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yConnect 2023: Take the Driver’s Seat

By July 20, 2023Event, Team

Setting the Course: The Theme of ‘Take the Driver’s Seat

The team at yLead is overjoyed to share the highlights of our latest yConnect event, an experience that was both inspiring and transformative! Held at the beautiful Luther Heights Youth Camp in Coolum Beach, Queensland, the theme of this year’s gathering was “Take the Driver’s Seat.” About 50 of our incredible yTeam community members from across Australia joined us, armed with the enthusiasm to learn new skills, deepen their knowledge, and bolster their confidence in their ability to steer their life’s course.

The “Take the Driver’s Seat” theme was designed to inspire participants to take control of their life’s journey, fostering the understanding that they are in charge of steering towards their success. The event, affectionately known as “yCon,” became a platform to refuel our team, and equip them with the tools they need to navigate their paths effectively, regardless of the twists and turns they might encounter.

Refuelling on Adventure: The Thrill of Noosa and Landsborough

yCon 2023 encapsulated the spirit of adventure and learning across a vibrant three-day residential conference. From an unforgettable boat hire afternoon in the breathtaking beauty of Noosa to a heart-pounding go-kart racing evening at Landsborough’s ‘Big Kart Track’. These experiences were far more than just recreational activities, serving as vivid metaphors for the unpredictable yet exciting journey of life that lies ahead for our volunteers. The serene boat ride was a nod to the peaceful moments of self-reflection and mindfulness required in navigating our life paths, while the go-kart race highlighted the adrenaline of taking risks, facing challenges head-on, and shifting gears as needed to reach our goals. Everybody rose to the challenge of taking a literal drivers seats both on the high seas and with their foot to the floor on the race track.

Moreover, the camaraderie shared during these activities cemented many existing bonds and helped create new ones, fostering a sense of community and mutual support that transcends the duration of the event. The laughter, cheers, and shared moments of anticipation and triumph underscored yLead’s ethos of growing together as a team while celebrating individual strengths and achievements.

Co-Drivers of Knowledge: Insights from Our Guest Speakers

Our route was informed by the presence of four distinguished co-drivers (our guest speakers). These guest speakers were absolutely integral to the event and their enlightening talks echoed and explored the theme of taking the driver’s seat. Phil Choi, Tommy Nyawir, Martin Livingstone, Georgia Blair and Sarah Pye played such a crucial part in the experience of this year’s yConnect. yLead alumni Phil Choi shared his personal story of adversity and triumph, and he did so with vulnerability and authenticity, showing the mindset needed when life doesn’t go according to plan. Later on Day 1, the inspirational Tommy Nyawir shared his humbling journey from a child of Kenya’s biggest slum with no prospect of education to running an internationally supported not-for-profit. On day 2 we were blessed to hear the wonderful insights of incredible Georgia Blair as well as our very own Martin Livingstone! Georgia spoke to us about the importance of nutritional knowledge and how to effectively fuel our body, as well as dismissing some common myths about nutritional health. While Marty shared his financial expertise, breaking down some of the best ways to be financially literate and independent. Finally, we also got to hear from Sarah Pye as she encouraged us to continue to sail towards our passion!

Overall their invaluable life experiences and stories created a powerful narrative around the importance of self-direction, inspiring our volunteers to approach their life’s voyage with determination and resilience.

To hear more about these fantastic speakers and how grateful we are to have had them join us, head over to our Instagram or Facebook page!

Testimonials: The Rearview Mirror Reflections of Participants

The event made a lasting impression on our participants, their feedback powerfully reflecting the transformative nature of the experience. Here are some of their thoughts:

“This yConnect was something special, finally sharing a space with so many people I had met over zoom, finally being able to boogie at the gala instead of simply watching on a screen. A key takeaway from the weekend for me came from the journal prompt “what’s in your rear view mirror: what will you keep an eye on?” Rear view mirrors are obviously an important feature in a car; they show you what is behind you, where you have come from. For me it was a moment of recognising the challenges and the mountains that I have walked up and overcome, the scars of battles that I’ve fought and won, and it proves to me my strength in what I have and what I can make it through. You also can’t drive a car only looking in the rear view mirrors, and I realised the importance of not getting stuck in those moments, but moving towards the road ahead, ‘taking the drivers seat’ some may say, in bringing the lessons from those mountains and challenges, but leaving the pain from learning those lessons behind.”Caitlin Oschadleus

“Y-Connect 2023 was a truly breathtaking experience, created by wonderful people who truly know how to make a heart-warming space. Every activity provided insight of how you can take the drivers seat figuratively and literally! Inspiring everyone within the space to truly shine and be their incredible authentic selves. Thank you so much to the team and participants for making Y-Connect 2023 unforgettable! – Angelina Hambleton

“This years YConnect was an escape both from Melbourne winter and from the fast paced, work-driven hustle we have all faced this year. For me, it was a time of grounding, self-reflection and re-alignment back to a fulfilling path which best supports my goals for my relationships with others and, most importantly, myself. It’s not often we have the privilege to be surrounded by so many likeminded, inspiring people who radiate such positive energy. My cup has never been so full.”  – Paige Samuel

“This weekend really helped me to realign with myself. Going into yConnect I felt like a backseat driver of my uni course, with no motivation, and no passion. With the theme of “Taking the Drivers” I buckled up and went full speed into the experience. Overall, the speakers and workshops, were exactly what I needed to reignite my passion. My take home note is to allocate more time for myself within the day. Within a space full of love, and warmth I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”  – Flinders Gibson

Driving Ahead into the Future

Reflecting on yConnect 2023, it was a testament to the power of community, shared vision, and personal empowerment. The three days brimmed with laughter, lessons, and love, creating a mosaic of memories that will drive our collective and individual journeys moving forward. Here’s to the countless leadership journeys we’re yet to embark on together, and to our resilient yLead community, who continue to inspire us with their unwavering dedication and spirited drive.