Our annual Altitude Day Roadshow for 2022 has been a magical journey across Australia, reaching 12 unique locations! We started off in Toowoomba, before making our way across SEQ in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and Gold Coast which then saw us head out to Townsville and Perth. Our second week kicked off in Melbourne, which was strongly followed by Hobart, Adelaide, Canberra, Playford, and finishing in Sydney. yLead welcomed 145 different schools through the Alt Day doors, impacting over 2000 students who dreamed big, set some BIG goals, unlocked their potential, created new networks, and danced the day away!
For those who may not know what Altitude Day is or have never been able to experience it before, it is an opportunity run for Year 9 students across Australia to come together, recognise their potential, and reach new heights. It is run over 2 weeks in 12 different locations every year. 2022’s roadshow was BIGGER THAN EVER – reaching numbers higher than 2019 (which was a pre-COVID world) was a massive achievement for us, it also saw the birth of our first Altitude Day conference in Tasmania. After the years that have been, we recognise how important it is for students to come together in the environment created at Altitude Day where they can network with students from other schools, which is truly invaluable.
A huge part of our roadshow is being able to share the stage with amazing guest speakers who share their stories of adversity, resilience, passion and growth. For students, there is incredible value in hearing from members of their local communities, recognising how they are making a positive impact, in turn sparking a call to action amongst the next generation of leaders. It was a privilege to have two guest speakers who were in the year 9’s shoes very recently share their advice and tips on how to make their world a better place:
Mahsa Nabizada (TWB) – Toowoomba Regional Council Youth Leader and Year 12 student
Bryce U’ren (GC) – Founder of Super Max & Bryce and Year 10 student
We were also joined by individuals who were leaning into their passions and stories to create change in their world:
Jahin Tanvir (CAN) – Founder and CEO of Breathe.
Thenu Herath (MEL) – Founder and CEO of Oaktree
Mandy Dante (SYD) – Founder and CEO of Flourish Girl
The full list of our 26 incredible Altitude Day speakers:
Mahsa Nabizada – Toowoomba Regional Council Youth Leader
Daniel & William Clarke – Tears in the Jungle
Sihle ‘Gugu’ Bhebhe – More Life Podcast | Cody Schaeffer – Borderline Youth Camp
Nicole Courtie – Gold Coast Sport Aerobics | Bryce U’Ren – Super Max & Bryce
Rachael Jackson – Nurture Family Health Centre | Jack Growden – Litehaus International
Joe Walding-Karaitiana – Professional Rugby Union Player | Kendall Whyte – Blue Tree Project | Bellamore Ndayikeze – BN Collective
Alex Dekker – Alex Makes Meals | Thenu Herath – Oaktree | Mike Rolls and Ben Pettingill – Legless & Blind
Talitha Devadass & Emilee Freeman – Futures Isle | Tom Windsor – Mobart Mo Bros
Adelaide & Playford
Dr Trudy Lin – Special Needs Dentistry | Gene Phoa – Singer & Songwriter | Bianca Nilsson – Renegade Records
Asha Clementi – The Girls Leadership Network | Jahin Tanvir – Breathe.
Mandy Dante – Flourish Girl
ALL (except CAN, PER, GC & TVL)
Ben Pettingill – Limitless Vision
TWB, SC, GC, TVL, CAN, SYD
Krushnadevsinh Ravalji – Youth & Diversity Advocate
In particular, we want to acknowledge the sacrifice and the efforts of two of our guest speakers who joined us for majority of the roadshow, Ben Pettingill & Krushnadevsinh “Kano” Ravalji.
Ben joined us for all locations (except CAN, GC, PER, TVL) which was a big commitment for him to make at this time, and we are forever grateful for it.
Kano in 2021, went from yTeamer to guest speaker which he kicked up a notch in 2022 coming to 6 Altitude Days to share his story! We really appreciate his passion for multicultural youth and diversity which carried many strong messages for the students to take home with them.
Altitude Day is not just an impactful day for the students who get to be in the space, it is also hugely significant for all of our yTeam, our community of volunteers, who join us and support us on the day as well. Over the two weeks, we were joined by 36 volunteers who gave up their time to be in the space, and empower young people alongside us. Here are some of their takeaways.
“It’s been so long since I’ve been able to volunteer with yLead and reconnecting with the team and the students at the TAS Altitude Day really reminded me why I love coming back! It made me feel super nostalgic and I loved seeing so many future leaders of Tassie in one place. I reckon my highlight was chatting to students from my old school and hearing about all their incredible plans for the year, with having a good old dance coming in a close second.”
