School captaincy becomes a story of succession at Lapstone Public School

When best friends Helen Roberts and Emma Barnet were made captain and vice captain respectively back in 1985 at Lapstone Public School, they never expected 35 years later they would be watching their own children take on the same roles.

But on Thursday February 27 the school inducted two of their new leaders, and Emma's daughter Tilly Horrex-Barnet and Helen's son Tommy Bowen became captain and vice captain respectively.

The proud parents had a chance to sing along to the school song (which hasn't changed), see the school's resident brush tailed possum 'Poss' pass under the chairs and marvel at the coincidence that saw their children emulate their own success. The parents even proudly pulled out their old school leader badges for a photo afterwards with the Gazette.

Tilly told the assembled students and parents she would be "kind and help others when needed". She later joked to her mum she had "one-upped" her by being captain instead of vice. Both Tilly and Tommy were thrilled by the honour and neither was nervous.

Helen and Emma inducted at Lapstone all those years ago.

Helen and Emma inducted at Lapstone all those years ago.

Emma Barnet now works as a florist in Glenbrook after a successful career in costuming, which saw her team win an Oscar for Mad Max 3. Helen Roberts is a Sydney barrister and only moved back into the area in recent years. The women are still best friends.

"We met when we were in kindergarten, when we were five. We were best friends," Ms Barnet said.

"When this happened [the kids trying out for leadership roles] we reminisced about all those years ago, 35 years ... and what it was like while the kids practiced their speeches [to be considered for school leaders]," Ms Roberts said.

"I remember I loved the microphone," Ms Barnet said of her time as vice captain. "I also remember when I fell off the wall there at the bubblers and had to get two stitches," she added laughing.

The families always wanted to live back in the Glenbrook area and were thrilled to have their children back at their old school.

"It's a special place to bring up family," said Ms Roberts said. "It's a really supportive friendly school."

Principal, Sharon Gordon said the role of school captains "was more important than ever".

"The students want to know they're in good hands. It's all about being selfless and putting others first," she said. Students from Year 2 to Year 6 had voted for the leaders, as well as teachers.

Other school leaders inducted included boy captain Jai Fohmsbee and girl vice captain Kya Pagan-Brown.