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As today is International Women’s Day, I thought it was the ideal time to hand my blog over to our two Campus Principals, Jenny Williams and Sarah Rudiger. They share their reflections on how Beaconhills encourages our College community to “think, act and be gender inclusive”.
Jenny Williams, Berwick Campus Principal:
As educators, we endeavour to create gender-inclusive environments so our students can find their strengths, interests and confidence. I believe we are breaking down the barriers to the belief that “girls can”. For example, these messages are reinforced through our assembly programs from Junior through to Senior School, or by our co-captains (male and female). Our SEISA competition allows for gender equity in sport – girls play in a girls’ AFL competition and girls and boys compete together in cricket and other sports.
It is also important to have male or female teachers as role models. We now see both girls and boys participating in Product Design and Technology, Systems Engineering and Food Studies.
I also think the recent changes to uniform have been excellent. In the past, some of the younger girls were restricted in their activities on the play equipment. Now we see equal numbers of boys and girls using the playgrounds.
Sarah Rudiger, Pakenham Campus Principal:
From my perspective, everyone should have an opportunity to excel in anything they wish to pursue. Our classrooms are ideal environments to raise awareness and discuss gender stereotypes and encourage students to think critically about their understanding and views, and to develop their own informed conclusions.
As a society we have come a long way in recent decades, although there is still some gender stereotyping in our world. As a school, what we do well is to assist students to develop skills and characteristics which enable them to develop the confidence to realise their dreams and achieve success. One of our key messages to senior students is to study the subjects they enjoy and to have the confidence to pursue non-traditional fields if that is where their passion lies. Gender shouldn’t determine what we can and can’t do.
(L) Pakenham Principal Sarah Rudiger, (R) Berwick Principal Jenny Williams
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