2015 Third Link Young Aspiring Leaders’ Summit

Welcome parents, teachers, participants and community members to the 2015 Third Link Young Aspiring Leaders’ Summit blog!

Outward Bound Australia is proud to provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into the eight day adventure of the young aspiring leaders from NIYLA and Beacon. Be sure to tune in as they embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery in the beautiful Namadgi National Park.

The National Aspiring Leadership Summit is a week-long leadership and personal development program that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people from two of The Third Link’s charitable partners, NIYLA and Beacon. Together we aim to create significant social impact by helping young people thrive, not just survive.

Over the eight day program the participants are involved in a wide variety of activities including group initiative tasks, a team ropes course, a problem-solving abseil activity, a values journey, and skills based sessions on leadership, communication, basic project management, goal setting and more.

Participants are called to action during the Summit. They will plan a community project of their choosing to be implemented upon return to their community. Throughout the program they will be provided with education and support to help them with this planning. Most importantly, they will present their program to a panel of guests and receive feedback and encouragement about their project

Outward Bound Australia is proud to partner with Third Link Australia to bring you the National Aspiring Leaders’ Summit.

This program has been made possible thanks to generous support from Third Link Investment Managers.

Keep checking in with this page to receive all the updates about the young peoples’ personal journey of self-development and transformation.

Arrival Day

Participants hit the road early this morning and have been gradually arriving throughout the day at our National Base for the 2015 Third Link Young Aspiring Leaders’ Summit. We have participants coming from every state in Australia. We hope that they will learn a lot as the week unfolds – we are really proud to provide the vehicle for this journey of self-discovery!

The day has been spent meeting our instructors, being given a tour of our National base and meeting their team mates who they will be spending the next week with. At the moment they are all strangers, from different parts of the country, but by the end of next week they will finish up as Aspiring Leaders joint in leadership and shared experience.

Tomorrow will be the official opening of the program with a Welcome to Country ceremony from Aunty Agnes Shea, a local elder of the Ngunnawal Aboriginal people.

Keep in touch with all the participants’ activities through this blog and post your comments below. We would love to hear from you.

Day 1

All participants were woken with the sun for an early breakfast, as today would be their first full day at Outward Bound Australia on the 2015 National Aspiring Leaders’ Summit. The participants were formally welcomed to Outward Bound Australia with a traditional Blue Peter Ceremony. At the ceremony, the blue peter flag is raised by the participants and staff and remains this way until the end of the course. An official Welcome to Country Ceremony was completed after this, by Aunty Agnes Shea, a local elder of the Ngunnawal Aboriginal people. Everyone enjoyed the welcoming morning and felt ready to journey Outward Bound.

The groups were then divided up so they could tackle different activities for the day. All groups completed the Giant Ladder – a team building, challenging ropes activity. They found this one of the most challenging activities of the day! They spent a lot of time throughout the day learning the many different styles of leadership, as well as discovering which archetype of leadership they were most similar to. They spent the afternoon painting masses of colour as a group; a reflective activity which will be revisited once again towards the end of the program.

The participants have been equipped with some great leadership tools already and are exited for what tomorrow will bring.

Day 2

Today was an adventure of many kinds.

“The group took part in many informative, inspirational and eye opening activities. All members of our group were left shocked after learning just how important the morals and values of everyday life can be, and how we can forget who we are and what we stand for very easily given certain circumstances. Overall it has made us stronger.” – Participant, Group 2.

The activity mentioned above is a reflective solo walk called the values journey. It is on this journey that participants visit a collection of stations where they are prompted with questions and thoughts about their own personal values.

Overall, the biggest challenge of the day was; “trying to reinforce our current morals and values to make them more prominent in our everyday lives and throughout our leadership. Also, by making them harder to break and surpass.” – Participant, Group 2.

Group one took on a range of very different activities. They learnt a variety of different knots, and other roping skills which would help them for the next day ahead, where their task would be to reach the bottom of the Orroral Valley. Participants also did some exploration of a large granite rock site colloquially known as ‘Lego Land’. Lego Land is filled with huge boulders, creating interesting crawl through tunnels and cave like experiences. The night ended with a spectacular golden sunset throughout the Namadgi National Park, a time for all to settle into camp.

Day 3

Today was going to be a big day for Group 1. Group 1 replaced their comfortable beds back on National base for a bivvy and ground sheet, awakening to a frosty but beautiful campsite. All participants were up before dawn preparing for the activity that would take up most of the day. Their goal for the day was to make it to the bottom of the Orroral Valley, where their next campsite would be. To do this they would be setting up a series of roping systems that would enable them to get their backpacks and selves over a large rock face. From this point they would then be able to walk down the steep hill to the bottom of the valley. The skills learnt yesterday would aid in the success of today’s activity.

Everyone worked really hard but unfortunately the group didn’t reach all of the goals they had set. The group eventually reached the bottom of the valley for a delicious camp cooked meal. A very positive debrief was had, providing a chance to reflect on the day and discuss where they could have improved. Group 1 was really looking forward to their beds by the end of the day, and after all the camp was set up and nightly routines, participants snuggled up in their sleeping bags.

For group 2, their morning began in very cold conditions; their tents covered in frost. A quick morning pack up was needed to arrive at their first activity for the day. The activity would prepare the group for tomorrow’s challenge, an 11 meter abseil and a variety of other ventures. Following this educational session, the group hiked to Lego Land. Here they explored, crawled, and took in the incredible view over the mountain range. Whilst at Lego Land they pondered about project ideas that they would take back to their community when they depart Outward Bound Australia. The rest of the day was spent hiking to the next campsite for the night, their last night in the magnificent Namadgi National Park.

