IGS leaders help create new Moral Courage Program

Throughout the year, IGS Principal Shauna Colnan has encouraged students to exercise moral courage.

Our Year 12 Leaders have been instrumental in contributing to the development of a Moral Courage Program with the Ethics Centre and Relationships Australia. The aim was to develop a program around supporting young people, to help them better deal with difficulties and challenges in life.

Ethics Centre Director of Innovation John Neil and Relationships Australia CEO and Clinical Psychologist Elisabeth Shaw joined the Year 12 Leaders’ Zoom Morning Tea session to thank them for their contributions.

Shauna said the initiative stemmed from a conversation between her and Elisabeth, where they discussed “the importance of students being given targeted educational experiences to build their capacity to understand the nature and importance of self respect and the exercise of moral courage”.

“The consent issue then emerged strongly in public discourse which gave us more impetus to shape a program with The Ethics Centre that would help young people navigate some of the complexities around relationships as they moved through their formative years.” 

John Neil thanked and congratulated the Class of 2021 Student Leaders for their input earlier this year.

The Student Leaders, with IGS Deputy Principal Students and Campus Life Mary Duma, first met with John and Elisabeth in April for a focus group to get the program off the ground.

“We were nervous and excited because this is a new initiative and we were coming to learn from you in that first focus group. Thank you so much, it set an amazing tone for the project,” John told the students.

“We had an idea of what moral courage is but we suspected it might be very different to how you perceive it.

“We learnt a lot from you in that very first session. I think the concept resonates. It’s something we all experience, the ability to know who we are, know what we value and know how to act on those values is primarily what moral courage is all about.

“For me it means knowing what’s important, and knowing how to act on that in the best way possible. We heard examples from you and went on to four other schools who participated in focus groups in a similar process.

“We heard things like, ‘it means having bravery to stand by your values and morals, having conversations with friends, how to stay strong with what you believe in, and learning how to bring things up with people without being attacked’.”

Elisabeth added that the students “have been terrific contributors to our thinking, and that will be a legacy that you leave behind”.

We thank these students for their contributions and wish them well for the years ahead, along with their Class of 2021 classmates.

IGS Head Girl Grace Truman and Head Boy Orlando Read thanked John and Elisabeth for the IGS students’ opportunity to help develop their Moral Courage Program.