By Ruby and Georgia B
On Monday the 12th of March, 15 girls from Year 6 were fortunate enough to have the opportunity of going to the National Young Leaders Day conference along with 4 000 other students from around NSW.. We had an exceptional time learning about what it means to be a leader from some very inspirational speakers; John Coutis, Lauren Cheatle, Harrison Craig and Matt Cosgrove.
John Coutis was born with deformed legs and a backbone that stopped at his ribs. No one thought he would survive but he did. Now, John is inspiring people all around the world by sharing his story. His main message was to never turn your back on a challenge; don’t walk around it, or step over it, instead hit it straight on. Know the things you can control and change, and the things that are outside of your control. We are the leaders of our own life so it is up to us to make wise choices, to take responsibility, and to step outside our comfort zone.
Lauren Cheatle is an Australian cricketer. When she was younger, she would play cricket games with her brother and dad in the backyard. One day, her dad changed the rules on her. Lauren told her dad that this wasn’t fair, to which her dad simply replied “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” This was and still is Lauren’s main motivation when pursuing her dream in her cricket career. We will have to make hard decisions in life and there will always be setbacks but it’s how you deal with it that makes you a leader. She encouraged us to find the thing we enjoy and are passionate about because if we’re not, we are unlikely to put in the effort.
Harrison Craig was born with a stutter. He was teased by people but used music as a way to escape the bullying. He practised, never gave up and eventually won The Voice Australia in 2013. He realised that having a stutter didn’t matter anymore and that whatever hurdles or challenges you come across, you can overcome them and live your dream. As leaders we were encouraged to set goals to work towards our dream and that you need to have a plan in place on how to get there. Our theme of Say It, Do It, Be It was evident in his message.
Matt Cosgrove is an author and illustrator of the thrilling new book series Epic Fail Tales. As a child he feared public speaking but instead of letting this stop him achieve his dream, he put his hand up for every public speaking opportunity that was presented to him, with a hope to reduce his fear. He still is afraid of public speaking but has learned to accept and control those feelings. He wanted us to remember five key messages when being a leader; perception is everything, find your passion and then practise, people are important, be persistent, and imagination is powerful.
All these speakers have inspired us as leaders and demonstrated to us that most things are possible if we put our mind to it.