Day 4

After a huge day yesterday for group 1, walking down into the valley and to their camp, today was less about team based challenges and more focused on themselves. The morning began with a briefing from the instructor about values before setting off on a solo quest across the Orroral Valley. During this journey the participants completed various activities; all of which helped them consider the values they hold in their life. A goal setting session followed, as the participants learnt about how goal setting will be effective not only for their projects but in their personal lives. Everyone was really excited to be back at base, although having really enjoyed the lessons the Namadgi National Park provided them. Once back at base they were tasked with a plane building activity. Simple at first, however confined to separate areas with different materials and not being able to communicate meant that each group had to build individual parts of the plane in hope it would all come together at the end. All participants were very grateful for a warm shower and a bed to come back to. Everyone is feeling really pumped for the last final days!

Group 2 had to tackle the challenge of getting down to the Orroral Valley, where a vehicle would be waiting for them to travel back to base. The morning was really cold and began with a quick camp pack up and a hike to the activity site. Putting all the skills they had learnt in place, everyone abseiled the 11 meter cliff and worked as hard as they could to complete the challenge.

The evening was a bigger challenge than they expected. In the dark of the night the participants and instructors hiked all the way from the bottom of the valley to their pick up point, where an Outward Bound Australia vehicle was waiting for them. The last half of their walk was done in the rain, but each step meant they were closer to completing the challenge! Finally they reached the vehicle and were so proud of what they had accomplished. As they entered the kitchen, where group 1 was waiting for them with a delicious cooked meal, they were welcomed with a huge round of applause! What a way to finish off the day and bring all the participants back together.

Day 5

Both groups united as one today to continue the program as a collective ‘NALS’ team! To begin the day a public speaking workshop was delivered by an Outward Bound Australia Instructor. The participants really enjoyed meeting someone new. At first, they were daunted by the thought of public speaking, but then gradually relaxed as the workshop explored body language, speech, audience etiquette and many more aspects. The aim of the workshop was to equip the participants with the necessary skills to deliver a confident presentation tomorrow.

Following the workshop, the participants were visited by a guest speaker – Chris Simpson. Chris’s inspiring story of how he has utilised cycling as a vehicle to address both personal health issues and Indigenous issues in Australia was one of determination, leadership, willpower and passion. Chris spoke in great detail of his own project – Everesting for Recognition. We hope that his presentation will inspire our emerging leaders to create their own projects to take back to their local communities and influence the way in which they deliver their presentations tomorrow.

To find out more about Chris visit: http://www.bikechaser.com.au/chris-simpson-everesting-for-…/

After lunch the participants explored a variety of workshops and activities, covering topics such as project management, being an influencer, setting goals and how/who to contact as potential stakeholders for their projects. By the end of the skills sessions, everyone was full of information that would help in many ways for their project planning, execution and maintenance. To break up the presentations, the activity – Pointillism, was conducted by some strange French artists (instructors!). In two groups, participants were tasked with recreating a paper image, onto canvas with paint. However they were to only use a particular form of painting – Pointillism, which involves dots and only dots. Dots, Dots, Dots! With laughter and painted toes, elbows, noses and fingers the participants had a blast painting their canvas pictures.

The last activity to finish the day was called – The Box. In this complex teamwork based activity the groups were tasked with solving a puzzle. Once the puzzle was solved, they would then need to disarm the box without making any mistakes in the sequence. One wrong move would lead to detonating the box! It was a very tough activity, however at the end, all participants learnt new skills to help them in their project endeavours; People, Product, Process.

A massive day of experiential learning here at the Outward Bound Australia National Base, everyone is really looking forward to the presentations tomorrow. Stay tuned for more!

Day 6

It’s the last full day at Outward Bound Australia for the 2015 Third Link Young Aspiring Leaders’ Summit! Today is the day that the participants have been working towards, today they would present their speeches about their projects to a panel. Before the presentations went underway, the morning was dedicated to project planning and presentation preparation. The participants practiced their speeches by themselves and also in front of Outward Bound Australia staff, who could offer advice and suggestions. The nerves and excitement heightened as the time came to begin the presentations. The participants were allocated 3 minutes to present to a small panel consisting of a members of staff from Outward Bound Australia, NIYLA and BEACON. The participants also presented their speeches to their teammates and a whole lot of Outward Bound Australia staff.

With a full audience, each participant delivered their ideas. Some incredible, original and inspiring stories and projects were shared throughout the presentations. It was wonderful to see the talent and passion in all participants.

A celebration dinner was had after all the formalities were over. Great conversations and laughs were shared over a BBQ. For the final time for the program, the participants split into their two groups to complete their final debrief. During this debrief, each group revisited the paintings they created on their first full day at Outward Bound Australia. Each participant chose a certain piece of the painting that represented their time on the program and was given a frame to put it in. This personalised artwork will serve as a memento of their time at Outward Bound.

It has been evident that the participants have learnt a lot about themselves and each other over the past week. We hope that the 2015 Third Link Young Aspiring Leaders’ Summit has equipped these young people with the necessary tools to re-enter their communities with confidence to deliver their projects, and motivation to strive for success in their future endeavours.

We wish everyone on the program all the best and look forward to hearing about the progress of each project in their communities.

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