Head Boy Shivaansh Gounder has been honing his leadership skills for years. In fact, his journey started well before he stepped through the gates of ACG Parnell College.
“In 2014, I was appointed School Leader of my previous primary school. It was a truly wonderful opportunity to represent that amazing and diverse school community,” says Shivaansh.
The experience proved to be the perfect launchpad, inspiring Shivaansh to embrace every opportunity to strengthen his leadership capabilities.
“When I got to ACG, I joined a range of clubs and extracurricular activities such as junior chamber orchestra, junior drama club and theatre sports. And in Year 9, I served as a class representative reporting to the Student Council.
“Since then, I’ve held various leadership roles that have given me the experience to lead our wonderful team of Prefects and the wider student body. Together we planned a whole host of exciting activities and events for the year, and we couldn’t wait to get started.
“Being involved in student body leadership is an incredible way to advocate for student wellbeing and create change at all year levels. It allows you to make a positive difference in how you and your peers learn or are involved in student life. It feels enriching to complete tasks or to help organise school events.”
While liaising with Senior Management and the Prefect Team, supporting students, and helping shape the school culture are all vital aspects of his Head Boy role, Shivaansh has a few other ideas that are particularly close to his heart.
“My main goals are to promote student wellbeing by getting everyone involved in our school community – I feel this is necessary because 2020 was such a challenging year for everyone. Any opportunity where our campuses can work together and collaborate is a major success for me.
“Also, as a member of our cultural committee, I feel a certain level of responsibility to encourage and showcase the diversity that exists within our school community. It’s so important to embrace and celebrate the different histories that make us who we are.”
Celebrating diversity is something Shivaansh is passionate about. He co-founded the school’s first-ever Indian club, and one of his favourite ACG memories was helping curate the Desi (South Asian) Day at Cultural Week in 2019.
“It felt amazing and made me truly proud to present a part of my heritage to the school community. What I enjoy the most about ACG Parnell are the people who come from all different walks of life and backgrounds who show a great eagerness for learning and being involved in the school community.”
With so many amazing experiences to look back on and plenty more to come, Shivaansh hopes all students will join him in making the most of all that’s on offer at ACG this year.
“If you want to become a future leader, seize every opportunity. There are so many extracurricular activities where you can shine and flourish. Being a dependable and diligent team member is so crucial when wanting to establish yourself as a student leader, as well as showing initiative and being ready to help and serve others.”
Shivaansh believes his experiences at ACG Parnell College have been incredibly rewarding and will set him in good stead for the future.
“The school encourages you to set goals to help you achieve great academic and personal success. And as you progress through the years, you are given more responsibility and freedom to prepare you for the ‘real world’.”
“I feel the most important life lesson I have learnt from ACG is how to become an independent learner and thinker. Being punctual and completing work to a high standard is crucial for building an effective work ethic, preparing you for university life and beyond.
“Additionally, being involved in student body leadership is an incredible way to advocate for student wellbeing and create change. That’s how you can truly make a positive difference in student life.
Unsurprisingly, the motivated teen also has big plans for the future.
“Looking at 2022 and beyond, I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws at university. I aspire to be involved in setting public policy that makes a positive impact for all of society.”