School’s back for another year and Sydney’s brightest, creative and talented students are leading the way to motivate their peers as captains.

Leaders from year 6 and 12 across the city’s public and private schools have shared what they are looking forward to most in the new year, and what they hope to achieve as school leaders.

Meet our young and upcoming leaders for 2024.

Sacred Heart Primary, Mt Druitt

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary Mt Druitt
Sacred Heart Primary Mt Druitt School Captains Elyse Santos and Devin Pinto.

Devin Pinto – School captain

Devin Pinto is excited to continue what has become a kind of family “legacy”.

“I decided to run for school captain because both my dad and his brother were school captains when they were younger,” he said.

“I feel very delighted to be a leader in 2024!”

Devin, 11, hopes to be an “excellent” student and leader of the “exquisite school”.

“I want to achieve my goal of making a good environment for our school.”

He has big dreams, first to attend Harvard University and to be a lawyer, and eventually a judge or magistrate.

And one day, he said: “I’ll try my best to open my own charity called Devin’s Door to Freedom!”

Elyse Santos – School captain

The hallowed halls of Harvard and Oxford University are calling young leader Elyse’s name.

But first, she says, she wants to learn as much as she can in school and do her best as school captain.

“I want to lead our school and make a kind-hearted community,” Elyse said.

“I feel very joyful to be elected to be a school captain.”

When she grows up she wants to “be wealthy” but for entirely philanthropic purposes.

“I want to help the less fortunate and donate a large sum of money to those across the world.”

Good Shepherd Primary, Plumpton

2024-leaders-Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton
Shaliyah Johan, Lucas Portugal, Xavier Santos, Cziana Sulapat.

Lucas Portugal

"My hope for this year to gain everyone's trust and face my fears."

Shaliyah Johan

"I am looking forward to leading the assemblies by speaking confidently."

Xavier Santos

"I ran for school captain because I dreamt of being school captain way back in Kindergarten."

Cziana Sulapat

"My aim is to show impact on the school and demonstrate my love for others through compassion and by following in Mary McKillop's footsteps."

Holy Family Primary, Emerton

Holy Famiy Emerton Primary
Holy Family Primary Emerton captains Katinia Sitani and Okhalani Tofaeono.

Okhalani Tofaeono – School captain

Representing his school as captain is just the beginning for Okhalani Tofaeono.

His big dream is to one day play rugby league for Tonga, and to live a happy life.

“My big hope for the future is to be successful in work and be happy,” he said.

Okhalani, 11, who loves sport, says he is looking forward to leading and representing his “great school” and to “learning new and interesting things” as captain.

Katinia Sitani – School captain

Katinia wants to enjoy her last year of primary school with her friends before they part ways.

“I am looking forward to playing with my friends in our last year of primary school together before we go to different high schools,” she said.

But as well as having plenty of fun, the young leader also wants to “become more confident at public speaking” this year.

Katinia, 11, says being elected school captain is her “greatest achievement so far”.

She hopes that one day she can work in a job that she loves – “and earn lots of money”, of course.

“My big hope for the future is to have a family and be happy.”

St Michael’s Primary, Blacktown South

St Michael's Catholic Primary, Blacktown South
St Michael's Primary Blacktown South captains.

Niam Derrick – School captain

Niam says he is proud of becoming school captain because it was a “pretty tough” election process.

He thought being a leader would be a “good chance for me to get involved in the school”.

“I hope to help make the school a better place and make some changes for the better with the other school captains,” Niam said.

A budding young scientist – he loves the “cool experiments” they do in class – and he wants to be a “robot builder” when she is older; why?

“Because they would be fun to build.”

Cooper Rowling – School captain

Cooper says he felt “emotional” when he was announced school captain.

“I’ve wanted to be school captain for as long as I can remember,” he said.

And now that he is in the role, Cooper wants to be “the best school captain I can be and hopefully have a positive impact”.

“I’d also love to see my team get to a football grand final.”

Breanna Jaber – School captain

Breanna wants St Michael’s Primary to feel like a “safe” place for all students, and somewhere everyone can “belong”.

“This year I am looking forward to facing my fears as a school captain and to help others and make the year enjoyable,” she said.

She is looking forward to doing more public speaking in her role, and hopes that she will be able to make the school a “better place”.

Breanna has big goals for herself – great big soccer-shaped goals.

“When I grow up I would like to go to University but also play for Australia as a soccer player,” she said.

“My big hopes for the future are that I achieve my dreams and to make a difference.”

Elora O’Neill, school captain

Elora O’Neill wants to be a Matilda when she grows up.

“I love soccer and I would love to represent Australia,” she said.

