Prefects lead from the front in weekend intensive

03 Jun 2021

College prefects have been reminded that “leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example” during a new two-day initiative to enhance and extend the school leaders.

All 25 prefects have recently spent a weekend at Jacobs House, improving their team-building capabilities, looking at leadership strategy and reflecting on what they have achieved so far and what they still have to do as leaders.

Overseen by the Director of Character & Leadership, Matt Cortesi, the boys have been immersed in workshops and a range of activities, focusing on growing their leadership skills.

“For the first time, we have gathered our prefects together for an intensive ‘Prefects Weekend In’ so that the boys can learn from each other and spend some focused time on student leadership.” he says.

Prefect George Gearry describes the weekend as “a great time for us to reflect on what we’ve achieved in our roles so far this year, and what we plan to achieve over the following terms”.

“In particular, we focused on the idea of leaving a legacy and the forms that could take – from the physical change we could make in the school, to less tangible culture shifts we could lead as a group,” he says.

George says that the weekend “was excellently supported by Mr Cortesi, who created a great balance of team-building exercises to improve our collaborative leadership abilities with more theoretical workshops, where we considered what we wanted our legacy to be as a prefect group and how we could make that happen”.

He adds that it has been fun to spend time with the rest of the prefect group, many of whom have been friends throughout their time at College.

While Saturday evening was devoted to team-building games, Sunday featured leadership workshops, strategies, models and the importance of a collaborative approach.

The boys also boosted their teamwork with a visit to an escape room at CodeBreakers and welcomed St Margaret’s College prefects to a dinner in the Dining Hall on Sunday evening that featured guest speaker Kendall Flutey.

The 2019 Young New Zealander of the Year and co-founder and Chief Executive of financial education platform Banqer shared her own unique journey with the student leaders of both schools.

“Kendall personifies leadership and courage as someone willing to step up to make a difference and benefit others,” Matt says. “Her message was a fantastic way to wrap up the weekend.”