Student leadership

Valuing Diversity and Promoting Inclusivity Focus Day

Today, on May 17th, our school celebrated IDAHOT day.  IDAHOT day is the International Day against Homophobia, and Transphobia. It was a day filled with moving speeches, inspirational groups, motivational guest speakers, and fun filled activities.

We celebrate this day to promote resilience, respectful relationships, conflict resolution strategies and mindfulness, also to help value diversity and promote inclusivity.

The year 12 health class ran focus groups/activities on seeking refuge, challenging stereotypes, charity work, being a better ally, living with disabilities and the importance of diversity. Thank you to Ms Dean for her support of the students and for all her efforts.

“ It was such a wonderful experience to see everyone enjoying themselves, and bonding over such a magnificent day. I’m really proud of everyone for opening up about their sexuality and being a straight ally. Im also so proud of Ms Parker and Ms Bruno for following through with this day, and making it the best day possible. “ -Charlotte King

“ I found it great that people were so accepting and congratulating me once I spoke about my bisexuality and how the GSA has made school a safe environment for myself and others like myself. “- Mikayla Maenpaa

Lunchtime events included cupcake making, rainbow wool craft, face painting and Ms Walton, one of our parents doing Henna tattoos.

Wirreanda demonstrated today and everyday that all members of Wirreanda Secondary School have the right to be included and have respect from others, the right to learn or to be taught, and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment. The school strives to acknowledge that Wirreanda Secondary School is a White Ribbon and Safe School Coalition site and promotes respectful relationships amongst all members of the community.


Charlotte King and Mikayla Maenpaa


Take a Stand

On Friday the 17th of  March 2017, Wirreanda Secondary School conducted a whole day of focus and awareness around resilience, respectful relationships, conflict resolution strategies and mindfulness, to help ‘ take a stand together’ and support BULLY NO WAY!

This included;

Morning sessions:

Teachers booked their classes into morning sessions with key guests including , focus leaders and student leaders who have made areas of resilience, respectful relationships, mindfulness and conflict resolution.

Mid afternoon session:

A mid-afternoon to lunchtime walkthrough information session, in which students completed a ‘resilience walk’, through various community groups and service providers gathering key information, justifying their emotional responses, expressing their opinions, beliefs, questions and choices, in order to build and modify safety strategies.

Lunchtime Event

A lunchtime school community event, showcasing our school’s commitment and awareness of BULLY NO WAY, with school bands performing songs of hope and encouragement, food and more information displays and workshops.

And finally two afternoon sessions:

One with a key guest speaker discussing their own battle with life setbacks, how to evaluate/rethink and refine life after unexpected or difficult situations and self-discipline strategies and personal experiences.

And the other with Helen Sleeman our Wellbeing Officer and Nick Jackson discussing Digital Citizenship with our learners parents .

This in turn further supported our safe school policy, strategy and programs in which;

All members of Wirreanda Secondary school have the right to be included and have respect from others, the right to learn or to be taught, and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.

Acknowledges that Wirreanda Secondary School is a White Ribbon and Safe School Coalition site and promotes respectful relationships amongst all members of the community.

The Wellbeing Team


White Ribbon Day 

Wirreanda Secondary School has committed to the White Ribbon “ Breaking the Silence “ in schools programs as part of the primary prevention of violence against women. We recognise that the primary prevention of violence against women is an important first step to use an educational setting as a platform to raise awareness and build a culture of respectful relationships.
Today we showed our support and raised awareness by;

A lunchtime BBQ that facilitated conversations and enabled us to keep up with already established traditions.
A lunchtime staff v’s students basketball match which attracted many enthusiastic players and supporters.
An area set was up for students to contribute to the ‘rise up’ SOUTHERN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INITIATIVE supported by the city of ONKAPRINGA to decorate a t-shirt with a message of hope. 
Pledge boards where staff and students were encouraged to photograph colleagues and peers holding a ‘we swear’ poster and post them to social media using the hashtags #decdWRD2016 and #WhiteRibbonDay.
Students represented Wirreanda Secondary School by going to the WHITE RIBBON BREAKFAST at the Adelaide Convention Centre, thank you to Alicia Dean was facilitating the morning.

A fantastic lunchtime event that had music, entertainment, facilitated awareness and as always exhibited a community building a culture of respect.

Huge thanks to the White Ribbon Team – Jamie Maniero, Ben Menzies, Ralf Pirone and James Skehan for organising today’s event.

Thanks to Azra for her BBQ skills, Amber,  Josh and the peer support students for helping with the set up of the day and Jake for assisting with his DJ skills.

Student Leader- Brody

In July the ATSI team received great news: Brody, one of our year 10’s got into the state rugby team.

Now Brody is one interesting student. He is getting solid grades, is an amazing student leader (he has been helping run our men’s group) and he is a talented sports person.

The only bad news in all of this was that the state rugby was pretty expensive.

A fundraising page was started and through some generous people we started to raise some money. Brody’s family were working madly to raise funds as well.

But it was two weeks before his trip and were still short. It was then I received a strange email. After a chat whit this person I was left speechless, as this gentleman was willing to cover the remaining amount of the trip. This person was Eion Loftus.

Brody returned from his trip. He excelled and his skills were noticed by some of the talent scouts from respective NRL teams. It was an amazing trip he will never forget.

