As the Australian School year commences, I have this week reflected on the many social media posts mums and dads have posted showing photos of their children heading off to school. Just like these children our Emerging Leaders across rural and regional Victoria are also embarking on their own leadership journey.
Just like children heading off to school, they have many mixed emotions ranging from trepidation and fear, through to excitement and curiosity. What our leaders and school children have in common is a thirst for knowledge and learning and a sense of happiness at the thought of meeting new people. People who will no doubt become life-long friends.
On Wednesday the 1st of February, I attended the launch of Leadership Great South Coast’s 2017 program year held in Warrnambool. Fifteen emerging leaders from the Great South Coast region are embarking on an experiential leadership program summed up nicely by Lead Facilitator – Corrinne Armour, that encourages them to be curious, courageous, and compassionate and by the time they complete their program they will also be well rounded Community Leaders.
I had the plasure of interviewing four of the 2017 participants during the evening and I thank them for sharing their thoughts with me
- Teremayi Manozho, Director/Coordinator, African Experience – Sponsored by Wannon Water
- Leon Carey, Business Owner, Southern Cross Kitchens and Hands on Learning Artisan Teacher Leader – Warrnambool College. Sponsored by The Koroit Lions Club
- Jacinta Lenehan, Health Promotions Officer, South West Healthcare
- Jordan Smith, Organisation Health and Wellbeing Officer, The School of Student Leadership
Excerpts from these interviews can be found below:
Q1. Why did you nominate to participate in LGSC?
“I wanted to grow my engagement and involvement in the local community, the program is a tremendous opportunity to meet like-minded people and to have a positive impact across our region.” – Jordan
“I was inspired to apply as I had seen the positive impact the program had on Angela in 2016 and I really wanted to be a part of it in 2017. I am very thankful to Wannon Water who have sponsored my place on the program.” – Teramayi
Q2. What are the challenges facing leaders in your region?
“Things have always been done that same way. I am really looking forward to challenging the status quo and to help our community grow. I’m inspired by my current manager who showed us what our potential could be as a team and really inspired us all to work quite autonomously with her guidance.” – Jacinta
“As a reasonably new person to the region finding time and situations to meet people outside of the education circles and to meet people from different backgrounds is a challenge. It is really important for me to use this time during the year to make this one of my priorities, to grow my network.” – Jordan
Q3. What do you hope to gain from your participation in the program?
“I want to extend my skills and really be a leader amongst my peers, that doesn’t mean I have to be in a formal management position. I want to be known as someone who leads by example and shows others how to be a leader.” – Jacinta
“My first impressions would be to liken us all to a bag of mixed lollies, we all come from different backgrounds and life/work experiences we will no doubt be pushed out of our comfort zone. I’m really looking forward getting to know everyone and to be oushed out of my comfort zone.” – Leon
“I’m really looking forward to finding out about the lives and experiences of the rest of my cohort, what things they have noticed about the community we live in and what is important to them.” – Jordan
“I want to broaden my awareness of the community, to consider ways in which I can make a difference and to grow my connections across the region.” – Teramayi
In summary, these wonderful emerging leaders are looking forward to the year ahead. They are excited, a bit daunted, mind blown, are not sure what to expect but believe it will be life changing for all of them. Leon summed up the feeling of many when he stated “he overheard someone saying we are a bit like deer in the headlights, we are not sure what to expect but we are looking forward to it.”
We at VRCLP are looking forward to hearing how our leaders across the state are traveling during 2017 and congratulate each one of them for making the commitment to grow their leadership capacity.
May your journey be rich, powerful, inspiring and fulfilling not only this year but for many years to come.
L-R Jordan, Leon, Jacinta, Teramayi