Stonnington Youth Services & YLab Youth Leadership Summit

On Tuesday, I was one of ten Year 7 students who participated in the Stonnington Youth Services & YLab Youth Leadership Summit held at Prahran Town Hall. King David was not the only school to attend; representatives from other schools, such as Prahran High School and Christian Brothers College were also there. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my friends from Ripponlea Primary School who participated in the event as well. The focus of this day-long workshop was to build on the capacity of young people to thrive as leaders, as well as developing ways to become the great front runners of tomorrow.

Once we arrived, the Mayor of Stonnington, Steve Stefanopoulos, gave a brief welcoming speech and introduced us to Rosie Thomas, the CEO of Project Rockit, Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice. Rosie talked to us about why she and her sister started Project Rockit, and took us through why it was very important to always stand up to bullying. Her words were very empowering and the significance of her message was paramount to the topic of the whole event.

After morning tea, we were introduced to the Ylab representatives who ran the rest of the workshops on models of leadership. We first had to introduce ourselves to other participants and then we were put into groups. Each group had a piece of butcher’s paper to brainstorm on. The first topic was ‘What makes a good leader’. We all wrote basic examples like ‘honest’ and ‘caring’. We then had to turn over the page and write what makes a bad leader. Unfortunately, the markers we used bled through the page, so we could not write on the other side. I had an idea to use different coloured marker and turn all the words into their antonyms by adding prefixes such as ‘dis’ or ‘un’. So, our original ‘honest’ and ‘caring’ became ‘dishonest’ and ‘uncaring’. We also discussed different scenarios, such as a ‘bully in the playground’ and ‘a coach’s speech to his team who lost 3-0’. It was very interesting to hear other people’s opinions and relate to their ideas.

After lunch, we were introduced to four entrepreneurs including Yuma, a twelve-year-old game designer, who has met the CEO of Apple, and Morgan Hipworth, who created his own doughnut business ‘Bistro Morgan’. They shared the stories of their own individual and unique pathways to leadership and success with us. A Q/A session followed, where my peers and I learnt more about the resilience and determination required to become successful. We had the privilege of tasting delicious doughnuts made by Morgan himself, which were divine.

The day was full of exciting ideas, and the messages conveyed during the event were inspiring and creative. As we learnt to focus on leadership skills through participating in the workshops, our interests in becoming the leaders and the young entrepreneurs of the future were saluted and fostered. The stories shared by the young entrepreneurs inspired me to do better in my own endeavours and never give up!

Dylan Umansky (Year 7)

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