This week student leaders from across the district were invited to attend the annual Rankin Leaders’ dinner, named in honour of Glennie Old Girl Dame Annabelle Rankin, the first Queensland woman elected to federal parliament, the first woman to become a federal government minister, and the first Australian woman to be appointed head of a foreign mission. Staff and students were also busy preparing for the anniversary of the foundation of The Glennie School in 1908, which honours the role of Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie in the establishment of the School, its cultural identity and traditions. Preparations are additionally underway for the naming of the Wendy Ashley-Cooper Performing Arts Centre, in honour of the School’s 12th principal and her deep commitment to the music tradition within the School.
Legacy is often defined as something of enduring quality left behind for an organisation and its people. From a leadership perspective, legacy is quite often associated with the sum of a person’s successes at the end of their career, not their achievements during or even at the start of their career. However, position, generation, time served, or retirement are not markers of legacy. Rather, legacy is the moments shared, the decisions made, the actions taken by – not one – but many people within an organisation.
The best legacies are those that arise out of shared experiences and become long standing traditions because of the collective need to keep those experiences alive for future generations. Individual leaders understand the responsibility to safeguard and uphold these traditions, as well as the importance of being accountable to further strengthen the people, culture and organisation they serve.
Dame Annabelle Rankin, Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie and Wendy Ashley-Cooper – amongst many other past and present staff members, students and volunteers in the history of the School – have understood the importance of legacy building. It gives everyone focus, courage, support, opportunity and respect.
This week I took a moment to read some Glennie Gazettes from years gone by with the aim of finding examples of legacy building described in the School Captains’ Reports. After thirty minutes, I had twenty examples from twenty Gazettes. I don’t know why I thought it would be hard! I would like to share one perspective by Majella Bowling, School Captain in 2008:
The Glennie School, even during its 100th year is still a shining example of a school that does not solely offer an education in a classroom but endeavours to present every girl with an opportunity to prosper and grow in every way imaginable. We are encouraged, without fail to fulfil our potential, to dream, to triumph over adversity, to achieve in all aspects of our lives. In my eyes, such fostering and nurturing are rare, and it is not until you take a moment out of your day or you are in your final year of school, that you are able to realise the true magnitude of The Glennie School. Glennie shapes lives.
Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Deputy Principal - Head of Curriculum