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Youth inspired at Surf Life Saving Australia annual leadership college

Youth inspired at Surf Life Saving Australia annual leadership college
February 15, 2020

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA)’s annual leadership college has seen 23 young life savers from across Australia and New Zealand successfully complete the course in Sydney on Friday, 7th February.

The intensive week-long course involved 21 young surf lifesavers from around Australia as well as two from New Zealand, aged between 20-30, who were nominated by their peers, clubs, branches and states to participate in the program.

The program involved a range of leadership activities and challenges with the group fortunate to have both internal speakers such as SLSA President Graham Ford and Chief Executive Adam Weir, as well as external facilitators and presenters including Assistant Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW, Rob McNeil; Head of Retail Banking at ING, Melanie Evans; and Mindfulness Practitioner, Sally Cumming from Engage Health.

Ford explained “The National Leadership College has been run for over 20 years and aims to provide our future leaders with the skills, support and knowledge to enable them to reach their leadership potential.

“SLSA has invested significant resources over time into preparing the program to ensure that it meets the needs of our members and the changing environment in which we operate, and the program was not only successful, but also memorable and inspiring for all involved”.

Topics discussed over the course of the week included: Creating a vision for the future, Personal Brand, Mindful Leadership, Extreme Leadership, Inclusive Leadership, Influencing and developing others, confident communication, conflict management.

SLSA Chair of Development, Nancy Joseph said the course had met its objectives, designed to challenge, inspire and motivate all participants noting “the week was all about personal development and personal growth. It was about the participants getting to know themselves and supporting and encouraging them to take everything they learn back to their clubs and/or real life and work situations.

2019 DHL National lifesaver of the year Mathew Harper (Maroubra) was a participant in last year’s National Leadership Course and returned this year as a speaker, talking with the group about “achievement”.

Harper added “one of my biggest takeaways from last year’s course was understanding my values, my own personal mission, and where I wanted to be in 12 months.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to share my personal experiences with the candidates. I was able to share the triumphs as well as the failures and disappointments that I have had and explain how I have been able to use these learnings.

“Hopefully it will help and inspire this year’s participants on their leadership journey.”

The 2020 National Leadership College (NLC) concluded with a special celebratory and recognition dinner on Friday evening with all participants leaving the course feeling inspired and enthusiastic about their learnings and leadership journey.

Victorian Tarryn Thom said the week-long course saw young like-minded surf lifesavers from around the country who want to do their best to better their clubs and the organisation as a whole adding “ultimately in Surf Life Saving, we’re all working towards the one aim of preventing drownings and providing safe communities and a good culture at our clubs.

“For me I think it was how everything connected over the course of the week. The first day was really about understanding ourselves and our own leadership styles and what values are really important to us and our why …  why are we involved in lifesaving and what we’re trying to achieve in our clubs.”

Toni Cranko from Sumner SLSC in Christchurch, New Zealand described the week as challenging, fun and very educational. Queenslander Alex Langenberg (Point Lookout SLSC) said the week had been an incredible experience and Jedd Goggin from Wauchope Bonny Hills LSC and Maroubra SLSC in New South Wales said he’s been looking forward to coming to the National leadership College for a long time and that the week had been a rollercoaster experience.

Goggin enthused “nothing makes me happier, than being able to give back and see a young nipper or a younger lifesaver either achieving or using my examples or something that I’ve taught them … and forging their own path ahead.”

Image courtesy of Surf Life Saving Australia.

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