We have a flat administrative structure based on distributive leadership and high levels of trust and respect among students, staff and parents.
The School Leadership Team (from left to right in photo above) – Geoff Newton (Principal), David Briggs (Business Manager), Stephanie Munday-Lake (Deputy Principal) and Mark Herriman (Deputy Principal) – are the formal leadership team of the school. Many teachers also take leadership roles, as well as the elected Student Representative Council.
We live in a world characterised by uncertainty and change, but it’s also a world with many opportunities.We need to consider the kind of leadership this implies, and how schools can best prepare young people for it.
At Hillbrook we take the view that the great majority of people want to do well with their lives and will welcome responsibility, as well as the opportunity to show leadership by making a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others.
We believe that talent and creativity, in all their forms, are widely rather than narrowly distributed in the population. Schools are important communities for their students, staff and parents and these communities need to be essentially inclusive rather than exclusive. These assumptions have led us to a ‘distributive leadership’ model which assumes that everyone can and should lead, in their own way.
There are no prefects here - student leadership is not the exclusive privilege of a select few.
In February students select eight representatives from each grade to serve on the Student Representative Council (SRC). The SRC Executive take on their roles for twelve months, working from the beginning of Semester two until the end of Semester one in the following year.
Later in the year, a nine-member Council Executive is democratically elected by students and staff to represent the students’ voice in the decision-making process of the school.
In addition, from years 7–10, a male and female representative is elected in each Home Class to serve for the school year. From Year 7, all Hillbrook students are given increasing levels of responsibility and participate in a variety of decisions involving others as well as themselves.
By their final year at Hillbrook, students have the experience and expertise to negotiate an individual area of responsibility and leadership, depending on their skills and interests. Our year 12 students take on their senior responsibility with great resolve and enjoyment.
Community Action Program
Hillbrook values both community involvement, and leadership.
The Community Action Program (CAP) provides opportunities for students to expand their experience in these areas. This is done by students taking a pro-active role in seeking out and obtaining placements with a community based program that makes a difference to the lives of others.
Since its inception, CAP has become highly regarded for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is seen by parents and students as a way of encouraging student leadership, particularly through students giving their energy and time to helping in the wider community. The program is the embodiment of our school philosophy that leadership is ‘making a positive difference in the lives of others’.
Secondly, the role that students play whilst undertaking CAP is vital to the organisations for which they have chosen to work. Finally, in the increasingly competitive job market, employers are impressed and interested in seeing evidence of community involvement in the curriculum vitaes of prospective employees.