The night of Saturday the 26th February saw the yLead community come together and celebrate as one at Loyal Hope with some of our team who couldn’t make it to SEQ joined us on Zoom. The space was something to behold with photos, fairy lights, name tags, and blue lights triggering the deepest of memories to flood back for all our yTeamers. We all shared some laughs, conversations, experiences, lessons, dance moves, and farewells. The complete package of the gala night was incredible.
We did say farewell to 3 of our long-standing team members, Mitchell Rauschenbach, Lucy Gregg, and Amy Parsons. Their impact has been nothing short of astounding. Sometimes the team can sit there and watch them do their thing for hours on end and be amazed every time. Whether it’s Mitch creating proposals and coming up with incredible designs, Lucy buzzing around on stage having a good time, or Amy being in her element, in front of a crowd, talking about her story and passions. We are sad that they are leaving, but excited to see what our next chapter brings to yLead HQ. We said our piece about these three on Saturday night but from everyone in the wider yLead community who could not join us from teachers to students to volunteers…
…thank you for everything ❤️
The team could ramble on forever about how it was one of the most incredible nights ever… but don’t take it from us, take it from our community who attended! A few people would love to share their recaps of the night for those who were not there with us.
What/where was your first yLead encounter? Share some of your involvement with us…
My very first yLead encounter was ASLC Brisbane 2020. I volunteered at ASLC 2021 and because I was fresh out of year 12, I was extremely nervous to be mentoring people who weren’t even a year older than me. But the yTeam I worked with were so supportive and made me feel so confident and sure of myself. – Declan Baker (VIC yTeamer)
I first met yLead at ASLC Melbourne 2017. My first yTeaming experience was being a mentor at ASLC in South East Queensland in 2019 which was an incredible experience and one I am very grateful to have had. Since then, I have yTeamed at Altitude Day and numerous in-schools, both online and in-person! – Emma Gamble (VIC yTeamer)
ASLC 2017 in Melbourne. I was unsuccessful in getting school captain, and so luckily the school decided to send SRC leadership that year too. I’ve been a mentor, guru, and leader’s leader at ASLC. I’ve mentored on a travel experience to NZ and helped host yConnect. – Joe Collins (VIC yTeamer)
I first met yLead at Brisbane ASLC 2012. I came back to mentor at ASLC Brisbane – in 2013 and 2014 as a leader, 2015 and 2016 as a Guru, and 2017 as Leader’s Leader. – Jacob Greenaway (SEQ yTeamer)
My first yLead encounter was as a year 12 student at ASLC NQ 2018. Some of my involvement has included being a mentor in 2020, a guru in 2021 and a mentor/guru in 2022. I have attended a couple of in schools around Townsville. In 2021 I also attended my first yConnect. – Mark Siandri (NQ yTeamer)
My first encounter with yLead was in 2021 at ASLC in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to be a mentor at the 2022 VIC ASLC and since then have jam-packed various in-schools experiences into the first portion of term. – Sarah Pamment (VIC yTeamer)
My first encounter with yLead was when they visited my school in 2019. Working with me and my fellow year 12’s, I knew then and there that this was a community I wanted to be a part of. I had the honour of going to Help Out in Cambodia in 2019. This trip not only introduced me to so many amazing people but also unforgettable experiences. This allowed for a positive change in my life to help craft the person I have become today. I’ve also had the privileged to work with many students in the Canberra doing school programs. – Claire Imlach (ACT yTeamer)
I first met yLead at my grade 11 reflection day. Some of the team came in shared their wisdom with my cohort and I as we prepared to head into our final year. I started volunteering for yLead in 2019 at the Australian Student Leadership Conference, Brisbane and I’ve tagged along for the wild ride ever since. I’ve repped the blue at a handful of in schools, at a couple of year 9 Altitude Days and at many of Brisbane’s ASLC’s! – Chloe McGrath (SEQ yTeamer)
In a sentence/word, what does the yTeam community mean to you?
