This January, yLead ran our annual Australian Student Leadership Conference in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Townsville. In its 27th year, the 3 day experience allows Year 12 student leaders to find their own leadership style, generate ideas with their peers, and walk away with a sense of belonging and connection.
“Its value sits substantially in the space conference creates for young people to explore their potential and what they’re passionate about. Each of them leaves conference with differences in their growth, but an overriding feeling that the people around them gave them the confidence to be their true selves.” – Olivia Turner, MEL mentor, Star of the Sea graduate 2015
ASLC follows the same program in each city, yet each conference brings its own special moments.
Day 1 centres around ‘Leadership Begins Within’. The students explore their own personal strengths, passions, and goals, in order to identify what kind of leader and person they want to be throughout their final year and beyond.
Day 2 looks at ‘Together Has Power’, recognising that leaders can not do things alone, but rather the real power comes from collaboration and unity. The connections formed on conference become a highlight for many of the students and mentors, finding real value in meeting other like minded young people.
“I think ASLC is so valuable because of its ability to cultivate strong, grounded connections with incredible and genuine people – that honestly last a lifetime!” – Georgia Hayward, BNE mentor, Fairholme College graduate 2015
“ASLC lets the participants (and mentors alike) realise that there are actually so many like-minded people out there. ASLC is so valuable as it is rare to find a space where you are able to just completely be yourself and where every single person sharing the space with you believes in you.” – Mika Francis, BNE mentor, Burnside SHS graduate 2018
“It’s so valuable because it highlights the importance of having a supportive and positive environment around you. It allows you to really push yourself.” – Kano Ravalji, MEL mentor, Wyndham Central College graduate 2017
Day 3 is all about ‘Leadership Is Action’. At ASLC, students learn about themselves, explore a variety of workshops, and listen to empowering guest speakers, which all culminates in a goal setting session on day 3. At yLead, we believe that ‘Leadership is any action that makes the world I touch a better place’. Ideas are only successful if they are put into action and followed through. The students culminate everything they’ve learnt to think about how they can make their schools and communities better.
Every year we invite change makers from the community to come and share their stories with the students. This year, our line up was filled with incredible experiences and insight.
Brisbane: Josh Worley – 2018 Vertical year scaling ice-capped mountains, Jackson Auld – Stella Fella and country farmer
Melbourne: Ben Pettingill – blind at 16 & Spartan Race competitor, Hunter Johnson – founder of the Man Cave
Adelaide: Lachlan Mullen – lung cancer survivor, Isobel Marshall – founder of Taboo Sanitary Products
Townsville: Sandra Richards – QLD Senior of the Year nominee, Jackson Auld – Stella Fella and country farmer
Guest speakers Josh, Jackson and Izzy have all been participants of a yLead experience over the years, and we are so grateful to have been able to ask them back to present on the stage. For some more insight into their journeys, you can read our ‘Where are they now?’ posts here.
When we asked some of our volunteers what they had learnt over ASLC in 2019, this is what they had to say:
“Over ASLC I learnt the importance of vulnerability – giving the most of yourself has shown me that it gives permission for the people around you to do the same! Allowing people to not only grow but flourish!” – Georgia Hayward, BNE mentor, Fairholme College graduate 2015
“Your true authentic self is the only person you ever have to be. Give yourself credit where it is due and always approach things with an open mind.” – Joe Collins, TVL mentor, Tyrell College graduate 2017
“ASLC has allowed me to grow in more ways than one, and has moulded me into being a person of authenticity and passion.” – Alex Barnes, BNE mentor, Padua College graduate 2015