Whitsunday Deputy Mayor John Collins (centre) with 2021 Proserpine State High School vice-captain Luke Handley, captain James Talbot, captain Tessa Jolley and vice-captain Libby Cornish.
Whitsunday Deputy Mayor John Collins (centre) with 2021 Proserpine State High School vice-captain Luke Handley, captain James Talbot, captain Tessa Jolley and vice-captain Libby Cornish.

New captains at Proserpine High share vision for 2021

Leaving a strong legacy and supporting students' mental health are two main focuses of the new captains at Proserpine State High School.

Tessa Jolley and James Talbot have been named the school's captains for 2021, while Libby Cornish and Luke Handley have been appointed as vice-captains.

After a tough 2020, the new captains are determined to make this year a positive one for their peers.

Tessa said she truly wanted to make a difference in the school community and leave a legacy.

"I want to be a school captain that you look back on and think she was a good school captain," Tessa said.

The Year 12 student aims to be approachable to all students, allowing them to speak to her about concerns or queries they may have.

Last year Tessa set up a fundraiser called Be Kinder Day, after one of her friends sadly passed away.

 

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Students received cards with her friend's drawings on them to spread kind messages and Tessa would like to see the initiative grow into the future.

"I'd love for that to be my legacy, obviously it's close to my heart," Tessa said.

"Last year a lot of people said the card made their day.

"It would be good to have a bit more kindness."

Sharing the captaincy with Tessa is James Talbot, who wants to be a role model for fellow students.

"Someone who is sensible, mature and someone who can muck around," James said.

James's aim is to be able to speak for his peers and celebrate all types of success, not just in the academic realm but those who excel in other areas as well.

Proserpine State High School principal Don McDermid (centre) with junior student council executive treasurer Olivia Murphy, president Zion Holt, vice-president Reid Ogden and secretary Holly Perrin.
Proserpine State High School principal Don McDermid (centre) with junior student council executive treasurer Olivia Murphy, president Zion Holt, vice-president Reid Ogden and secretary Holly Perrin.

For vice-captain Libby, awareness of mental health will be a major focus of her year.

"Suffering from anxiety myself, I want people to speak up," she said.

"Being able to put my story out there and make people think I'm approachable to talk to about it."

Supporting the Resilience Project, which started at the school last year and will be fully rolled out in 2021, is a major priority for Libby.

"It focuses a lot on mental health and looking at what you have rather than what you don't have," Libby said.

"I want the school to feel like a more welcoming place."

Whitsunday Deputy Mayor John Collins (centre) with Proserpine State High School senior student council executive vice-president Lily Arena, president Anarella Bennett, secretary Grace Male and treasurer Helena Stewart.
Whitsunday Deputy Mayor John Collins (centre) with Proserpine State High School senior student council executive vice-president Lily Arena, president Anarella Bennett, secretary Grace Male and treasurer Helena Stewart.

For fellow vice-captain Luke Handley, who is also the indigenous student leader, being approachable is important.

"Sometimes it's not as easy talking to a teacher," he said.

"I want to be that person who can be there for you."

Luke would like to see indigenous students get more involved, particularly in a touch football competition that he would like to take place annually.

He would also like to see the return of school events like the swimming carnival and fun runs after COVID-19 impacted plans last year.

"We're a united country, it doesn't matter what race, and being united that's what creates a good school and good connections," he said.

The new leaders were inducted at a special ceremony at the school on Monday.

Here's a full list of the new leaders:

- School captains: Tessa Jolley and James Talbot

- School vice-captains: Libby Cornish and Luke Handley

- Indigenous student leader: Luke Handley

- Senior student council executive: President Anarella Bennett, vice-president Lily Arena, secretary Grace Male and treasurer Helena Stewart

- Junior student council executive: President Zion Holt, vice-president Reid Ogden, secretary Holly Perrin and treasurer Olivia Murphy

- Cook house leaders: Captains Libby Cornish and Bella Manley, vice-captains Lily Arena and McKenzie Murphy

- Flinders house leaders: Captains Molly Hird and Grace Male, vice-captains Abby Hiscox and Bradley McKenzie

- Kennedy house leaders: Captains Alexis Graham and Kiarni Hinton, vice-captains Charlie Bean and Imogen Graham

- Oxley house leaders: Captains Penny Farrell and Casey Yule, vice-captains Anarella Bennett and Tessa Jolley

- Douglas Debney Memorial Bursary winner: Jayden Maynard

- George Telford Memorial Bursary: Olivia Adam

- Band leaders: Tessa Jolley and Lily Arena