Presenting certificates and badges to our school leaders is always something great to be a part of.
In the School captains and other fellow students that have taken on a leadership role, you see an investment in our future.
Working on behalf of their peers, they will do all they can in 2017 to help make their school community the best it can be. And in doing so, they are already developing important leadership skills such as teamwork, working under pressure, organisation and problem solving abilities just to name a few.
In performing their leadership roles, they are acting as important role models for younger students to aspire to.
Some will go on to be leaders within their community but we must recognize that leadership comes in many different forms. It may be in a sporting or volunteer/community group like the CFA, or getting involved in a local issue within their community.
The benefits for the student leaders who take on the responsibility as well for the wider student body who work with them, and learn from them are critical for our community.
As an elected representative, of course I believe in the important and vital role of our three levels of government. But equally, in a democracy, we should not want government to seek to perform every task on our behalf on its own.
Participation by active citizens making a contribution to our local community is also a critical determinant of our local and national well-being and success.
Our success as a nation has been built on the freedoms that sustain our democratic institutions; where both government and communities work in partnership at so many levels.
To sustain and extend this into the future, we need to keep investing in today's youth who will be tomorrow's leaders.
Recognising, rewarding and encouraging the virtues and value of the role of our local student leaders is one important investment in our future.
I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s school leaders across our Casey electorate for volunteering to take on the additional responsibility that comes with being a leader and role model and I wish them the best for 2017.