Students from St Rita’s College in Brisbane were put to the test on the Gallipoli Barracks obstacle course recently.

The activity was part of a college-run leadership camp facilitated by the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment (9RQR). 

The St Rita’s girls, from Years 7-11, are members of the college’s excellence program, which aims to establish leadership and followership traits in young women.

Captain Elizabeth Wells has had significant involvement in the St Rita’s College self-development activity, and highlighted what the leadership camp aimed to achieve. 

“The activities are about taking the St Rita’s girls, testing them physically, and putting them through some perceived danger activities to help challenge themselves, and help grow their own leadership traits,” Captain Wells said. 

“The school had a workshop where they decided on their own values, including trust, resilience, commitment, grit, and mateship. It was nice to see a group of young girls come up with such important values themselves.

“The traits they have decided on will eventually be incorporated into their school program.”

Captain Wells said the school camp structure enabled the students to develop their leadership skills among themselves, as opposed to the participants simply following an instructor’s orders.

“We’re hoping for the older students to develop their leadership by encouraging younger students to work collaboratively with them,” she said. 

“We would also like to see the younger students develop their followership and learn from older students, taking lessons from more mature students into the future as the next generation of Australian female leaders.”

Captain Wells said the students responded well to the leadership activity facilitated by 9RQR on Gallipoli Barracks, overcoming challenges and testing their limits. 

“They’re nervous and excited, but they’re jumping in with both feet, which is great to see,” she said. 

“It’s good to see them listening to instructions, taking on feedback, and getting excited about the activities.

“They’ve never done anything like this before.”

The St Rita’s College’s leadership camp ran for several days, culminating with the girls tackling the obstacle course, repelling from the Gallipoli Barracks climbing tower, and conducting night navigation activities.

More photos can be viewed on the Defence image gallery.