Ready to Lead Program

There are no courses in life that a student can take, and as a result, become a “leader”. While leaders can be studied and leadership defined into characteristics and qualities, the evolution into someone to whom others look for guidance is a personal journey. Yet it is one that Women’s College residents have taken for a century, either knowingly or subconsciously.

Throughout the College experience, Women’s residents cultivate their own leadership abilities and then take them into the world; yielding incredible results. Within Australia, there are few if any female colleges with more alumnae acclaimed for their leadership qualities. In 2012 The Women’s College commenced the Ready to Lead program.

By being offered a place at The Women’s College, we recognise the potential each resident has to be leader.  This program helps these women see that potential in themselves. The Women’s College Ready to Lead program provides residents with thoughtful, purpose-filled and engaging activities that help identify what makes an effective leader and how to cultivate their innate leadership qualities.

Several Ready to Lead workshops are offered throughout the academic year.  These workshops vary in their presentation style to suit the discussion topic and speaker.  Workshops are generally an hour in length with an inspiring speaker or panel, followed by a discussion or an interactive exercise that demonstrates the topic.

Topics may include:

  • Authenticity & Awareness – leaders know themselves and their capabilities.They also know their shortcomings and reflect on mistakes. Strong leaders are aware of realistic conditions and focus on evolving these rather than wishing they would change.
  • Consistency in Behaviour and Emotion – a leader who displays appropriate emotion is powerful and demonstrates strength and confidence.  Strong leaders are predictable in their behaviour, consistent in their actions, and inspire loyalty and trust.
  • Responsibility & Modelling the Way – leaders model the way through their personal example and their observable dedication.  Strong leaders take ownership of situations, and are willing to share responsibility.
  • Inspiring & Enabling Others – leaders see their vision, and then they communicate their vision in a manner that taps into and engages the dreams of others.
  • Identifying & Empowering Role Models – strong leaders are humble and attribute their success to the example of others.  Effective leaders identify individuals (peers, employees or supervisors) who possess leadership traits and empower them in their success.

Formal Dinner is a highly valued tradition at Women’s and a chance for the whole College to gather as a community. Held weekly during semester, residents wear academic dress and are treated to a special meal.

Guest speakers regularly come along to share inspirational stories about their career or field of expertise and residents have the opportunity to chat with guests before and after the meal.

Women’s also holds several celebratory dinners throughout the year to highlight residents’ special achievements.  At the beginning of the year, the Academic Dinner recognises those scholars who have achieved exceptional results in the previous year.  College bursaries, prizes and awards are distributed with family and distinguished guests present.  At the end of the academic year, Women’s holds a series of dinners celebrating residents’ contribution to the Intercollege Competition. The Sports Dinner recognises those who have supported Women’s and performed well on the sporting field, while the Cultural Dinner highlights ICC achievements off the field.  Full Blue and Half Blue awards are presented at both dinners. The final celebratory event of the year is the Valedictory Dinner during which those women not returning to College and those who are graduating from university are acknowledged.  This is a bitter sweet event as the year concludes for all residents.

Being part of The Women’s College’s active Student Club is a great way to for students to develop leadership skills and community spirit. The Student Club is led by ten executive members elected by the student body. Under the governance of a student-drafted Constitution, the Student Executive organises numerous social, cultural and sporting activities throughout the year.

They organise students to compete for the ICC Sport Shield and ICC Cultural Trophy as well as to become involved in social events, such as, the Women’s College ‘At Home’ event in first semester and the Women’s College Ball in second semester. There are informal weekly events with other Colleges to enjoy as well.The Club also coordinates the Women’s Community Service and Fundraising events for various charities in line with the College motto Capimus ut dividamus “We take so that we may share”.

Each wing has two Resident Assistants (RAs) who are returning residents familiar with college life. RAs are full-time students and are ‘responsible’ for the other residents within their wing. By providing support, acting as a resource, coordinating social programs, and working together to enforce College policies and expectations, these women are the first level of pastoral care at Women’s.

All members of the Women’s community accept they have a responsibility to ensure others feel safe, valued and happy – by listening, supporting, encouraging and being a friend. It’s an important responsibility, one that is taken very seriously by residents and staff alike.

At Women’s, pastoral care is offered in a number of ways:

Each wing has two Resident Assistants (RAs) who are returning residents familiar with college life. RAs are full-time students and are ‘responsible’ for the other residents within their wing. By providing support, acting as a resource, coordinating social programs, and working together to enforce College policies and expectations, these women are the first level of pastoral care at Women’s.

Women’s professional staff are on hand to support residents in a variety of ways and are adept at picking up when someone needs extra support or encouragement.

The Head of College and Deputy Head of College provide both one-to-one and group support to help with any personal issues. Working in a collaborative, sensitive and confidential environment, together with the student,  they can find the best way to address any challenges and move forward.

Both the Head of College and Deputy Head of College reside on site so they are available when needed, day or night.

Ready to learn

At Women’s, we understand that students learn more when they are intensely involved in their education. Collaborating with others to problem solve and apply their learning in different settings all help students prepare for life during and after university.

Women’s offers invaluable academic support to all residents, including:

  • Weekly tutorials in specific subjects including Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, French, Journalism, Law, Mandarin, Nursing, Pharmacy and Political Science, among others
  • Facilitated access to other UQ support programs
  • A mentoring program for both first year and returning residents
  • Advice on study skills and time management

Managed by the Deputy Head of College, our Academic Support program aims to help Women’s residents:

  • Learn efficiently and effectively
  • Develop university study strategies
  • Develop the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed at university and in life

New students are proactively supported, starting in Orientation Week when residents are offered assistance in the process of choosing courses, making connections and taking advantage of the range of academic opportunities on offer. The support continues throughout the year to help each student on her own learning path.

Academic Excellence Prizes are awarded to Women’s College residents based on their university results and the criteria of the particular Academic Prize.

Many of these prizes are long standing and were established by donor bequests, such as the Doris Una Skyring Memorial Scholarship in 1959, or by College alumnae and Council.

The prizes are listed below in the order they are presented at the annual Academic Dinner and include a summary of the award criteria.

Academic Prize  Summary of criteria
Chislehurst Prize for a resident who achieves outstanding academic results
Doris Una Skyring Memorial Scholarship for a resident studying medicine at UQ
Ethel Raybould Prize for a first year resident who achieves outstanding academic results
Henderson Foundation Prize for a senior country resident who achieves outstanding academic results
Harriet Marks Bursary for a resident studying Science
Hazel Francis Prize for a resident studying Music
Lisbeth Hopkins Prize for a resident studying either english, arts or creative arts who achieves outstanding academic results
Margaret Piddington Prize for a third year resident who achieves outstanding academic results
May McLean Hancock Prize for a resident studying commerce, economics, or business related studies
Molly Budtz-Olsen Prize for a first year resident studying Arts who achieves outstanding academic results
Principal’s Prize for a resident in her final year who achieves outstanding academic results
The Women’s College Standing Committee Prize for a resident in her second year studying Science
Wilhelmenia Gladstone Jameson Scholarship for a second year resident who will continue as a resident in her third year who achieves outstanding academic results
Contribution to College Summary of criteria 
Joan Robinson Prize for a resident deemed by the Principal to be most meritorious on the basis of her academic record and her contribution to College affairs
Vera Jones Prize for a first year resident deemed by the Student Club for their contribution to College