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Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

My fellow prefects and I recently embarked on a leadership growth and development journey at the Mitchell Youth Leadership Forum, hosted at the YMCA camp in Yarramundi. The focus was to learn about the three core values of courage, integrity and service.

Courage – to do the hard things
The initial night was about courage and what that meant to us. We had to perform an act of courage as soon as we arrived as we were split into different groups: this was our time to introduce ourselves and get to know our new teammates for the next few days.

That night we listened to a talk from Shane Fitzsimmons, the former commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service and current head of Resilience NSW. He told his story of true courage in dealing with the unprecedented and chaotic times of the 2020 wildfires.

Integrity – for the right reasons
On the second day of the camp, we listened to speaker Kylie Captain and took away a lot from her story of giving back. After the talk and breakfast, we participated in a survivor challenge and wacky Olympics: an assortment of different activities designed to allow us to build deeper connections and trust within our groups.

That night, we listened to the emotional life story of speaker Matt Caruana, who left many crying and all inspired by his story of overcoming adversity.

Service – for the benefit of others
The final day of the camp centred around the notion of service. In the morning, we listened to speaker Matt Kershaw and how he turned his mindset around, leading to all the participants having to stand up and perform a synchronised dance at one point! The goal during the day was to help and benefit others: we assisted at several disabled nursing homes, where we spread mulch and washed windows, fences and cars. Throughout, we had the opportunity to talk to the residents, getting to know their stories. By the end, we all left feeling great about the positive impact we had on many people’s day.

The forum closed with a final speaker, Barnaby Howarth, who shared his tale of grit and determination.

As the leadership forum closed, we said goodbye to our new friends and group leaders. These people and these experiences will forever stay in our memories.

– Tyson Pryke
School Captain, Galston High School

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