast club three times a week. He has led an initiative to change the design of the college sports uniform, which he continues to coordinate online during this unprecedented year. Cobi has served as Charlton College Calder House Captain in 2019 and 2020, where he has fostered his fellow students' pride in their school and houses.
As a keen sportsperson, Cobi represents his hometown Charlton in the North Central Football League and the Wimmera-Mallee Cricket Association. He is an active member of both clubs and regularly volunteers his time to assist with umpiring and a range of other game-day activities. He has also taken on the role of Coach for the Charlton Football Club under-13s team.
Mount Waverley Secondary College
Currently the Deputy College Captain at her school, Jennifer Clarke works with her peers to oversee and lead student voice and student leadership at the multi-campus college.
Jennifer presented at the Education Data Talk's Lessons from Lockdown conference this year and represented her school at the Department of Education and Training NEVR VCE Student Online Forum. In 2019, Jennifer was a member of the Student Advisory Group for the Student Voice, Agency and Partnerships International Conference where she facilitated group discussions and led activities with national and international attendees.
During this uncertain time, Jennifer has played a key role in student wellbeing projects to keep students connected and motivated. Jennifer is the founding President of the college Rotary International Interact Club. During her time as President, the club ran multiple food drives and various fundraising events, which supported women in Tanzania and ShelterBox Australia.
Jennifer is actively involved in the school's Mount Matters initiative, which is designed to bridge the gap between student leaders and students in the wider cohort and she is a member of the school's Teach the Teacher team.
Jennifer is also a member of the Mount Waverly Secondary College Symphonic Band and, as a keen sportsperson, has played netball for her local team, the Mount Waverly North Meerkats for many years.
Vermont Secondary College
Vermont Secondary College House Vice-Captain in 2019, and House Captain and School Captain in 2020, John Anastasoglou has been an active and inspiring leader in his school community. As part of this role, John leads House Teams to mentor future leaders, liaises with school leadership as a representative student voice on School Council, and coordinates and presents at assemblies. Last year, John was the driving force behind the Hotham House Student Leaders community-focus day, which raised $4200 for Bali Children Foundation.
In response to the challenges faced by students this year, John has played a key role in undertaking a range of activities to lift school spirit, including a mail-out of postcards to fellow VCE students and contributing to 'Wellbeing Wednesday' newsletters. He has also been involved in preparing video messages to staff and students and working with the rest of the Student Leadership Team to coordinate and present virtual events and community service announcements to promote COVID-19-safe behaviour changes at school.
John volunteers as a Crew Member with the Reach Foundation, where he regularly attends training about facilitation skills and has helped to facilitate Fused, the first virtual workshop.
Mietta (Mia) Kendall
Carey Baptist Grammar
Mietta (Mia) Kendall
As founding member of her school's Social Justice Action Group and Reconciliation Action Program, Mietta (Mia) Kendall has a strong sense of social justice and aims to raise awareness of issues that affect those in her school and the broader community. She also plays a vital role in the school's Pride Group. Mia organised her school's first R U OK? Day to raise awareness about mental health.
Mia has performed in spoken-word poetry competitions, including the state finals of the Out Loud competition and at Carey Poetry Night. After winning the school event, Mia performed with another student at a school assembly where she tackled issues such as gender identity and being proud of who you are. During remote learning periods Mia has organised events and presented key actions to staff and the entire school through 'Carey TV'.
Mia is a talented AFL player and is Vice-Captain of the Eastern Ranges Women's Team. She is also Sport Co-Captain at Carey where she is working to make changes to the way sport is viewed from a 'winner takes all' activity to a more holistic mind, body and spirit perspective.
Overnewton Anglican Community College
In his various roles as part of the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), Mitchell Sprague has advocated for and contributed to the improvement of Victorian education, primarily in areas of LGBTIQ+ inclusion, reconciliation, sustainability and COVID-19.
At his college, Mitchell has led the development of the Students Representative Council (SRC) into an independent program, which included the development of the inaugural SRC Strategic Plan and Annual Review. He has worked to expand the role of the SRC Chair to have a college-wide focus and has made improvements to SRC communications.
Mitchell has played a key role in establishing several programs at his school, including the Delta Project, which focuses on LGBTIQ+ issues, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and the Student Reconciliation Action Plan Committee. He was also involved in the establishment of the Stories by Senior School program, which has created an amplified sense of community at the college, particularly during remote learning periods.
Mitchell was a YMCA Youth Parliament participant in 2019 and Team Captain in 2020. He is Team Captain of the Debaters Association of Victoria and he is currently involved in the establishment of the Australian School Student Network, the national peak body of school students.