Melton Secondary College teachers and student leaders were taken through a cultural leadership information session on the final days of term two.

Engoori, a three-phase strength-based approach to leadership, was deconstructed by Murri Matters’ Mark Corrie over the course of two days.

On day one, Melton Secondary College teachers were taken through the phases of Engoori.

Day two was for the student leaders across years 7 to 12.

Why Engoori?

Engoori, according to Murri Matters, acknowledges that dealing with Complex Challenges, having conversations with structure, purpose and process, is often the most powerful action one can take.

This process of leadership was first introduced to MSC staff late last year during cultural training and has since been implemented into the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP).

Melanie Russell, Assistant Principal and Year 8 English teacher, said leading through Engoori is something the school is prioritising to rebuild values, and that they want students to be part of the process.

“This is the first time we’ve done [Engoori],” she said. “It’ll help the students understand what culture means to them.”


“It’s teaching them to have ownership of their responsibilities as the student leaders of the school, and to empower them to make positive changes.”


‘As a leader, you’re already motivated to make change. Days like this reinforce that notion’

For school captain Ariel and class captain Ava, days like this are instrumental in building on the ability to be better leaders.

And when asked what they took away from the session, Ava said it was more than just a leadership day.

“We learnt about diversity and how we can come together as a community. How we can express ourselves, and how to do it in a positive way.”

Ariel said the information session has helped her reflect on ways she can be more involved in the school and wider Melton community.


“Usually when you do leadership days they teach you about your strengths and weaknesses, and how to find other peoples.”


“But [Engoori] is a lot more about connecting with the community and community involvement.”


The student leaders were continuously raising their hands and getting involved in the conversation throughout day two, sharing with the group what culture means to them.

They spoke of their values, how their beliefs make up who they are, and ways they could be a better person for themselves and for their community.

School Captain Ariel said the session on Engoori has helped shift her perspective on how she can be a better leader.

“As a leader, you’re already motivated to make change, that’s why you become a leader, but doing stuff like this teaches you how to do it with a team.”


“This has gotten a lot of students involved who want to be leaders and are passionate about making a change in our community,” she continued.


Wadawurrung woman thrilled with schools’ investment to lead through Engoori

Linda Denney has three children who attend MSC and is an extremely active member of the Melton community; she is part of the elders group and the local women’s group.

Ms Denney is also a proud Wadawurrung woman.

She was present for both information sessions on Leading Through Engoori, and said she woke on the second day feeling buzzed.

“Engoori isn’t just about leadership, it’s also about empowering yourself and empowering others. It’s also about healing, and until you really look at it, you don’t really click onto that.”


“People think they’re just doing a leadership course, but when you step back and look, you start to see what [Engoori] is really trying to do,” she said.


“It gives you the tools to be able to relate to others better and to have empathy for other people in different positions.”


Ms Denney said it was amazing to see so many students switched on and understanding the true meaning of Engoori and how it’s going to help them through their journeys as leaders.

“Doing Engoori does make you vulnerable,” she said. “But it also strengthens you.”


“It gives you tools that you’ve always had but didn’t know were there. It’s like an awakening.”


Assistant Principal Melanie Russell reiterated how great it was to see the students engaged in Engoori and that it seemed the message around values was starting to resonate.

“I think it’s tapping into something that is quite subconscious within a lot of our students, that they have these really strong values and that they have really high expectations of themselves, their peers and their teachers.”


“They want things to be better,” Ms Russell said.