For Year 9 students, 2023 is a year of ‘new beginnings’ as they embark on their transition into senior school. The new year provides them with an opportunity to evaluate their learning journey so far and to recalibrate their course. The Horizon Program is designed to assist them in this endeavour and the students undertaking the program this term are finding greater clarity and purpose as they explore future opportunities.

But change and new beginnings can also be unsettling. When approaching new situations, it can be helpful to reflect on the new opportunities being presented, and the Year 9 Pastoral Team is focused on developing student relationships and building community within their new pastoral groups.

On Thursday 9 February 2023, students were given a presentation by Susan McLean, a leading cyber safety expert on staying safe online and using the internet respectfully and responsibly. This was followed by Peer Support Training designed to explore key leadership skills.

A major focus for Year 9 students over the past few weeks has been increasing student awareness of the leadership opportunities available to them. It takes courage to nominate yourself for a position of responsibility and it is heartening to see that many girls are embracing these opportunities. On Tuesday, we heard speeches from five students who wish to represent their peers on the Student Representative Council. On Wednesday, 22 students attended group interviews with Senior Student Leaders for House Vice-Captain roles and nearly half the cohort have expressed interest in undertaking peer support roles mentoring the Year 7 students.

Cyber Safety Reflection

On Thursday 9 February 2023, the Year 9 cohort gathered in McAuley Hall to listen to guest speaker, Susan McLean, a former police officer and leading Cyber Safety expert. She came to OLMC to educate us on how to be safe online and to use the internet respectfully. As our world evolves, we begin to use more forms of technology and if we are using it incorrectly the internet can become a very scary and dangerous place. Susan told us the hard truth and didn’t sugar coat anything. We learnt about how to be safe and responsible online. She gave us all a full and in-depth understanding of the internet and how it can be a hurtful place. She made us aware of all the laws that apply to internet use, and showed us resources to use if something were to happen to us or a friend. Susan even gave us tips and tricks to use when navigating our social media platforms, such as using suitable email addresses, profile pictures and Bluetooth names, as well as advice on comments and search histories. Susan was such an inspirational woman, we are extremely grateful that she could speak and teach us. We will forever remember her words of wisdom, and always rethink our decisions when being on the internet.
Aprila D. (9ACH) and Isabella R. (9ACH)

Peer Support Training Reflections
The speech task was really important to me because that showed how I had to think on the spot and sound confident by doing so. I didn't win the challenge, but it taught me a lot.
Georgia R. (9TLA)

The peer support training let me connect more with people in my year level and go outside my comfort zone.
Leah D. (9TLA)

One positive experience during the peer support training was working and communicating with others. It was enjoyable and I got to learn more about people I didn't know.
Ava C. (9TLA)

I liked learning about how to be a good teacher, and I never realised how difficult it could be.
Olivia X. (9TLA)

A positive experience for me was playing the games because these were a really fun way to learn how a peer support leader can overcome challenges.
Lucy S. (9TLA)

Kylie Willis
Year 9 Level Coordinator