Jul 13: Leadership Symposium
From Friday, 13 July 2012, to Saturday, 14 July 2012, the 2012 Dunman High Leadership Symposium (DHLS) was held in Dunman High School. Attended by close to 400 student leaders from the Student Council, Class Committee and their respective Co-Curricular Activities, this year’s DHLS sought to enhance participants’ proficiency in the second practice of © The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner – Inspiring A Shared Vision.
Building upon the success of the inaugural Dunman High Leadership Symposium (DHLS) held in 2011, this year’s DHLS is the second time that Dunman High School is organising such a symposium for student leaders. However, this year the DHLS saw participants from other secondary schools and junior colleges such as Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, Saint Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, Maris Stella High School, Tampines Junior College, Temasek Junior College and Victoria Junior College, joining our student leaders to attend this symposium. In addition, joining us from Hong Kong were student representatives from our partner schools, Ngan Po Ling College and Pui Ching Middle School. With a truly dynamic group of participants this year, the DHLS provided opportunities for student leaders from various backgrounds to interact and engage in a synergistic exchange of ideas and experiences in leadership.
Guided by the theme “I Have A Dream”, inspired by the famous speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this year’s DHLS aimed at allowing student leaders to identify with the circumstances in which this famous historical leader inspired his followers to seek a future free of discrimination against the black people of America, in hope that participants will in turn clarify their resolve to likewise seek to inspire those they lead with their vision. A wide array of programmes were planned for participants which include two keynote speeches, concurrent sessions, the Personal Visionary Leadership Questionnaire (a psychometric assessment on visionary leadership), and a symposium challenge.
Ms Jane Lee, from the Singapore Women’s Everest Team, opened the symposium with an inspiring address that allowed participants to have a better idea of just what Inspiring A Shared Vision meant. The leader of the first ever women’s team from Singapore to conquer the world’s tallest mountain shared with all participants her experiences in leadership and challenged participants to dream big, face their fears and inspire courage in their team to pursue their common cause.
On day two, all participants were indeed very privileged to attend the second keynote session by Ms Natalie Morris who shared her insights on Inspiring A Shared Vision. Ms Morris, who is a state counsel in the Attorney-General’s Chambers and who actively champions youth leadership, advised participants to take small steps to achieving their visions, “walk together” with those they lead and “walk in the same direction”. What was even more enriching for participants was definitely the question and answer session that followed Ms Morris’ address in which she shared with all about her philosophy of leadership and gave some tips to the student leaders.
In order to better cater to the specific needs of the various student leaders, four speakers were invited to conduct a concurrent session for each CCA type, namely Performing Arts, Sports, Uniformed Groups (UG) and Clubs and Societies. Interacting with student leaders from the Performing Arts through activities was Ms Jennifer Tham who is the conductor for the SYC Ensemble Singers. DHS alumnus and sportsman Mr Stanley Chan spoke to the student leaders from the sports CCAs. For the Uniformed Groups concurrent session, we had the Head of the Centre of Leadership Development from the Singapore Armed Forces, Colonel Fred Tan to speak to our UG leaders. Last but definitely not least, Mr Marc Lim, who is both a teacher of DHS and a grassroots leader, engaged our student leaders from the Clubs and Societies.
With the objective of allowing student leaders to better understand how well they perform in the practice of Inspiring A Shared Vision, the organising committee developed the Personal Visionary Leadership Questionnaire which included a recommendations booklet that participants can refer to in order to further develop their skills in this leadership practice. Allowing participants to get a first-hand experience in communicating, collaborating, critical thinking and innovating within a controlled environment was the symposium challenge which many participants found both meaningful and enjoyable. In groups, participants worked together to build miniature models of their dream cities which were all pieced together in a symbolic coming together of the visions, hopes and aspirations of all the student leaders.
The DHLS came to an end with the closing ceremony, graced by our Principal, Dr Foo Suan Fong and in which our Executive President Jia Songshan shared his thoughts on visionary leadership to all participants. In addition, participants were also entertained by performances put up by our guests from Hong Kong as their stay with us here in Singapore also came to a close. This year’s DHLS has truly been a purposeful and memorable event and as it has come to a close, we look forward to what is to come next year, at the 2013 Dunman High Leadership Symposium. Till then, we wish all student leaders all the best in pursuing their leadership endeavours!