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AFL Student Leadership Workshop

On the eve of the AFL Gather Round, the Year 10 Peer Support Leaders, 12 College Leaders and House Captains attended a leadership presentation and workshop with Melbourne Football Club’s Alex Neal-Bullen and their Leadership Coach, Jimmy Plunkett.

Neal-Bullen has played over 150 games for Melbourne and now forms part of their Leadership Group, while Plunkett has worked closely with the leadership team as the Leadership Coach over the past 10 years.

Students had the opportunity to hear from Neal-Bullen about his challenges during the early stages of his career and the contrasting successes, including winning the AFL Premiership in 2021 and being voted by his peers into the Leadership Group in 2022.

Both Plunkett and Neal-Bullen brought a wealth of knowledge about the dynamics of leadership, where students were invited to reflect on their own journeys and aspirations. Students were also provided with practical strategies to help develop their own leadership capabilities.

Here is what the students had to say:

“Personally, I really enjoyed the presentation, it was unique to other presentations I have been part of as it was interactive and really made you think about how you are as a leader and what impact you can have on the school community and the people around you. Both Alex and Jimmy spoke very well and really gave us students a good insight into the Football Club and what practices are put in place to ensure the culture and the connection are excelling all the time. There were many takeaways from the presentation such as the pyramid, which they use to describe the connections between players at the clubs and the ways they create leadership (modelling, rewarding and challenging).” – Peter M, Year 12.

“I really enjoyed the leadership workshop this morning! Having Alex and Jimmy provide their insight into the key features of being a leader and how it shapes their successful football club was extremely beneficial. Their speech was engaging and interactive, ensuring all their points had a direct correlation to our leadership roles within the school. Alex’s story of resilience and his leadership role in the Melbourne Football Club encouraged everyone to be the best leader they can. Definitely one of the best leadership workshops I’ve been too!” – Emma T, Year 12

“The presentation this morning was excellent. Alex and Jimmy clearly outlined with examples what it is like to be a leader within the Melbourne Football club as well as in a school environment. It was interactive which allowed both us and the year 12’s to engage with Alex and Jimmy. As a Melbourne supporter seeing Alex was a dream come true and was a really interesting experience.” – Julia, Year 10

Tom Simpson, Acting Assistant Year 10 Director