Captaincy Insights

Applications have been sent in and nerves are on edge. Will I get School Prefect? What kind of role will I get within my House? What does each job actually entail? We all know these questions are racing through your heads, even if you’re trying to play it calm. But not to worry! The various Captains of 2014 are here to help… We have details about what we expected and what we have experienced throughout the year. Skip to the role you are most curious about or read them all. Good luck!

House Captain (by Lianne Mellin):

When I first found out that I was chosen to be House Captain of Batten House, I was nervously excited – nervous because I was afraid of letting the House down, but excited because it was a new opportunity and meant that my last year at school would be filled with activities I enjoyed doing in the first place.

I was always aware that I would need to organise many different things during school time. I was also aware that I needed to be a role model to other students. When I was in year 9, I looked up to my House Captains in every way possible – it was a scary thought that others would be doing the same to me. However, this meant that I wanted to try my hardest for my House.

This year I have realised that I have grown to be a better leader. There has been a lot of organising for me to do including Batten’s Carnival, House assemblies, athletics day fundraising and getting people to join different house events. Often, I had to organise a lot of these activities after school. Although it may sound like a difficult task (which it can be when trying to juggle school work and other co-curricular activities), it is fun and accomplishable. One tip that I found extremely helpful, was to either delegate or work as a team with somebody else – you can’t do this job by yourself. Without my House Exec, the year would have been extremely difficult. They’re put in their roles for a reason, so use them!

Good luck to everybody applying!


Cultural Captain (by Amber Chang):

As a member of the Lipsync or House Choir, you might either not pay full attention to the leaders or think that they are bossy. However, it’s only when you are the ones trying to get a large group of students to do a specific move/sing a song that you are able to fully comprehend the difficulty of the task. Having a loud, bossy voice can get you so far, but to make a decent Cultural Captain requires much more. Use the fact that there are two of you to your advantage – work together with your co-captain instead of trying to dominate them and plan what needs to be done so you don’t run out of time. There will be moments where you feel like you will never achieve the end result you want, but always persevere – always turn up. Remember that the performance is the performers’ as much as it is ‘yours’ (if not more so) so treat them as humans, not robots under your demand. Whether or not you consciously realise, the group’s behaviour is influenced by yours, so always strive for better (don’t settle) and maintain a positive attitude. Everyone is different in their approaches to leading others, so work to your strengths, don’t be afraid to try something new, and most importantly… enjoy it!


Sports’ Captain (by Alex Adams):

Sports’ Captain is a vital role within the House Exec. As Sports’ Captain, you will be required to organise both team and umpires/referees for various House Sports. Juniors are often a lot more willing and enthusiastic to participate which makes the role easier. As well as initially organising the teams, it is important to go down and support them whilst they compete. House Sports are an important aspect of school life and everyday there is often House Sport on – this requires a large amount of time commitment. As a Captain, you will be in charge of the Sports’ Prefects within your house which means delegating tasks to them is also part of your role. This obviously requires sound communication skills. A tip for future Sports’ Captains would be to go along to as many House Sports as you can – familiarise yourself within the House and make sure people know who you are. Involvement is key.


Service Captain (by Lizzy Main):

After spending pretty much a full year as Batten’s Service Captain, I can honestly say I am proud of my position and what my partner, Toby Elliot, and I have achieved. This opinion, however, is probably not shared by a lot of other Service Captains – either currently at the school or from previous years. Many people have been known to call it the “consolation prize”, the “boring” captaincy or just give it a bad reputation. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have these thoughts run through my head as well. This attitude can only let you down and I was quick to instead approach the role of Service Captain with excitement. I wasn’t going to let the “lame Captain” role define me. Instead, I would make it a role worth fighting for, something future Batten students could be proud of attaining. We managed to do this by running a Batten Carnival, something never before arranged by the platinum house. This was challenging as it was a totally new experience for our House. Athletics Day was another school based event that Batten did fundraising on. One thing to keep in mind is that all the houses are competing to get permission to fundraise on days where the whole school is involved. You’ll need to be organised early to get permission to fundraise, so don’t procrastinate. In the end, Batten managed to raise $11,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust, a feat we have never been close to reaching before. It wasn’t just the Service Captain’s responsibility to raise this, nor the House Exec. As a person in a leadership position, you have to be reliant on a whole network of people. A Service Captain is expected to fundraise for a House. You will, however, find that you have to lead these people towards a greater cause more decent than themselves – something teenagers often find difficult to understand. Being a Service Captain is definitely challenging, however, when done right and with passion, the role can be more than rewarding.


Academic Captain (by Vanessa Guo):

I initially expected to be having to assist with the House Tutoring system and help to create a positive and friendly atmosphere by being the Academic Captain. It turns out that my expectation was largely right. I think, as an Academic Captain, you need to have excellent organisational skills to be able to operate the House Tutoring system. You need to have a sense of responsibility and passion for improving students’ curiosity to learn. I learnt that the Academic Captain needs to be innovative because it is hard to encourage a good academic atmosphere and to create curiosity. I also think that is important to have team work skills because Captains need to work together to bring a better environment to the House. I hope that the future Academic Captains are able to enjoy their role and have fun in their last year of college!

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