However I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Eion. He has a huge number of young people he supports. He hosted a fundraising event last month where Brody was able to share his experiences.

More info about Eion’s fundraising attempts can be found here.

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Antony Yates -Aboriginal Education Teacher

Wear it Purple Day 2016

“Race, gender, religion, sexuality, we are all people and that’s it. We’re all people. We’re all equal.”

-Connor Franta

Wear it Purple day was on Friday August 26 th .
The purpose of Wear It Purple day is to raise awareness for the LGBT+ community and to show Wirreanda’s support for them, to this, this year we encouraged students to wear a purple shirt in exchange for a gold coin donation. We ran events during recess and lunch to raise awareness for these, along with handing information regarding safe sex, the LGBT+ community, and how to be an ally to them.
The community showed their support by wearing purple and making a gold coin donation to Minus 18, a non for profit organisation that supports the LGBT community.

I believe as a school we did a great job in not only raising awareness but also showing that we support equality and fair rights.

As a school, individuals, and as a community, let’s continue to show our support and acceptance of LGBT+ people.

A big thanks to all the staff, volunteers and the GSA who helped with today’s event, also to all the people who were involved today.

A special thanks to Josh Solonsch who played a huge role in the organisation of today.

James Skehan- Youth Worker


Safe School Coalition at WSS

I was involved in an event as part of the Feast Festival on the weekend that discussed the experiences of LGBTIQ teachers in schools – as part of the discussion, I had mentioned the video that our students created a couple years ago about how “It’s not ok to say that’s gay” .
After the Feast Festival event, I passed on this link to our video to a Monash Uni professor (Anne Harris) who has since re-posted it. She passed on a message to me this morning that she received yesterday – I thought the WSS Community would like to see a response to the video from Texas:

“Today one of my kids told me about a trans girl that she is good friends with who keeps getting called a boy and ‘he’ at school, even though she wants to be called a girl (and she’s been a girl to us for many years). We watched this video together (posted by the amazing Anne Harris) and now we’re talking about things the students could do to support their friend–starting with the friend and her ideas about this video. I hope you will consider sharing it with the children in your life as well.” — I hope you will let your amazing students know that they just changed the life of a kid in Texas!!!! 😀

Today I feel proud of the work we have done at WSS and its impact on the community .

Emily Parker



White Ribbon Day

On the 25th November, Wirreanda acknowledged White Ribbon Day – A day we as a school can stand up and say we do not condone any type of violence in our community and homes.

Staff and students wore a white ribbon or wristband and during the weeks leading up to the day. By wearing a white ribbon or wristband we made a personal pledge that the wearer does not excuse domestic and family violence, and is committed to supporting community action to stop violence in our homes.
• Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence.
• A woman is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home.
• Domestic and family violence is the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children.
• Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44.
• One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.
• One in four children are exposed to domestic violence, which is a recognised form of child abuse.
• The cost of violence against women to the Australian economy is estimated to rise to $15.6 billion per annum.
• One in five women experience harassment within the workplace.
• One in five women over 18 have been stalked during her lifetime.

Lunchtime outside the canteen we offered a BBQ to support White Ribbon day and gave students an opportunity to pledge their support and say no to domestic violence in their homes and community!

Scott Millar
Youth Worker

White ribbon 2

white ribbon

Southern Schools Student Leadership Summit


Where: Wirreanda Secondary School
When: Friday 17/10/14 (all day)
Keynote speakers: Katrine Hildyard, MP & Jayne Johnston (CEO – DECD)
Who: DECD schools from across the Southern region have been invited. The following schools are attending the event:
– Wirreanda Secondary School
– Willunga HS
– Unley HS
– Aberfoyle Park HS
– Seaview HS
– Aust. Science & Maths School (ASMS)
– Hamilton SS
– Brighton SS
– Reynella East College
– Mount Barker HS
– Victor Harbour HS
– Hallet Cove R-12
– Seaford Secondary College

The Summit will give us an opportunity to share and discuss our personal leadership skills. We will have the chance to be addressed by distinguished guests, including keynote speakers: Jayne Johnston (Chief Education Officer, DECD) and Katrine Hildyard (ALP, Member for Reynell). The Summit was initiated by our school captains and vice-captains who, after attending a similar event, decided that they wanted to create an event for young people in the South to give them the opportunity to develop as leaders in their communities. (Captains: Addison Rodgers, Melissa Hirschausen, Vice-captains: Cara Rodgers & Benny Dragovelic)


The purpose of the Summit is to bring student leaders together from secondary schools in the Southern region to share ideas on leadership, listen to keynote speakers and participate in planning for future initiatives. Keynote Speakers for the Summit will be Ms Katrine Hildyard, Member for Reynell, and Ms Jayne Johnston, Chief Education Officer for DECD.

The aim of the Leadership Summit is to enhance and accelerate the development of your own personal leadership. We will focus on five key areas:

1. Actively leading.

2. Increased self-awareness as a leader.

3. Strategies to foster positive & transparent relationships with others.

4. Methods for critical decision-making.

5. A heightened awareness of a ‘moral compass’, as well as the leadership opportunity that lies ahead.


The day will incorporate:

· student facilitated workshops

· keynote speakers from our local community, including interactive Q&A sessions

· activities which promote positive relationships