For Year 11 Catholic Ladies’ College student Gabrielle Hurrel, learning and leadership go hand in hand.
A gifted and driven student, Hurrel has recently been selected for the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars program for high achieving students. She was also one of the four students to be presented with the Father James Wall Bursary Leadership Achievement Award. (one of only 4 students statewide?)
“It was nice to have that to motivate me to keep studying and do what I’m doing,” Hurrel says modestly.
During the week she can be found taking part in the debating team, the social justice group, the football, soccer and cross country teams, and, of course, the school’s feminist collective of which she is a founder (she concedes she has a busy schedule).
The key to Hurrel’s balancing act lays within her organisational skills, along with her unwavering dedication to her studies.
“For me, it’s all about being motivated,” she explains.
“It helps to have an end goal in mind, whether it’s a short-term goal, like finishing an assignment, or a long-term goal…”
For Hurrel, the long-term goal is to pursue law at university.
“That’s definitely what keeps me working hard throughout the year and being motivated and the things I want to achieve.”
Moving from Canada in 2015 with her family, Hurrel says CLC’s collaborative environment made her feel right at home.
“I really loved the school’s atmosphere...it was very open and welcoming.
“The girls were also very kind.”
Today, Team Leader Tulay Et describes Hurrel as a role model to younger students. Et says as well as being dedicated to her school community, Hurrel’s “proactive” approach to learning has held her in good stead.
“Part of what we encourage here is the thinking that it isn’t just about success, it’s also about giving the girls the skills so that they can motivate each other, or they can build on them…”
Et feels that goal-setting can be one of the most important tools to encourage students to take charge of their own learning. She describes the ability to do this as “a bridge to further growth and development”.
Part of this, Et says, is making sure the students are involved in their community, and are working collaboratively.
She feels that this is something Hurrel excels in.
“...She wants to empower her peers... I think it’s one thing to have a leadership role and possesses those leadership traits, but it requires a greater extent of excellence to be able to empower others and Gabrielle is certainly able to do that.”
For Hurrel, the support and encouragement of her school has been an important part of her success within leadership positions.
“That’s something I would attribute to the CLC environment,” she says.
“At CLC there are lots of opportunities and teachers are constantly pushing you to embrace them.
“I love being able to make changes in the school community or even the wider community.
“I find through leadership opportunities, like the ones I’ve been presented with, I’ve been able to take initiative and make change.”