Posted on November 6, 2020
New College Vice Captain Vanessa Raptis sees St Ursula’s College as a thriving community that is full of opportunities for all.
During her time at St Ursula’s, she has been involved in numerous activities and initiatives aimed at helping others and developing the College’s inclusive environment.
These include active participation in NAIDOC Week and RUOK? Day pursuits, and charitable initiatives such as Caritas fundraising, preparing snack packs for the homeless, as well as activism on behalf of the remote Santa Teresa community in the Northern Territory.
It is the sense of community support, and the unique opportunities available for everyone, that are an important part of the fabric of life at St Ursula’s College and something that Vanessa believes should be celebrated.
“St Ursula’s is full of life, with each individual adding to the melting pot. The school community is extremely unique as it’s filled with support and mutual respect. The community radiates warmness – everyone is always greeted with a smile and a kind hello,” she says.
Serving the community
When it comes to her College leadership position, Vanessa’s drive to be a representative for others is very evident.
“Leadership to me isn’t about the individual, but rather the people they aim to represent. In every action, the leader must be selfless, aiming to help and advocate for those around them,” she shares.
In her role as part of the Senior Student Leadership Team, Vanessa believes that being a friendly and welcoming presence is important, as is working hard to introduce more initiatives that will contribute to growth and engagement for the community.
“I hope to be a smiling face for the girls of St Ursula’s to be able to approach with their queries and concerns, without hesitation. I wish to further strengthen the St Ursula’s community through fun new initiatives, which seek to blend all the year groups together,” she explains.
Coming together in difficult times
Looking to the leaders that have come before her and those who are still active within the College community, Vanessa has taken away many learnings, including the fact that working as part of a team is vital to successful leadership, as is making sure that all members of the community feel like they are represented and heard.
After a tumultuous 2020, a sense of unity and compassion for others is more important that ever.
“The past year has been unlike any other. If circumstances allow, the SSLT of 2021 would love to see further community engagement, coming together and becoming tight knit,” says Vanessa.
Wise words to share
Many students are set to start Year 7 in 2021 and will soon be undertaking orientation and information days at St Ursula’s. Vanessa has some words of advice for the fresh new faces soon to be joining the College.
“Joining high school is a big change in any young person’s life, there will be a whirlwind of emotions ranging from anxiety to excitement. Look at this milestone as one full of experiences and new memories, and enjoy it, because time flies and eventually you will be in Year 12 and wishing you could do it all again!” she says.
And to those familiar faces who have shared the classroom with her over the years, Vanessa also offers some wise words.
“The coming year is an extremely important one that will be filled with hard work, adversity and achievements. As we live these next few months, I hope as classmates we continue to remain a close cohort and share many more laughs and experiences. Together we can make our final year of high school one to remember and be happy to reflect on!” Vanessa shares.