2015 Young Indigenous Leadership Summit

Outward Bound Australia invites you to follow the 2015 Young Indigenous Leadership Summit blog.

This blog will provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into the eight day adventure of the young aspiring leaders from Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). Be sure to tune in as they embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery in the beautiful Namadgi National Park.

The Young Indigenous Leadership Summit is a week-long leadership and personal development program that brings together young people who are involved with AIME from all across Australia.

AIME provides a dynamic educational program that gives Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers. AIME has proven to dramatically improve the chances of Indigenous kids finishing school. AIME also connects students with post Year 12 opportunities, including further education and employment.

The partnership between AIME and Outward Bound Australia is designed to inspire and equip young leaders with skills and values to help them to take the initiative and lead our society.

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 AIME to bring you the 2015 Young Indigenous Leadership Summit.

This program has been made possible thanks to generous support from Perpetual.

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

Arrival Day
Young participants arrived throughout the day on Friday from all over the country. Some travelling all day to be here at Outward Bound Australia for the Young Indigenous leadership Summit. This day was simply to get to know their instructors and each other. Everyone was reasonably early to bed for an early start and a traditional opening to the program.

Day 1

The morning was really cold but everyone was excited for the day to unfold. The program was officially opened during the Blue Peter Ceremony. In this ceremony a Blue Peter flag is raised to signify people taking the step out of their safe harbour into the unknown.

There was also a Welcome to Country from a member of the local custodians of the land. This important tradition gives a sense of reassurance that the participants are welcome and have permission to spend some time in another aboriginal country.

The day then sped along with an abundance of activities ranging from painting, to learning about different leadership styles and climbing up the Giant Ladder, which was the most challenging aspect of the day for most.

The day finished up with a nice meal in the dining hall where the groups came back together. After dinner they went through all the gear needed for their expedition and 3 full days of adventure out in the wilderness.

Day 2

Group 1

After brainstorming on several community service project ideas group 1 were taken to the top of a beautiful ridge where they learnt roping skills for their Descent Activity. A very challenging yet rewarding activity which takes elements of problem solving, brainstorming, skill, care and enthusiasm combined with teamwork and planning. Group 1 are to set up a series of complex systems to lower themselves and their packs off the ridge and then a hike down through the bush to the beautiful Orroral Valley.

Group 2

After doing a fun initiative on base that combined communication and teamwork the group was transported to the Orroral Valley where students were given the opportunity to look inside themselves and get to know their values. They hiked through the valley apart so they could reflect of the Values Journey on a deeper level.

The hike was a challenge for some as the packs were heavier than what they had experienced before however they enjoyed the experience being surrounded by kangaroos and walking through the scenic valley.

Day 3

Group 1

The group had a very early start and were ready to hike before the sun made an appearance which set them up well for an on time arrival at their activity site.

The group put in some hard work setting up the systems for their activity. They faced some unforeseen problems which set them back a little but they stuck together as a team through these hurdles and were ready to hike down into the valley in good time.

They hiked into the night and got to camp, everyone was very excited about having completed their full day challenge.

Group 2

A very cold start for the group in the morning with their water bottles frozen solid. Luckily they had the double sleeping bags throughout the night to keep them warm. Group 2 were transported to the top of the ridge to start preparation for their Challenge Descent the following day. After several shuttle runs up the hill the group jumped straight into rope skills. They broke up into different groups and learnt the necessary skills to set up systems for lowering themselves and their packs off the ridge.

They were a little tired from the night before and the early morning but they knuckled in and got things done before heading to camp. They arrived in the day light and got straight into planning for the following day.

Day 4

The two groups awoke to a frosty setting but it quickly melted into a beautiful sunny day in the Namadgi National Park.

Group 1

Started off by going on a values walk. The walk is a time for the participants to think of some personal values that they deem important. As a very powerful activity, the participants are promoted along the way to reflect on their current lives and determine whether they are being true to their core values. The values that each participant ponders on also help to assist with the ‘create a project’ session which follows.

The next activity for Group 1 was the ‘create a project’ session. The participants thought about their communities and what they could do to improve a specific aspect of it. They spent time discussing their ideas and deciding on a project to take back with them. Their ideas were impressive and the participants are excited to get started! They ended their adventure in the Namadgi National Park with a transport back to base.

They concluded their activities for the day with the ‘Chicken Run’. This is a fun activity which all participants thoroughly enjoyed. It is a group initiative to improve upon their communication skills.

Group 2

Spent the day completing the Descent Activity. This activity challenges the participants to work together using their communication skills and group knowledge. The activity consists of constructing a lowering system for their gear and an abseil for the participants. They successfully descended into the Orroral Valley with excellent teamwork and just a little help from the instructors. They concluded the day with a transport back to base and a hot dinner.

Both groups had successful days and learned lots, they are both looking forward to what day five will bring.

Day 5

Today kicked off with both groups together, working on their projects. The group went into more detail about their potential projects; everyone really thought hard as to what topics could coincide with their values and passions.

The participants listened to a public speaker named Cleveland McGhie. He is an AIME representative with an interesting past and a current player for the Canberra Raiders. He talked to the group about his life growing up and how he improved upon it by following through with his passions, and working hard. He concluded his presentation with a question and answers session and spent some time having conversations with participants.

Next, the group went to a public speaking workshop delivered by an Outward Bound Australia instructor. The workshop taught participants about how important body language, speech, audience etiquette and other aspects are for public speaking. The participants that were nervous to get up in front of a crowd and present became more relaxed as they practiced in front of small groups of their peers. They continued to think of ideas to add to their projects and considered the smaller details that are required to make them succeed. The workshop prepared the participants with the necessary skills and confidence for their presentations tomorrow.

After a break everyone completed workshops and activities on skills such as project management, being an influencer, goal setting, and contacting appropriate stakeholders for their projects. They finished this activity feeling even more prepared for their project presentations.

They finished the day with an activity called ‘The Box’. This is a teamwork based activity consisting of the groups solving a complex puzzle. Once they solved the puzzle, they had to disarm the box correctly to avoid it detonating! It’s a difficult activity but the outcome is rewarding and it teaches them new skills to help achieve an end goal even if they do not successfully disarm the box.

It was a busy day but the participants had a lot of fun and improved on many skills that will help them in future endeavours including tomorrows project presentations!

Day 6

Day 6, presentation day! Today was the day for the students to present their projects to their fellow peers as well as outside mentors who were there to provide useful advice and tips to help the students with their projects. The morning consisted of preparation and practise before the main event in the afternoon. The presentations of the projects concluded just after 4pm which left time for the students to have some well-deserved socialising and chill out time. Final debriefs were held in the separate groups just before dinner; both of these were very emotional and inspiring as the students were in the adjourning stage of their program. That night they had a celebration dinner and went to bed early in preparation for the early departures the following day.

Day 7

The day started extremely early with most of the students being on flights departing Canberra airport before 7am. Breakfast and final goodbyes were said, before being rushed into vehicles to make their flights. With the conclusion of the program we wish these AIME students all the best in following through with their projects and continuing the friendships that were formed here at Outward Bound Australia.

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