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Journalist Lucy Clark speaks about her beautiful failure

11 Aug 2016


In November 2014, journalist Lucy Clark penned an article that resonated with thousands. Written on the day her daughter finished her HSC, it told the story of her daughter, her ‘beautiful failure’, for whom high school was a daily battle. 

The article had sparked something and Lucy began asking questions. The result of her inquiry is her recently published, Beautiful Failures: How the quest for success is harming our kids, which explores 21st century education, the reason kids become disengaged, and interrogates how we measure success.

Lucy was guest speaker at Wenona’s Renaissance Women’s Leaders Network: Broadening the notion of success, an event held each Term for aspiring and inspiring women leaders. She spoke about the book, her journalistic experience and thoughts on women and leadership.

“The driving pressure of my book was where does the pressure come from? That took me into the home, into the system, into the education paradigms, all sorts of levels” she said.

She spoke about her experience as the only female cadet on a newspaper in Brisbane in the 1980s; why she believes quotas are important; and of her journey from the ‘Women’s pages’ to digital news – she currently works as a Senior Editor at Guardian Australia.

Her words provoked a thoughtful, intelligent discussion from the audience of educators, who interrogated the way we assess students; how educators and parents can collaborate and make children feel they matter; and how to push back on the system.  

Principal Dr Briony Scott also shared her thoughts on how to ‘negatively split’ and finish the term stronger, and assured the audience, “you have more power than you think.”

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