Family. I think I’ve always felt I should go above and beyond for those I care about, or those who fill your cup and yLead is full of those people for me. Old and new, I just adore the community we are, and I love giving back to my communities. – Joe Collins
Home ….. yLead is so welcoming and unified. The feeling of safety and happiness is automatic. I have been loyal because I absolutely love the message that yLead is spreading, the work that they do, and the people involved so I planned to be loyal for a while longer. – Sarah Pamment
The yTeam community to me is all about being apart of something far bigger than just yourself. I have been so loyal because of the people I have met and the experiences I have shared with those people. – Mark Siandri
For those that weren’t with us, how would you describe the space you stepped into?
An airy, light-filled space filled with all the warmth and kind-hearted joy of a family home. The rain at the windows was turned from dreary curtain to dazzling streams of pearls in the reflected light of love and celebration. To enter was to be embraced, and for a while, to know the comfort of reunion with old friends. – Jacob Greenaway
Even watching through the laptop at home, I could see the loving and powerful relationships this association fosters. Everyone was so overwhelmed with happiness to be together after what has been a very tough time and it was amazing to see. – Declan Baker
Magical. I had to pinch myself multiple times throughout the night to remind myself that it was real. – Chloe McGrath
What was a moment that surprised you on the night? Maybe it was a connection, a conversation or someone’s dance move?
One thing that surprised me about the night was how accepting and welcoming our community is. I walked into the space only knowing a small number of people, but by the end of the night, I made many new friends and connections that I hope to keep in the future. – Claire Imlach
Paige Stansfield’s country dance moves. I must say, the Queenslander’s really know how to dance! – Emma Gamble
I went in knowing very few of the interstate yTeam but I was surprised by how quickly we were all dancing together as if we knew each other for ages. The most surprising thing would have to be that APar can dance…. Who knew! That girl has got some moves! – Sarah Pamment
What was one highlight that made your night?
I had a beautiful, full-circle moment of clarity speaking to Slatts. Many years ago (it was perhaps my first or second year as a leader at ALSC) I had the pleasure of meeting Slatts for the first time. I’ve always remembered the experience, because, as he does, he fixed me with those kind, insightful eyes of his and told me how special I was. It sticks out in my mind particularly because at the time, I didn’t believe him. This all came flooding back to me at the Gala when, once again, he went to the special effort of paying me a compliment. But this time I didn’t feel the same resistance to it, and it has made me reflect on how much I’ve learned, changed and grown, in no small part for having been a member of this amazing community. – Jacob Greenaway
My highlight of the night was definitely the farewells to Amy, Mitch and Lucy. These guys have contributed so much to our yLead community and I loved all the beautiful words Bel had to them. Their impact on not just me, but everyone will not be forgotten, and I think the gala really showed how powerful their legacy is. – Declan Baker – Declan Baker
Reuniting with the man, the myth, the legend, John Slattery. Slatts played a HUGE role in my high school years. To share the space with him and to hear that he was doing well was so, so special. LUV U SLATTS <333! – Chloe McGrath
What is your HOPE for yLead’s future?
My hope for yLead’s future is that it continues to grow and inspire young people. The world needs courageous young leaders and I hope yLead is apart of creating these future leaders. – Mark Siandri
To continuing making impact and to continue showing our youth that they are capable of making change in our world. – Chloe McGrath
It is my hope that the values and culture of yLead continue to touch the hearts and minds of young people, through not just yLead as an organisation, but through everyone who holds these same values dear. – Jacob Greenaway
I hope that yLead continues to work with young people for many years to come. This organisation has truly changed my life for the better and I would not be the woman I am today without them. – Claire Imlach
We continue to GRIT, continue to GROW, continue to EMPOWER and continue the LEGACY. – Joe Collins
I hope that yLead can continue to have such a widespread impact on young people. Hopefully yLead can continue to expand to ensure more people are able to experience the warmth and joy of the amazing yTeam. I hope the message and power of yLead spreads far and wide, so that the countless emerging young leaders can be guided to make a difference in our world. – Sarah Pamment
I hope that yLead can continue to empower more young people to believe in themselves and their ability to be a leader in their world. We need the work that they do as it truely changes individual lives and the worlds that surround them. – Emma Gamble
I hope that the organisation continues to prosper in what has been a hard felt time for many and that we as a powerful y-Lead community will continue to leave a positive, inspiring and long-lasting legacy on those we touch. – Declan Baker