P Week 2018

P Week this year took place from Sunday 4th through to Saturday 10 February . It was once again a very busy week that provided a significant amount of information and a significant number  of individual and group challenges to all that attended. The aim of the week was to:    

  • provide sessions that inform students about various theoretical aspects of leadership
  • identify the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership group as a whole
  • experience working together  as a team
  • discuss challenges and expectations of the leadership role, particularly that of an RA
  • upskill students in a number of WHS areas
  •  provide some sessions on areas where there is a particular focus for the year
  • spend some social time together as a group

The “bookends” of the week focused on leadership with a talk in the Chapel on the first night of P week that was presented  by  the Principal, Mr Ross Switzer. This was followed by drinks and dinner with the staff and their partners at Ross and Jenny Switzer’s home. Social interaction enabling staff and students to get to know each other better assists in building the relationships necessary for the year ahead.  Monday involved a workshop day, conducted by Leadership Directions, where students were introduced to the DISC profile, learnt about their own traits as well as those of the group. The qualities of a leader, effective communication and listening skills and sources of leadership power and its influence were discussed.

The secret location, and practical leadership day on Friday this year was once again Emu Gully, located a Helidon, approximately 100km north-west of Brisbane. It provided a number of personal and group challenges and assisted this year’s group of leaders to work through a number of problem solving exercises that tested some people’s limits, patience and level of trust. The activities were based on a number of ANZAC/ WW II themes such as the Bridge over the River Kwa, Rats of Tobruk and Colditz. The day culminated in a Kokoda Track activity, which required the whole group to work together to transport two people on a stretcher through a number of “mud pits”. In keeping with the theme of building staff / student relationships, the team building activities were also undertaken by Ross, Michael and Dominic alongside the student leaders.

RA’s, and some members of the Student Executive spent a morning with the Sheldon Pace from Student Services at UQ as part of their Mental First Aid Training on Tuesday morning. Training in Mental First Aid has received very positive reviews from leaders over the past couple of years and is now considered a must have qualification in order to effectively care for  students.

Sam Kiernan from NAAUC, presented two interesting sessions on Traditions and Sex, Sexuality and Gender  to leaders on Tuesday afternoon. The two sessions were specifically chosen by this year’s Student Executive since the topics reflected an area of interest and focus they wanted for the year ahead.

Wednesday morning began with WHS training focussing on Fire Evacuation, the use of fire extinguishers and fire panel training. The College Counsellor, Dr Vicki Dawes also popped in to introduce herself and talk about the service she provides to students and RA’s at Cromwell. The remainder of the day was spent in a workshop conducted by representative s from UQ ‘s Student Service Department that focussed on  Sexual Assault  and Harassment. The two presenters provided information on how to support someone who is assaulted or harassed and the various reporting avenues and support services available to victims.

Mr Bill Hunter has run Senior First Aid and CPR training for the past couple of years and has the knack of presenting detailed content in a humorous and memorable manner. Bill covered a large amount of information in his session but by the end of it everyone was confident in knowing how to assist with basic medical emergencies as well as how to conduct CPR and use a defibrillator.

On the final morning of P Week Mr Andy Gourley, the CEO of RED Frogs, presented a session to leaders on All Age Events.  Andy has a great deal of experience in this area and presented his ideas through in his own unique style and with the assistance of a number of multimedia  presentations. Leaders left the session with a wide range of ideas to implement within the College and the knowledge that Red Frogs were happy to provide regular support and advice throughout the year.

The week concluded with an informal supper at Ross and Jenny’s home on the Saturday night to recap the goals for the week, and to wrap up a busy and productive week.

Sincere thanks to Michael Crome for planning and overseeing P Week 2018!


More P Week photos can be seen on the Cromwell College Facebook album here....