Each year, the School’s community magazine Light Blue sits down with the incoming School Captains to learn about their Geelong Grammar experience, what inspired them to put their respective hats in the ring for leadership and what they hope to achieve during their tenure. 

This is an extract from the full Q and A which appears in the Semester 2 2021 edition of Light Blue.

In what year did you join Geelong Grammar, and what were your first impressions?

Caitie: I started my GGS life at Timbertop in 2019, as a new student from NSW, with little prior knowledge of the school. Regardless, I was excited (and nervous!), wondering if I would like boarding school or how I would function in this new community. However, from the first moment I unpacked my bags in P unit, I knew that this was the place I wanted to be. This was the community I began to call home. My initial nerves and homesickness quickly settled as I made many friendships, which I continue to build upon to this day. I began to understand what a safe and progressive community GGS is and found comfort in the morals that it embraces, as they fit closely with my own.

The memories I formed at Timbertop – the place that helped shape me into the person I am – will stay with me forever. Though every experience at Timbertop is different and people are met with individual challenges, these endeavours that I now look back on taught me about a part of myself that I never knew was there; they taught me how to face everyday challenges and led me to places I never thought I would be able to climb – both metaphorically and literally! GGS has truly given me so many opportunities to thrive and flourish through/in and I would have never been where, or who, I am today without GGS; the adventure that has taught me so much, the friendships that I continue to nurture and the person I see myself as, are owed much to Geelong Grammar School.  

Harry: I began my first year at Geelong Grammar in Year 7. However, I have been going to the school for a while due to my older brother and sister attending before me, so I’ve grown up with the school but even still, every drive in I thought the school was getting bigger and bigger and I grew more excited to join the community.

What made you want to be school captain?

Harry: I’ve always wanted to find ways I can give back to the community that has given me so much. After being a part of the Lorne 160 and the Academic Student Committee I realised how much I love working with a team to help give back. I believe I have lots of background experiences that allow me to offer new perspectives to solving problems. It is such a huge honour to be a part of this school and I look forward to working with Caitie and the other school prefects. 

Caitie: This school has given me so much, a home away from home and a place which has challenged and inspired me. I wanted to be school captain in order to build on the school’s solid foundations and to be able to give back to a community that has supported me through this journey. I also wanted to assume a leadership role to help create new ways to bring our school together and promote an even more positive school spirit. I hope that, in this role, I can continue to encourage students to look beyond their own world. For me, being school captain is so much more than just the title, it is a position where I can hope to create positive change, by encouraging school unity and inclusivity. I hope to have an effect both within and beyond the Geelong Grammar community. 

What type of leader do you aspire to be?

Harry: As we are hopefully coming out of this pandemic and online learning within the next year I, with the help of Caitie and the school prefects, would like start planning new initiatives that will have a positive impact on students and staff. As I know how difficult the last year couple of years has been with sport being cancelled and classes/ exams being rearranged, it is important to keep connected with one another and to support each other. So we will plan new events to keep the GGS community alive and come out of the pandemic as Geelong Grammar, the school to embrace the new way of learning and the lifelong skills that the students of GGS have adopted to overcome all the challenges we have faced.

Caitie: My aim is to encourage all members our community to advocate for each other, stand united together and care for one another. I believe that courage, respect and compassion remain central to service leadership. I therefore aspire to courageously lead others through passion for our school, to succeed in practicing compassion and curiosity. I also believe in inclusivity, positively inspiring others through the strength of respecting and learning from each other’s differences; I aspire to inspire.