United We Thrive
As Ralston House Captain and Debating Captain, Gretel has found committing to collaboration is a secret to success.
Each week, our student leaders share their insights with their peers in Assembly.
Three years ago today, I had a black eye – arguably the coolest thing to ever happen to me, and that’s saying something because I was once in an advertisement for the WAFL.
My friends can probably already tell where this speech is going – I tend to talk about AFL a lot. In fact, aside from sleeping in, it is probably my favourite thing … but it was not always this way. When she started playing AFL, poor little Year 8 Gretel couldn’t catch a ball if it was placed in both her hands, and I don’t think anybody caught one of her kicks throughout the entire year. But I continued to “put my hands in” (the Prefects’ 2023 theme) every week, committing to the team as a whole and to trying something I had never done before.
I am still playing AFL, which I put down to the team and the friends I made (because, let’s be honest, getting thrown around every Sunday was never that appealing to me). My persistence stems from being a part of something bigger than just how I played on the field. The fact that each win was the result of our combined efforts, was my favourite part of AFL, and it is an attitude that quickly spread across the rest of my life; I came to realise that I thrive from working as a team – winning or achieving a goal with somebody next to you is so much more gratifying than doing so by yourself.
Throwing myself straight into the deep end, I then joined another team, this one being the Model United Nations. Now, that was something, let me tell you. My team (being two of us) showed up to the first conference wearing Hawaiian shirts, dressed as the United States, completely unaware of what Model United Nations is actually about. Not only did I become friends with one of my favourite people that day (my partner Kalara (Year 12)) but I also tried something new. Returning to our 2023 Prefects’ theme, putting your “hands in” to try something new is just as important as being part of a team.
Looking back, I realise this mindset would have helped me enormously at the beginning of my Wenona journey. At least it is one I have learned. As I come to the end of my high school journey and have the exciting job of applying to universities, the fact that I have a few co-curricular activities to put on my Personal Statement is a comforting feeling. I am constantly grateful to Wenona for these opportunities. So my advice to all current Wenonians is, put your “hands in” and sign up for everything – you might just find your next favourite thing.