School Captain profile – Patrick Bolton

With his mother working as the Year 11 coordinator at GVGS, his father as the principal of Moorpoona Secondary College and his sister one half of the 2017 GVGS School Captain duo it’s no surprise that Patrick Bolton naturally gravitated towards applying for a school leadership position for 2019. “When leadership applications opened, I just thought I’d take that opportunity and see what happens,” Patrick says. “I definitely looked up to her [sister Emily Bolton] as a role model for sure, but we are very different people and I think we’ve made each of our roles as school captain our own.” 

Although, he didn’t always see himself as School Captain and he was very surprised when he got the offer of the top job. Patrick’s first preference on his leadership application was Leaver’s Fund Prefect and, having only been at the school for a short time, he wasn’t sure if he would get a role at all. “I was really surprised when I was chosen, I thought I knew who it was going to be, and it wasn’t me,” he says. “Then I got a phone call one night and I just knew.” It was a moment in time, but one that has become quite defining for his final year of high school. “I don’t know why, but I remember that moment when Mr Torriero called me so vividly.”   

After attending St Brendan’s Primary School Patrick then completed the first few years of his high school education at Notre Dame College. He moved to GVGS in 2016 halfway through Year 9 and immediately enjoyed the extracurricular activities that were on offer. “It was challenging, but I really loved it…I got to know heaps of people that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have,” Patrick says of the Year 10 Bogong High Plains camp. “I learnt a lot about my own abilities, I look back on it and it was so much fun; the first time I ever saw snow was during that Year 10 camp on my birthday.” 

During his final year of schooling, Patrick has narrowed down his options for 2020 and is confident that he will either undertake a Bachelor of Commerce or a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University. With VCE subjects of legal studies, accounting, maths methods, further maths, PE and English he sees a career involving economics or business in his future with accounting his favourite school subject to date. “I really enjoy it, it’s a lot of logic and I like looking back on the work that I’ve finished and see that I’ve accomplished that,” Patrick says of his VCE accounting classes. “It has made careers options much easier to decide on.” 

Currently working part-time at Officeworks, Patrick intends to work hard over the summer to earn money before making the big move to Melbourne early next year. Although Patrick has lived in Shepparton his whole life, he is looking forward to moving down to Melbourne and intends on living at University College in Parkville. With football and cricket taking a backseat during Year 12, Patrick is keen to participate again in team sports once high school is finished. “Every college sport I can get involved in I’ll be putting my hand up for.”  

When asked if he could sum up his school captain experience in one word, Patrick believes “rewarding” encapsulates the experience well. “I learnt a lot about my own leadership style during this year and it’s been really cool to be able to put that into use,” he says. “My confidence has gone through the roof because I used to get quite nervous doing public speaking, but I’ve had to do so much of it this year that now it doesn’t bother me at all.” As for the most powerful moments during his time as School Captain, Patrick reflects on how his position has provided him with a platform to connect with the other students – particularly the younger year levels – in ways he never considered in previous years. “I’ve learnt more about the impact I can have on other people as well,” he says. “The younger students look up to you a lot, they see you as a role model – it’s been a very eye-opening experience.” 

Patrick speaks very highly of his School Captain partner, Olivia Bolton, as well as the rest of the wider senior student leadership team at the school. “Olivia has been fantastic, we collaborate really well with our ideas,” he says. “Everyone has contributed massively in making this year a success.” When asked what advice he would give to the GVGS school captains of 2020, his response is clear and concise. “Get involved in everything and take it head-on, if you commit yourself to it you’ll have no issues.”