Leadership Labs for High Schools

Sue James
Thornlie Senior High School

The Thornlie SHS Your Move team of six students from Year 7 to Year 10, attended the two day Leadership Lab hosted by Millennium Kids and Your Move on 22nd and 23rd September.

The day started by meeting at the Thornlie Train Station and catching the train to McIver and walking to Adelaide Terrace, demonstrating our groups’ commitment and dedication to using active transport whenever possible. Our team was pleased to meet several other High School groups at the workshop who have the same level of concerns about issues affecting our environment negatively and working towards goals to improve them.

The first day involved us meeting Cat from Millennium kids and experts from RAC and Transperth to analyse passive and active transport and their effects on the environment.

We also did several fun activities in mixed groups to expand our thinking, knowledge and teamwork skills and identify group member’s different abilities and strengths. We identified real world problems that worry us all in a brainstorm session. Some of these issues are climate change, different types of pollution particularly plastic waste, clearing of the natural habitat and sustainability.

Then on day two, our team identified a problem in our local area that we could solve through the Your Move program. Cat taught us how to pitch ideas and solutions with data and facts, direct solutions and catchy slogans and visual methods. (story board)

We spent several hours brainstorming and data collecting in pairs, to prepare our two minute pitch to the experts at the end of the day. Our team created a solution to two issues we are concerned about -climate change and revegetation of the natural habitat. We thought this could be addressed by planning several events encouraging our students to change their travel habits to and from school from passive transport that adds to green house gas emissions to a higher level of active transport that has zero or lower emissions because everyone can make a positive difference every day. As a reward for students changing their travel behaviour from passive to active, our team wants to partner with our local land care groups and involve students revegetating barren areas of our school and surrounding bush reserves with local native plants. This can be done through a competition and students who walk, ride or scoot may win the chance to partake in a planting afternoon or an afternoon at a local BMX track.

Cat, the experts and the students from the other schools gave us really valuable feedback about our pitch. The workshop was very inspirational and motivating and our team have already met this term to plan the timeline for our Term 4 event to encourage students to ride regularly over the coming weeks.

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James (Your Move)

Hi Sue. We are really happy with how these new Leadership Labs went - and it seems the Thornlie SHS team are too 😊! I really like the idea of the planting and BMX rewards for positive travel behaviour change. Your team have earned 70 points for attending this 2 day session and you have earned another 20 points for your detailed reflections. Let us know if the team present their ideas elsewhere too - some teams have done it back at school or at the local council.

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Thank you James. This story was written by Jasmine, one of the students who attended the Leadership Labs. I think the plan is to do a display in the library with their storyboard. We have an awesome group of students advocating for more active travel to and from school. :)

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