Council last week celebrated Children’s Week (Saturday 19 to Friday 25 October) with a new CEO… for a day!
Grade 6 student and School Captain at John Henry Primary School, Jaimee Ferrara was the successful applicant of Council’s ‘CEO for a day’ competition, and joined Cardinia Shire Council CEO Carol Jeffs on Friday 25 October.
The program aimed to provide a local student leader with experience and insight into:
providing excellent leadership to staff
engaging with the community by building and maintaining positive, respectful, and collaborative relationships
planning and managing Council’s budget and facilities
inspiring communities and creating local solutions that help everyone in the shire.
Students were required to submit an application in either writing or video outlining what they thought being the CEO of Cardinia Shire Council meant, why they wanted to be the CEO for a day, and why they thought they should be chosen.
Jaimee applied for the CEO role as she wanted to learn what it was all about and stated in her application that being a good CEO means:
meeting new people all the time and being connected to the community to know what it is that they’re after
always looking into the future, and learning from the past
thinking ‘Okay, things are good right now, but how do I make it even better?’
Throughout the day, Jaimee walked in the CEO’s shoes, accompanying her on various activities, including:
participating in Walk to School at John Henry Primary School
touring the facilities at Cardinia Life
helping lead a supported playground session as part of Children’s Week celebrations
visiting and learning about the programs available at MyPlace
meeting with Council’s active and passive reserves teams
meeting with Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Graeme Moore and Jordan Crugnale MP Member for Bass
meeting with Council’s Children’s Ambassadors.
Jaimee said her favourite part of the day was when they visited MyPlace in Pakenham.
“It was really fun to look at all the things the kids can do and it was nice to know they include children a lot in everything they do,” she said.
As a Child Friendly City, Cardinia Shire Council is committed to supporting children and providing them with opportunities to be their best. Council also endeavours to provide children with opportunities to be involved in making decisions that affect them, their communities and their wellbeing.
Of the program, and how it related to listening to children, Jaimee said: “It’s important to represent all citizens of the shire when it comes to important decision making and knowing how someone else sees the world is an important life skill. As Dr. Seuss said, a person’s a person no matter how small.”
“Being CEO for the day, I think that Council were really trying to listen to children and the program is a perfect example of that.”
This year, Children’s Week celebrated the right of children to enjoy childhood and showcased children’s achievements through the theme ‘children have the right to be healthy, safe and happy’.
Expressing this year’s theme, Council supplied fruit to families in Council’s Maternal Child Health Centres and supported playgroups. Healthy recipe ideas and tip sheets were also available for families and a dietician attended two combined supported playgroup sessions to give practical and easy tips for families.
The workshops were interactive for both parents and children, and aimed to enhance food knowledge and skills within the wider community. Additionally, families could access information regarding Council’s health services, which are inclusive and accessible for all people in Cardinia Shire.
Cardinia Life’s indoor aquatic and sports facility also supported the initiative by supplying fruit to children in their childcare during the week.