i3 Program winners enjoy exclusive insights - St Mary's Anglican Girls' School

i3 Program winners enjoy exclusive insights

POSTED December 12 2023 , Academic, News, Senior School

We arrived at the Bankwest building on Monday 2 December, feeling very out of place and nervous despite the incredible welcome from the Bankwest staff. As part of our prize for winning the I3 program Live Pitch Showcase, our team – April, Hannah, Eva, Hannah and I – along with our mentors, Anna and Jono, Mr Nevitt and Ms Ribbons, were given the amazing opportunity to tour Bankwest’s Perth headquarters.

Our ‘Imposter Syndrome’, which later turned into the theme of the day, started kicking in as soon as we walked through the awe-inspiring building. Despite trying to look sophisticated, we (I) managed to get stuck in the revolving doors. After that slight hiccup, we received our passes for the day and caught our first glimpse at the advanced technology that the Bankwest building boasts, like smart lifts that can only operate when at capacity. Entering Level 2, we were warmly welcomed by Bankwest staff, Sonia Knox, Sam Alexander, Michelle Horsham and Annette de Burgh.

Upon commencing our insightful tour of the building, we were introduced to the ‘Blaze’ concept, a system of desks designed so that each employee did not have their own office, rather they worked at large desks or quiet spaces, depending on their needs for the day. Level 2 was also home to numerous collaborative rooms, which utilised both sleek technology and modern designs to offer the perfect setting to foster group discussions. As such, the tour epitomised the same fundamental principles that our I3 Program is based around – innovation, invention and ideation.

We later enjoyed lunch in one of the meeting rooms overlooking the city. We had the honour of hearing from 2024 WA Young Australian of the Year, Kate Kirwin. As the founder of She Codes, Kate has helped more than 7000 women across Australia learn how to code, paving the way for the rebrand of a new tech industry where equality exits between men and women. She described to us her journey in the tech industry and highlighted the importance of persistence and problem solving, two attributes which are also highlighted in our own I3 Program. Kate’s talk led us to a full-circle moment as she spoke about the concept of ‘Imposter Syndrome’, specifically regarding women feeling ‘not good enough’ or out of place in the workforce. This led us to reflect on our own feelings before entering the building and left us with a renewed sense of inspiration and determination.

We left Bankwest with a wealth of new information and a sense of what we could achieve in a world beyond school. On reflection, the i3 Program encouraged us to learn and grow, and it provided us with essential tools that will help us later in life. i3 showed us that while it is not always smooth sailing (losing our poster board 10 minutes before the final presentation was a good test of this resilience), at the end of the day, having a team of friends to support you is invaluable. And for that, we and the rest of the Year 10 Cohort, are incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in the i3 Program.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers, Mr Brown, Mrs Stewart and Mrs Fitzpatrick, for facilitating our i3 Program experience. The program would not be possible without their input, support and guidance.

Anna (Year 10)