Shepparton News

Ben’s leading the way during VCE

- By Max Stainkamph

One of Greater Shepparton Secondary College’s school captains has been named as one of six VCE leaders across the state.

Ben Okely was nominated for the VCE Leadership Awards by a teacher for the award for his work at school and in the community.

Both 2020 and 2021 have proven to be a challenge like no other for leaders of all stripes across the country, and Ben said he’d found it no different.

‘‘It’s been an interestin­g year,’’ he said.

‘‘I thought we’d be learning from home for some parts of the year, but not nearly six months’ worth.’’

Instead of organising fundraiser­s and in-person school activities, Ben has spent more time focusing on his peers’ mental wellbeing than he ever expected.

‘‘The role’s been a bit different. It’s been more about facilitati­ng wellbeing, activities and stuff to boost morale,’’ he said.

‘‘Once a week we’ve been doing a Kahoot! trivia, with first, second and third getting prizes.

‘We do daily challenges, today was talking about a place you’d like to go to — for me it was NZ. We’ve done Wear it Purple days, R U OK? days.’’

His focus has been on Year 12 students who have missed significan­t milestones, including camps and events at school before getting into 18th birthday parties.

Outside of school, Ben has spent more than a decade in Scouts, working towards the Australian Scouts Medallion and the Queen’s Scout Award — both of which take three years each to earn, and picking up countless leadership and life skills along the way.

He’ll find out if he’s won the Leader of the Year award today, but was happy just to have been nominated.

‘‘I didn’t expect it, I got nominated by a teacher and didn’t take much notice of it, but now I’m one of six in the state,’’ he said.

 ?? Picture: Megan Fisher ?? Top of the class: GSSC school captain and VCE leader Ben Okely has been in numerous leadership roles at both the school and Scouts.
Picture: Megan Fisher Top of the class: GSSC school captain and VCE leader Ben Okely has been in numerous leadership roles at both the school and Scouts.

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