2022 started with a challenge right from the word go. Our Australian Student Leadership Conferences [ASLC] were flipped on their head as we were unable to meet in person and for our three days of IMPACT together. The yLead team pivoted, adapted, and persevered to compress a three-day conference into a jam-packed two-day online conference! For many, thoughts of doubt crept into their minds, as well as feelings of uncertainty or anxiety towards going online. However, when introduced to the online ASLC space on day one, the atmosphere was nothing short of electric! Positivity was certainly in the air! Over two days, students prepared themselves personally, and together as leadership teams, to tackle 2022 with utmost confidence and bravery.
We heard many guest speakers over the four conferences who gave valuable insights into life and leadership through their inspiring stories and journeys. Every participant connected in some form to our guest speakers, and we are truly grateful they gave their time to speak to the 2022 ASLC participants. On day two we had the privilege to be joined by many educators who collaborated with students during action planning and goal setting for the year. We know how valuable it was for the leaders to be supported and encouraged by their educators; So a massive shout out to our educators! Another huge shoutout must go to our incredible team of ASLC mentors. Conference would not be possible without their wisdom and energy, instilling confidence in students and allowing them to feel more comfortable in the ASLC space.
We spoke with our mentors and heard some of their ASLC highlights, they were SO GOOD, that we wanted to showcase them with the world. Here’s what they have to share:
In one or two sentences, describe your ASLC experience.
Despite the experience being online I was incredibly surprised and delighted by the relationships that were able to be nurtured through the world of a computer screen. Though excited about being a mentor and imparting my knowledge to the next generation of young leaders, I loved learning from their passion and look forward to seeing where their leadership takes them throughout their senior year. – Jordi Wilksch (SA Mentor)
My 2022 Online ASLC experience definitely exceeded my expectations, watching the enthusiasm of the students on the screen made it feel like we were all in the same room. The experience overall was empowering to say the least and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of such an amazing team. – Jack Drury (SEQ Mentor)
My ASLC experience was unexpectedly mind-blowing. I never would have thought that through ZOOM a leadership conference could be so powerful and real connections could be made. It was amazing to witness so many young leaders collaborate, share ideas, realise their strengths, and support each other. – Michaela McMahon (VIC Mentor)
My ASLC experience ignited my love of learning and showed me once again why the future of our world is in great hands when we belong to our resilient, curious and selfless young leaders. – Paige Stansfield (NQ Mentor)
What was your personal highlight from ASLC?
My personal highlight from ASLC was each and every participant that was able to commit to positively engaging so aptly and fully with the program online! – Josh Mitchell (VIC Mentor)
I loved the guest speakers Matt and Cody, and my notebook is full of inspirational quotes and fragments to help inspire me along my journey. I spoke to some of my squad about this and they really got a lot away from the speakers as well – Eden Taylor (SEQ Mentor)
Listening to the student responses in the ‘colours of leadership’ session. There is something special about year 12 optimism and drive. Each response was full of hope, passion, and excitement. It reminded me to not take life so seriously, there is no reason why we have to lose that optimism after we finish school. However, it is easy to forget and I’m grateful that I was able to discover this at ASLC. – Sallee Shepherd (SA Mentor)
My personal highlight was watching participants grow in confidence and embracing their own personal leadership styles unapologetically. Moreover, watching participants go from hesitant to speak, to raising their hands and even directing conversation by the end of ASLC was amazing. – Sarah Milton (NQ Mentor)
What is one takeaway from ASLC you believe everyone MUST hear?
Leadership is about service. Leadership isn’t about telling people what to do or how to do it, it’s about leading from within and serving the people you have been chose to look after. People can at times forget this and their vision begins to blur. A leader is elected to serve their people and in every aspect of life it is important to remember this. Whether it’s at school, work or your sporting team, if you consider yourself a leader of people, it is your job to serve. – Lachlan Thomas (SA Mentor)
My biggest takeaway from ASLC is the importance of being your true, authentic self. It was clear over conference that everyone in the space was there for a reason, as they all brought something special. There is so much power in being yourself and using your stories to inspire others. We can all learn so much from each other, and the biggest gift you can give to the world is being true to yourself! – Hayley O’Connor (SEQ Mentor)
I think that everyone should know that each person has their own unique strengths that can be super powerful when people are allowed maximise their potential. I also believe that it is important to utilise momentum rather than motivation, instead of relying on motivation to get us out of slumps or create change we need to take action to build momentum. Change comes from small progressive steps that gain momentum and build upon each other to make a difference rather than someone waiting around for inspiration to spark action. – Sarah Pamment (VIC Mentor)
My one takeaway from ASLC is that those 20 seconds of courage and stepping out of your comfort zone that could change your life forever. I find this important because if I never went for a leadership role in my final year of school then I never would have experienced ASLC and am truely thankful for that. I believe that if everyone can have a moment where they push themselves they too can experience the unexpected. – Flinders Gibson (NQ Mentor)