She Leads College Conference – reflection by Deborah Simpson and Saraid Garton (Year 11 students)

An opportunity for leadership for Year 11 girls

On Friday 26th March, nine girls from Year 11 attended YWCA’s She Leads Conference at ANU. The day was a chance for us to learn about leadership through a female perspective and create skills to help us achieve our leadership goals. This year’s theme was ‘Wild’ and focused on harnessing personal adversity and using it to bloom into young leaders. We looked at how personal experiences transform and influence our leadership and how having resilience and other tools help us to be better leaders.

Throughout the day we heard from inspiring female leaders, participated in workshops, and had the opportunity to talk to other like-minded girls from schools across Canberra.

The speakers we heard from were Karina Judd, Bec McConnell, April Hélenè-Horton, Leah House, Jakida Smith, Jenessa O’Connell and Krishaa Tulsiani. The speakers gave us some really great advice:

  • You don’t have to do anything massive, just showing up and trying is enough.
  • It is a collective effort to reach our goals.
  • Its ok to not be ok.
  • Find your support people and reach out to them for help.
  • Believe in what you are doing and remember why you are doing it.
  • Don’t sacrifice your values and beliefs.

The topic of adversity was mentioned various times throughout the day and we learnt about the importance of making peace, understanding different perspectives and growing from the past.

The workshops were run by Ciára Duggan, the Youth Engagement Team and Lightbulb Improv. They taught us about subconscious bias and communication tools like deep listening and how to work under pressure while accepting uncertain situations. Creativity, resilience and communication were the key foundation skills that we learnt and drew upon.

The event was an empowering day for all the girls who attended! We would strongly recommend the event to any girl at SFX.

One of the most important lessons we took away from the She Leads conference is that everyone is a leader, but we all show leadership in different ways!

Article by Deborah Simpson and Saraid Garton (Year 11 students).

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