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Soaring to New Heights: Reflecting on yLead’s 2023 Altitude Day Events

What a year 2023 has been for us at yLead! Following the incredible success of our annual Altitude Day Roadshow in 2022, we were both thrilled and excited to embark on this year’s journey. A journey that transcended our greatest expectations, reaffirmed our commitment to youth empowerment, and left a mark on over 2,500 Year 9s. This year was a whirlwind journey across Australia, reaching 13 unique locations! 

The Journey

This year, Altitude Day embarked on yet another magical journey across the breadth of Australia, and the enthusiasm, spirit, and the diversity of these regions, from Toowoomba to the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane to the Gold Coast, then Townsville and Rockhampton, resonated deeply with our mission. Our second week kicked off in Perth and Hobart, and then we travelled through Melbourne, Adelaide, Playford, Canberra, finally wrapping up in Sydney.

Throughout this journey, we welcomed over 145 different schools through the Altitude Day doors, impacting 2,483 students. These bright, young minds dreamed big, set ambitious goals, discovered their potential, established new networks, and danced their hearts out!

Altitude Day: An Empowering Platform 

If you haven’t experienced or heard of an Altitude day before, it is a unique opportunity and platform for Year 9 students across Australia to recognise their potential and reach new heights. At yLead we strongly believe that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, innovators, and change-makers. Facilitating experiences that allow young people to broaden their horizons, connect with diverse peers, and interact with inspirational figures (our guest speakers), is fundamental in sparking curiosity, ambition, and self-belief.

Dreaming big is a fundamental aspect of personal growth and fulfilment. It allows young people to envision a future full of possibilities and strive for goals that align with their passions and aspirations. During our altitude days, we ask the students about what their big dreams are; Some envision becoming children’s nurses, channelling their compassion to make a positive impact. Others dream of traversing the globe, starting with the enchanting paradise of Bora Bora. Many aspire to become multifaceted musicians, dedicating themselves to mastering a variety of instruments, while some yearn to run their own bookshops, fostering a love for reading and storytelling.

Other dreams we heard also included becoming a dance teacher with their own studio, as well as aspirations of becoming airline pilots, professional football players, surgical doctors, and even Jillaroos!!

These dreams underscore the significance of thinking audaciously, fostering determination, and recognizing that even the loftiest aspirations can be transformed into remarkable realities. By dreaming big, young individuals empower themselves to create a meaningful and purpose-driven future for themselves and others.

Altitude Day is more than an event – it’s a steppingstone in a young person’s journey of personal and leadership development. The skills, knowledge, and connections gained during this day empower Year 9s to dream big and work towards unlocking their potential. We thank the educators that choose to invest in young leaders today, as we are effectively contributing to a future society that will be led by empathetic, resilient, and innovative individuals equipped to face any challenge that comes their way. The importance of nurturing this potential simply cannot be overstated.

Speakers That Inspired

With 27 extraordinary guest speakers joining us on the Altitude Day roadshow, we would like to publicly acknowledge them and say thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories of overcoming adversity, resilience, growth, and passion, and for fostering a call to action amongst the next generation of leaders.

Claire Harris – Hoedowns for Country Towns

Madelyn Jones – The Good Box

Tom Price – You are not alone

Abbie Williams – Letters of Hope

Amy Tobin – Now I Can Run

Billy Blackett – Affordable Tutoring Tasmania

Mitch McPherson – SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY

Mannie Kaur Verma & Sheeba Singh – Veera – Brave Girl

Jack Anderson – Keynote Speaker, Author, Film Maker and Youth Advocate

Tara Lord – Kupu Kupu

Callum MacPherson – Young Blood Media

Zhanae Dodd – Project Groove

Mason Hope –  Songwriter and Volunteer for Headspace and 4 Paws Animal Rescue

Darian Brooker – We, Future Leaders

Francesca Caccamo – Consent Labs

Kurt Jones – CoExist Australia

Krushnadevsinh Ravalji – Third Culture

Mikayla Foruria – Amazing Race & Veterinarian

Laura Byrnes – Race Car Driver #fearless44

Joel Coughlan – Paralympian

Alex Stalling – Tinker Art

Ben Pettingill – Limitless Vision

Trudy Lin – Trudy Lin Smiles

A special mention goes to our guest speakers who joined us for multiple locations across the roadshow, Claire Harris, Kurt Jones, Ben Pettingill & Krushnadevsinh “Kano” Ravalji. Their commitment and dedication to empowering young people is both touching and inspiring.

Our Team in Blue

Altitude Day isn’t just impactful for the students involved but, it is also a rewarding experience for the yTeam, our community of volunteers who give up their time to empower young people. We were joined by 41 volunteers over the two weeks, whose contributions were pivotal to the success of the event.

Here’s what one of our awesome volunteers from Melbourne had to say:

For me, Altitude day is about possibility – it’s about learning from the experiences of others to see the potential in yourself. It’s a great way for young people to utilise key values or takeaways from guest speakers and presenters in their own daily lives, sparking inspiration in others. Altitude Days create a space where goal setting is limitless, and it teaches young people that anything is possible when they put their minds to it. I loved how the non-judgemental environment created the perfect space for people to thrive, collaborate and learn.
– Alexandra Evans

Looking Ahead:

As we sign off on the 2023 Altitude Day’s, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made this year’s event possible – teachers, students, venue managers, guest speakers, videographers and yTeam! It is the belief you hold in the power of young people that fuels our mission.

We look forward to the Altitude Day Roadshow in 2024 and what it will hold for the future Year 9s of Australia. Here’s to another year of dreaming big and soaring high!

You can watch our legacy piece and how 2023 attendees would make the world a better place via our Instagram Page!