ACT – National Aspiring Leaders Summit

Welcome parents, teachers and participants to the 2014 National Aspiring Leaders Summit blog.

31 students have been selected to attend this years National Aspiring Leaders Summit at Outward Bound, as part of The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program, Trust Companies Engaged Philanthropy Strategy, and Aurizon’s Community Giving program.

The Summit is one of Australia’s premier youth leadership events and sees aspiring leaders from across the country come together to participate in a seven-day program at Outward Bound’s National Base in Tharwa, ACT. Participants will undertake theory-based workshops and then implement their learnings through practical, experiential activities that will provide them with the necessary skills, resilience, confidence and self-awareness to return home with a Community Action Plan to make a difference in their local community.

The National Aspiring Leaders Summit is offered as a part of the Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program which supports disadvantaged children and young people throughout their education. The Learning for Life Program aims to give young Australians the opportunity to develop important life skills, to stay interested in their education and to help them realise their potential.

This blog will provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into this unique leadership program You can expect regular reports and photos every few days, so don’t forget to bookmark this site so you can check in regularly to read about the student’s experiences and adventures while on Outward Bound.

Outward Bound Australia would like to all our sponsoring organisations and community partners for making this program possible.

Day 1

The Teams spent the day on our High Ropes Course expanding their comfort zones before doing activities exploring Leadership concepts and their Values.

Day 2

The groups were split into two teams with Group 1 heading up to the Orroral Ridge to begin their Decent Preparation so as to have all the information, knowledge and resources to run the next days Decent activity. The Decent is an activity that entails a group setting up lines and pulleys to overcome an obstacle; namely a large cliff edge whereby the group must ‘descend’ via abseil. However, to spice up the challenge their packs need to come with them as well! Therein lies the challenge, and supervised by Outward Bound Australia staff, the group need to pool all their collective resources to work out the best strategy. A lengthy activity, but always a highlight.

They then explored the Granite Tors called Lego Land on the Orroral Ridge before spending time exploring potential community based projects they could instigate on thire return home.

Group 2 Did the Chicken Run activity in the morning where they had to make a model airplane in 3 groups and 3 different sections without verbally communicating with each separate group. They were then transported to the Orroral Valley where participated in the Values Journey where they are asked to explore their personal values and then identify the Values Gap where at times they do not live by their values and the reasons behind this. The afternoon was spent exploring the concept of goal setting and how it can help them in everyday life.

Day 3

Group 1 did the Decent Activity which went very well getting into camp around 5pm. The team were able to complete the activity with little help from the instructors and made the difficult walk down from the ridge into the valley safely and in good spirits.

Group 2: Began the morning exploring Lego Land before spending time exploring their project ideas. The afternoon was spent preparing for the Decent activity the next day.

Day 4

Group 1 woke to a chilly but glorious morning in the Orroral Valley before commencing the Values Journey and a Goal Setting session. The group were transported back to base in the late afternoon.

Group 2 participated in the Decent activity which went well. The group managed to complete the activity and get back to the pick up point before dark and made it back to base in good spirits.

The groups came together again in the evening and were introduced to mentors Hannah Wheeler and Kathryn Hazell who participated in the National Aspiring Leaders Program last year and had come to provide support and guidance for the rest of the program.

Our guest speaker Jarrod Wheatley gave a presentation on the social venture he instigated that works with Street Artists. Jarrod saw an issue in his community with Graffiti Artists not having legal space to paint and young people getting into trouble and has built a venture over the past 7 years that provides avenues for artists to be paid for the art, has set up a curriculum to teach street art and acts as a consultant for government bodies to combat illegal street art positively.

Day 5

Commenced with the Public Speaking workshop. The workshop ramped through different stages to help give participants the confidence and skills to present their project to the team and mentors the next day. Everything from tone, hand gestures, body language etc. The afternoon was spent finalising projects and enhancing the skills needed to complete their projects. Getting others on board, project management, goals setting.

Participants then jumped into an activity called ‘Pointalism in the late afternoon as the light faded with all having a great time. Teams are asked to reproduce a post card image onto a canvass using only dots from body parts e.g. fingers, toes, noses etc. The evening finished with the box activity where participants were asked to complete a complex puzzle as a group.

Day 6

The morning was spent completing their project presentations. They split up into small groups where they practiced their presentations and gave each other feedback.Participants presented their projects to the team and representatives from Outward Bound and The Smith Family after lunch with some inspiring stories and projects put on the table.The groups began the process of bringing the course to a close with the lowering of the Blue Peter Flag and a final debrief of the course.

Day 7

Participants left base throughout the day.

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