Leadership goals help Springfield graduate reach Officer potential

A leadership role was always on the career horizon for Chris Wise, St Peters Springfield 2018 Graduate. Focussing on many goals throughout his six years at the College he was Sports Captain, received an Ironbark (outdoor education) Award and Service Awards, achieved Dux of the Year from 2015–2017, was a House Vice-Captain, band leader and finally Year 12 School Captain. Now studying at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), Chris is taking on one of the most challenging roles in his life by becoming an Intelligence Officer and studying a Degree of Computing and Cyber Security. 

Chris began at St Peters Springfield in Year 6 and Graduated in 2018, “I really like the small community feel we have at St Peters,” Chris explains. “The teachers here have that time to know each of their students and care about them as they go forward. That really allowed me to flourish and do very well.”

Passionate about leadership Chris used each achievement as a stepping stone towards becoming a Year 12 School Captain. He says many things contribute to being a good leader including confidence. “It’s also important to be able to get along with lots of people,” advises Chris. “Being outwardly empathetic towards people and being understanding is imperative—that way you can see things from their perspective and you can lead better.”

Chris says every student should “go for it” in the leadership area even if they’re nervous about applying. “You never know who will turn out to be a great leader. Sometimes people I would never assume, who are the quiet ones, end up becoming some of the best leaders.”

Inspiration to be a leader and “achieve the best” came from different areas within the College. Chris says every morning he would meet with Pastoral Care teachers who would make sure students were happy and thriving. When Springfield Principal, Mr Schmidt, was Deputy Principal he met with student leaders every week to give helpful advice.

“I definitely think Mr Schmidt is a great leader within the school and a wonderful mentor,” says Chris. “Our teachers were also mentors from the classroom. Each teacher has their own distinct way of leading and I learnt from all of them.”

Setting goals and achieving your best

Setting achievable goals continues to be an integral aspect of student life at Springfield. “Goals give you direction with where you’re going,” explains Chris. The Pastoral Care teachers help to keep students focused. Otherwise “you could be going in all sorts of different directions and might not make any progress.” 

Having short and long-term goals is “one of the secrets to life,” says Chris. “Your short-term goals can satisfy that impatience whereas that long term goal will keep you going for years.”

“Part of setting goals is the journey towards it— your development as a person towards your goal is arguably as important as reaching the goal itself.”

It’s important to set goals in the lead up to Year 12 as “a lot of floundering can happen,” explains Chris. “If you have a general idea of what you want to do (whether it’s university or a trade) then you can set your vision and your shift in focus is inevitable.” Year 12 is your final year and “if you don’t concentrate you may limit the doors you can open in your life.”

Becoming an Intelligence Officer

Having goals, unwavering support, and leadership experience from St Peters Springfield has taken Chris to his next challenge at ADFA in Canberra. Now he is learning how to monitor, detect, investigate, analyse, and respond to security events.

Chris says the application process for the Defence Force was lengthy but rewarding. The process involves a Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) session to test Mathematics and English abilities. After unlocking jobs from the YOU session there is an assessment day, a medical interview, a job interview, and a psychological interview. For anyone applying for an officer role, they go through an OSB (Officer Selection Board). “They flew me down to Canberra and there was a day-long activity, where I had to do an improvised speech, improvised writing, group activities, and an interview which went for about 90 minutes.”

Chris says, “my family supported me all the way along and they were happy to see me take my next step and do something I’ve always wanted to do.”

“My long-term goal is to continue my tertiary education and going into the cyber security industry— whether it’s private or with the government.”

The legacy of giving back

Being part of Year 12 is to give a gift back to the College. “During the holidays, the School Captains painted the tree mural on the wall and during the last term in 2018 we organised everyone to do handprints onto the tree.”

The symbolism of the tree shows our school is growing but maintains that community feel, “which allows anyone to flourish within the environment,” says Chris. “Our school is constantly trying to improve and will only get better as we head towards the future. Everyone is nice here and it puts everything in such a positive light.”

Fulfil your potential and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities St Peters Springfield have on offer. Be part of our supportive St Peters Springfield community and contact enrolment by email s.enolments@stpeters.qld.edu.au or call 3470 3888