But more than that, she wants to “achieve my goals and become the best person I can be”.

She says her cousins actually encouraged her to pursue the role of school captain, and she is “very excited” to be elected.

Elora said she is looking forward to “learning more about leadership as captain of St Michael’s.

“I hope to make the school a better place

Nagle Catholic College, Blacktown

Nagle Cathoic College Blacktown
Nagle College captains Isabelle Grills and Angeline Rajadurai.

Isabelle Grills, school captain

Despite all of the opportunities she has been presented at school, Isabelle Grills ranks travelling across Europe as a pilgrim and attending World Youth Day her proudest achievements.

“This pilgrimage has completely affirmed my purpose and what I believe in which allows me to live as my true self,” she said.

“Building my own relationship with God is something I have been working towards for a while and makes me feel accomplished as a Catholic.”

She was drawn to leadership the same way she was drawn to both being a voice for others, and listening to others around her.

Isabelle, 17, wishes to be a “transformative leader”, both for the school community and for her own growth.

“I hope that no matter what, I stay strong in my faith and in my values, enjoying life for what it is,” she said.

“I want to live a life I can look back on and feel complete.”

Angeline Rajadurai, school captain

As much as she has enjoyed her time at Nagle College, and wants to give her all to leadership, Angeline Rajadurai is most excited to travel the world when high school is over.

“When I grow up I wish to travel the world and learn about how different societies, communities and cultures interact and connect with one another,” she said.

Angeline said she was “honoured” to be elected school captain, and “elated by the trust my peers and teachers have placed in me”.

“I ran for school captain as I am deeply passionate about making a positive impact within the school environment,” she said.

“For the future, in whatever path I may follow, I wish to always be the best version of myself.”

Patrician Brothers Blacktown

Patrician Brothers Catholic College Blacktown
Emmanuel Chrichton, school captain

Emmanuel Chrichton, school captain.

Giving back to the “brotherhood” that supported him throughout school is one of the major reasons why Emmanual Chrichton wanted to be school captain.

He said the “culture” was a “staple” to making him into the leader he is today.

“I wished to be school captain so I would be able to contribute to our school, providing insight as a student in order to make the college better for all,” Emmanuel said.

The 16-year-old leader has “high hopes” for the year to come.

“My big hopes for this year is being able to achieve best in all academic endeavours,” Emmanuel said he wants to pursue studies in law to “give back” to his community.

“I hope that I can leave a mark on the school through the contributions made by the leadership team. I also wish to push myself this year both academically and physically.”

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Seven Hills

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary Seven Hills
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School captains Lachlan Osbourne and Hannah Ingleby.

Lachlan Osbourne, school captain

As school captain, Lachlan Osbourne wants to “inspire younger kids to believe in themselves”.

Now that he has been elected into the position, he is “excited” to get the opportunity to “encourage others” to do their best.

Lachlan, 11, loves sports, especially soccer. He hopes that one day he will get so good he can play professionally and “run soccer academies”.

My goal is to become someone that people look up to and admire, like Tim Cahill.

Hannah Ingleby, school captain

As “amazing” as it is to be elected school captain, Hannah Ingleby is most excited to be a mentor to her kindergarten buddy.

“I ran for school leader because I love helping and guiding people,” she said.

Being school captain is one of “many things” Elyse wants to achieve in life, including running the 1500m event at the Olympics.

But for now, the 11-year-old wants to get better at public speaking and at the very least “get to state for 800m at the athletics carnival”.

“I am proud of lots of things I have achieved but one big one is becoming a school leader,” Elyse said.

“It feels amazing to be elected and my parents and friends are so proud of me.”

St Patrick's Primary, Blacktown

St Patrick's Catholic Primary, Blacktown
St Patrick's Primary School Blacktown captain Stella Borg (front), with her fellow leaders. Back row: Achala Athum, Nia'lani Mokoia, Arieta Ma'afu and Samyog Gautam. Middle: Kobe Royeras, Iyana Hamid and Christian Malki.

Stella Borg – School captain

As shool captain, Stella Borg wants to lead her school community “with respect and compassion”.

“I have a passion for helping people and I wanted to make a difference and serve my school,” she said.

Part of her mission for her final year of primary school – as well as making sure to “have fun” – is to “create an inclusive playground culture” by organising games at break times.

It is going to be a big year for Stella who, at just 11 years old, will be travelling overseas to represent Australia in acrobatic gymnastics.

But when she is older she hopes to continue fulfilling her “passion for helping people” as a nurse.

Most of all, though, she says: “I hope to be happy, work hard to achieve my goals, be the best version of myself and be a person for others just like Mary MacKillop”

Read the original Daily Telegraph article


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