Leading Seaman Musician Michael O’Loughlin returned to Mt Gravatt High State School in Queensland recently, to help recognise two outstanding students who received ADF Long Tan Awards for leadership and teamwork.
The senior recipient was Isobel Hamer, a Year 12 student who has been instrumental in her leadership role within the Student Council in 2015. Isobel had particular success with fundraising for the 40 Hour Famine. She displayed very strong leadership in the Student Council to encourage, promote and support student participation and spent many hours leading her team with displays in the Resource Centre and with promotion on the school parade. Through the efforts of Isobel and the 40 Hour Famine team, over $9,000 was raised in 2015.
The junior recipient was Selena Ferguson, a Year 10 student who has been involved in the instrumental music program through her participation in the strings ensemble. She displayed an exemplary record in her time at Mount Gravatt High School with very high academic performance and with impeccable demonstration of school and community values in teamwork and leadership.
Leading Seaman O’Loughlin said that a lot had changed at the school since he graduated in 1989.
"Student numbers have more than doubled and there has been a marked increase in the diversity of the student population - many more cultural backgrounds are now represented in the school," he said.
"It was an honour to represent the Australian Defence Force on this special occasion."
Leading Seaman O’Loughlin is in the Naval Reserve and works in the environmental sciences in his civilian role.
"It is pleasing to see significantly more females achieving very high results in science orientated studies, a vast change to when I went though," he said.
"We, as a society, need more women working in science and the number of high achieving young women at Mt Gravatt high is evidence of great change.
"I had the opportunity to talk to both of the impressive recipients and several other students, and it was a pleasure to support such important awards."
Australian Defence Force personnel present the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Awards at schools across the country.
For more information about the scheme visit http://www.adflongtanawards.gov.au.