Year 12 student and Judaica Captain for 2022, Rebecca S, has been recognised this term for her exceptional leadership skills and community engagement. Her passion and diligence in being a leader at School has led her to be a finalist in the Young Women in Public Affairs Award executed by Zonta International this year.

A global organisation formed to empower women, Zonta International recognises their potential and fights for equality by engaging members to participate in service and advocacy.

Being a finalist in Australia Rebecca remarked, “There are a lot of issues in this world which I wasn’t aware of as a woman. Zonta has made positive impact in the contentious areas of forced marriages and education for women. For me, being recognised by them as someone who can achieve their world vision makes me feel very proud."

Sharing her views on women empowerment, she commented, “We have progressed a lot in women having equal rights as men but there is still a long way to go. This is an ongoing journey and it’s important that women and young girls can understand they will always deserve a place in the world”.
Passionate about education, Rebecca believes that acquiring basic skills leads the way to better opportunities. She is a regular volunteer at Bnei Akiva (youth camp), where she takes on the role of Madrich (youth counsellor), to teach younger students the values of life.

“To me leadership is about being a good example to the people around you and standing up for what you believe in. You need to show the world that you have strong values and beliefs, and not allow anyone to push you over," she stated.

Rebecca’s passion for the community and role as a Judaica Captain in Carmel School is widely praised by Director of Jewish Studies, Mr Simon Lawrence.

“I remember her enthusiasm for the role and willingness to be organised in advance. To me, that forms a massive part of the role. If you don’t have organisational skills, then you are in trouble!”, Simon stated.

Another important element of being a Captain, is setting a good example to younger students and being the voice for them in Student Representative Council (SRC) meetings.

“Carmel encourages all students to contribute in a way that complements their leadership style”, Head of Secondary Mr Dean Shadgett, said, “Rebecca is a quiet leader in the classroom; her deeds, actions and conscientious approach prove a wonderful example to her peers."

Rebecca is also deeply rooted to Judaism and dedicates every morning for reading the Torah before school. Mr Lawrence said, “15-20 students volunteer to study for themselves but the fact that Rebecca attends, allows her to be a role model who can set an example to these students."

Known for its emphasis in the community around them, Carmel School develops and encourages leaders by offering a variety of opportunities both in and outside the classroom.

“Our House system allows for both the quiet leader who is comfortable working with younger students in a side-by side manner through to those who take centre stage and lead from the front as House Captains, Peer Support Leaders, on the sporting field or as coordinators of various activities during the year”, Mr Shadgett stated.

“These informal opportunities are in addition to training days offered to Year 10 students to become Peer Support leaders, an opportunity all our Year 10 students engage in. In Year 11, leadership training sessions are a part of Wednesday morning extended Mentor sessions in the lead up to our SRC nomination and elections process. Our SRC is ‘front and centre’ in Year 12 as they, and all Year 12 students, lead our school."

Commenting on how leaders should empower others around them, Mr Lawrence puts delegation as the number one criteria of a good leader. “To understand as a leader, it is important to acknowledge that you cannot do everything yourself”, he said, “Delegating work by creating committees and sub-committees also portrays that their leader has trust and respect for their people."

Experiencing an extensive leadership journey at Carmel School and its community, Rebecca aspires to continue being a leader throughout the many facets of life she is yet to undertake. Her plan after graduation includes taking a gap year at Israel and continuing to be a Bnei Madrich.

Looking into the future of leadership at the School, Carmel has recently announced the new SRC for 2023. The School community is looking forward to seeing how these leaders can shape the future of the School and its students in the upcoming year.