– Sophie Crothers (TAS)
“Incredible day surrounded by incredible leaders of all ages. I felt privileged to be a part of the day, watching year 9’s get inspired for what they can achieve in the future. A highlight was seeing a girl I was speaking to about her biggest goals and one was to be an actor. I said to her make sure you take the next opportunity to shine – and she did. She got up on stage with Zoe it was amazing, and she looked so happy. A piece of wisdom I took away from the day, is that no matter where you are in life – you are more than capable to create the life you dream of, help others around you and, inspire others to take action.”
– Kirsti Jones-Healy (SC)
“Altitude Day 2022 was such an amazing experience, as I didn’t get to experience it as a student, I was so excited to put on the blue shirt and get involved. I loved seeing everyone in the room start the day separated by their school, but by the end, they all had mixed together and made new friends. Each guest speaker inspired me in different ways and I am so grateful to have heard their stories and wisdom which they shared. My favourite part was seeing students ask questions and take that courage to raise their hand and get involved with the speakers and activities.”
– Flinders Gibson (TVL)
“What I love about Alt Day is the fact that each year always brings something new! Whether it be gaining knowledge from a guest speaker, another student or a yTeamer; you are able to see how much it means to the students to have a space to connect and flourish. The atmosphere of Sydney’s Alt Day is always magical.”
– Sophie Le (SYD)
“It’s an opportunity that most students will never get in their day to day school lives and I think it’s quite an amazing realisation for them to see there are people who share that same passion as them. The highlight of the day would have to be all of the guest speakers. Their leadership journeys and lessons were all inspiring and I know everyone in the space would’ve been able to take valuable lessons away from them. The whole day was run so well, and the experience will definitely inspire the students as they begin their personal leadership journeys.”
– Declan Baker (MEL)
“Altitude day is a special opportunity for grade 9 students to gather into a space that invites them to dream big and to dream hard. To see our youth thrive in such an empowering setting is indescribable. Seeing the growth of the students throughout the day is truly an incredible thing to witness. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the environment that yLead fosters for Altitude days a couple of times now, and I am continuously left in awe of our upcoming future leaders. Our youth are empowering, and our youth are ready. We are in good hands.”
– Chloé McGrath (GC)
“For me Altitude Day is about hope, it’s about belief and potential of what young people can do when they set their mind to something. I learned from Alt Day that no matter where you come from, nothing can dictate where you end up. Lastly for me, my highlight of Altitude Day is being able to see people thrive and be their best in a non-judgemental environment.”
– Billy Brennan (BNE)
“Well, like every other yLead event, Altitude Day was not what I expected! Approaching the day, I was keen to assist students and help out the facilitation team, not realising I would take so much away from it! Being surrounded by year 9 leaders who had just begun exploring their passions and purpose was so rejuvenating. Not only that, but the guest speakers were relatable, down to earth and inspiring all in one – what a day!”
– Danielle Reed (MEL)
“Altitude Day 2022 was an incredible and motivating experience overall and having the ability to empower year 9 students to strive to accomplish their future aspirations. Being present in the space allowed me to step away from the real world and fully engage with the students and yTeam. It was fulfilling, making it a valuable and rewarding experience. My personal highlight from the experience was the motivation and enthusiasm given from the guest speakers. Their passion and value gave me an empowering insight to strive to be the best of me and know that anything is possible no matter who we are and what we do!”
– Jack Drury (BNE)
Thank you to all our yTeam who volunteered their time to wear the blue for us throughout Altitude Day!
A special shoutout goes out to some of our non-blue wearing yTeam who joined us throughout the roadshow! Another special mention to Krushnadevsinh (Kano) Ravalji, going from yTeamer to guest speaker. But a MASSIVE shoutout to two legends who have followed in his footsteps, Joe Walding Karaitiana and Thenu Herath!
After the countless hours behind the scenes from the full-time team, we are super appreciative and incredibly grateful for everyone that made the Altitude Day roadshow a possibility. Teachers, students, venue managers, guest speakers, photographers, the list goes on. We wouldn’t run this event if we didn’t truly believe in the power of young people so THANK YOU to everyone who made it happen.
If you would love to watch our opening video from the roadshow, check it out here: https://youtu.be/VQvJxPd9fCs