Finding your ‘why’: Students attend leadership conference

When it comes to leadership, two of our Prefects have been challenged to find their “why”.

During the school holidays, Daniel Song and Head Prefect Michael Ward attended a three-day residential personal growth and leadership development conference, run by yLead.

“Over the three days, they had key themes about what leadership is. It was really active and engaging,” Michael said of the Australian Student Leadership Conference.

The 30 student attendees, from a mix of SA Catholic, public and independent school, were asked to come up with a personal statement about leadership – to find their “why”.

Prefects Michael Ward and Daniel Song attended the three-day Australian Student Leadership Conference.

“We (the Prefects) want to lead because we want to make an impression on the school’s atmosphere; really make it positive to be at Blackfriars,” Michael said. “That was one of our ‘whys’.”

He said the conference was “very special”.

“It was a lot of fun. I met people from a range of backgrounds, beliefs that I wouldn’t normally get to do,” he said.

“The second night was very emotional. People shared their personal stories .. and I felt like the next day we were closer for that. We built really strong connections and built a good framework for the future.”

Daniel said the conference solidified his thoughts on leadership.

“I think it’s good to network with new people and improve yourself as a leader,” he said.

The boys returned from the conference with a number of ideas for Prefect-led activities in 2024.

“We want to do a lot, be proactive, make the most of it – that’s our goal,” Michael said of the 2024 Prefect group. “We want to be inspirational. I know when I was in Year 7, the Prefects then, I remember them. We want to leave the same impression.”

yLead – which also ran a one-day leadership event for the Prefect group at the end of the 2023 school year – aims to give student leaders the skills to “implement exciting initiatives and create cultural changes to make their school and broader community a better place”.

“At yLead, we are passionate in the belief that leadership is more than a badge or title. It is about action.”

Head Prefect Michael Ward’s inaugural address

Newly elected Head Prefect Michael Ward addressed today’s R-12 assembly. We’re pleased to share his speech here.


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