Rabobank Young Rural Leaders Summit 2009

Outward Bound delivered the first Rabobank Young Rural Leaders Summit in April 2009.This program was an initiative of the Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEFA), who launched the program based on the success of the Outward Bound National Aspiring Leaders Summit in April 2008. In 2008, fifteen young rural leaders were sponsored to participate in the Aspiring Leaders Summit. CEFA Chief Executive Jocellin Jansson wanted to create more opportunities for young rural leaders and opened up 36 scholarships in 2009.



In April 2009, thirty-six young Australians from rural and remote communities in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland travelled to Outward Bound's National Centre to participate in the program. The Summit opened with guest speakers Lucie Cutting and Dr Leslie Fitzpatrick. Lucie, 19 from Melbourne, participated in the Jane Goodall Young Global Leaders Summit in Israel in 2008. Lucie has since been pursuing a global conservation project. Dr. Leslie Fitzpatrick is the CEO of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Both speakers provided inspirational stories of their time living and working in rural Australia.

The seven day program that followed included classic Outward Bound adventure activities such as abseiling, expeditioning and solo. The participants were also presented with some unique social and creative challenges that allowed them to discover and develop their leadership potential. Some of the workshops throughout the week included visioning, creating a plan, goal setting and public speaking.

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Each of the delegates to the Summit was asked to create an action plan to conduct a project on their return to their communities. The projects the young rural leaders selected ranged from youth participation in sport to mental health. Here is what some of the young leaders said at the end of the week:

Anything is possible if you set your mind to it - Annie Low
It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. - Jock Spence
It was an excellent experience to help build important life skills. - Bec Squire
Before coming to Outward Bound I never saw myself as a "leader". After only a week here I now know differently. I am a lot more capable than I ever imagined... - Shannon Bradley

Amy Corcoran, Outward Bound Course Coordinator said that "all staff involved in this course felt privileged to be working with a group of young people who are so mature, motivated, respectful, down-to-earth, and willing to look outside of themselves  to impact positively on the world".

Outward Bound has been working with the Country Education Foundation for many years, and is proud of this new development in the partnership. The Country Education Foundation is committed to providing young people from rural and regional Australia to discover, develop and achieve their potential.This program was sponsored by Rabobank and the Thyne Reid Charitable Trust.