When Arjun Kaila joined the Year 7 cohort at ACG Parnell College in 2016, his goal was to be named Head Prefect one day. Now, seven years later, those aspirations have become a reality, and he quite literally couldn't be happier about his student leadership role.
"I've wanted to be Head Boy since I first started at the school, and as the years have passed, that dream has only become stronger. So now, here I am today, living that dream," says Arjun.
"I was ecstatic when I found out I had been awarded the Head Prefect role. I started yelling for joy, and my mum thought I was screaming for help! It's safe to say that I was very, very happy, and it was definitely a great start to my final year at ACG."
No stranger to leadership roles, Arjun was a Class Representative in Year 10, captain of the Senior Boys A Volleyball team from Years 10 to 13, a Prefect in Year 12, and alongside his Head Prefect responsibilities this year, he also secured the captaincy of the First XI Cricket team.
"I feel it's important for students to be involved in student leadership as it's a massive learning experience, and you become a role model for many younger students. It's also a great way to step out of your comfort zone and really get involved with school life."
Not only that, but it's an invaluable opportunity to build lifelong skills such as confidence, empathy, humility and the ability to listen – all qualities Arjun believes are essential for effective leadership.
"My advice to students wanting to become future leaders is to believe in themselves and always speak with conviction and confidence. Be true to yourself, and don't pretend to be someone you're not. People will respect you for being you."
Arjun's primary leadership duties include working with the Prefect team and organising school events and activities. However, his top priority is continuing to enhance school spirit and create a strong sense of unity.
"I believe that my main responsibility is to ensure that there's a community and a family, not only within each year level but across the whole school. So building a community is the most important thing for me, and that's what has excited me the most since I first stepped through the gates in Year 7."
And with his considerable first-hand experience of ACG school life, Arjun knows just how uplifting and powerful these connections can be.
"I've enjoyed endless things at this school, but some of my favourites have been school events like our annual Quiz Night, Open Days, Cultural Week and more – events where everyone gets together and shares an amazing experience. The camaraderie that exists within the sports teams is something else that I'll always cherish, and the friendly nature of the school makes it feel like we're all one big family."
With only a few more months remaining in the 2022 academic year, Arjun plans to ensure all ACG students, especially the seniors, make the most of it.
"I think the Prefect team has done an amazing job so far, especially dealing with cancellations of big events due to Covid restrictions. It's an honour and a privilege to lead them, and we all hope everyone enjoys their final term of school."
And while Arjun is still considering his study options for next year (dentistry is currently the strongest contender), there's no doubt he'll have a treasure trove of unforgettable memories and life lessons to accompany him on his next step.
His biggest ACG lesson? "The importance of life balance, not just at school but outside of school too. Join clubs and participate in extracurricular activities, but also make enough time to study, relax and spend time with friends and family."