National Aspiring Leaders Summit '08

In April 2008, twenty-eight inspired young Australians came to Canberra to participate in the second annual National Aspiring Leaders Summit. These young people represented twenty-eight communities from five Australian states and two territories.

The Summit explored a range of topics including leadership, communication and making a difference in the world. The Summit opened with two inspiring speakers - Dan Adams of The Oaktree Foundation and organiser of the Make Poverty History Concert, and Alischa Ross of YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS). These speakers and other guests inspired and challenged the youth delegates to consider deeply issues that face young people both in Australia and around the world.

The youth delegates were given the opportunity to reflect on their own values and what is important to their communities. From there they created a vision and later an Action Plan to conduct a project that would make a difference to the community they were from. Some young people chose to pursue this independently, while others chose to join with others. 

The Summit also include some classic Outward Bound wilderness adventure experiences. An expedition and major Descent activity called the delegates to put into action the teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills they had developed. In addition to what they gained, this was an incredibly fun and memorable experience.

In reflecting on the Summit upon going home, Rachel Farley of Braidwood in New South Wales said:

"My experience at NALS08 was a life changing experience that I have cherished ever since! I have been able to implement my leadership skills into my school, community and workplace. I have learnt how to work as part of a team, encouraging others to find their leadership within".

Outward Bound staff involved in the program were inspired and impressed by the calibre of the young people who participated in this year's Summit. If this is the quality of leadership and committment to community possessed by the next generation, then Australia is in good hands.

The 2008 Delegates were:
Queensland - Emily Pugin, Jacob Settgast, Tim Blake
Northern Territory - Sarah Butler, Hamish Fejo
South Australia - Elke Cunningham, Jock Cameron, Rhys Parasiers, Daniel Wilson, Deanne Gibbs, Alison Green, Tasha Phillips, Trent Neindorf
Western Australia - Petch Folvig, Doug Bradford
Victoria - Lizzie Pereira, Casey Ward, Simon Menz, Rhys Cranney, Melissa Anania, Bridget Beaton 
New South Wales
- Courtney Barton, Jessica Muir, Zac Thomas, Amy Smith, Rachel Farley, Adam Corcoran, Prue Duncan
Australian Capital Territory - Louise Blessington