Leadership conference inspires students

The UOW  Students 4 Students National Leadership conference was underway over the weekend, attracting aspiring leaders from across the country and high profile speakers.

The high profile leaders came from a range backgrounds, including charities, multi-national companies, successful University of Wollongong graduates and action groups. They included Viv Benjamin, CEO of the Oaktree FoundationMichael Laverty, managing director of the Australian short film festival Tropfest and Jon Dee, the co-founder of Planet Ark and part of a multitude of initiatives in Australia and around the world.

Isaac Astill, Bob Brown’s 2013 Young Environmentalist of the Year , was one of the speakers to focus on issues to do with renewable energy and climate change. He commented about the decline in Australian debate about these issues.

Students were given the opportunity to interact with leaders such as Andrew Macleod, a former aid worker and business leader and Nikki Lovell, founder of One Village through a Q and A panel.

Young leaders worked in groups to solve local issues
Young leaders worked in groups to solve local issues

The conference, held on the 28th and 29th of September, was coordinated by University of Wollongong UniCentre Centre for Student Engagement students and aimed to inspire tertiary students to explore leadership opportunities. The theme for this year’s conference was “Change: It only takes one”. Students participated in lectures, workshops, networking activities and ‘change challenges’, where students attempted to come up with solutions for local environmental issues.

Misha, a UOW student in her first year of a law degree, and Vice President of the UOW Rotaract Club, said she “think(s) it’s important for young leaders to get together and share their inspiration”.  “It really empowered me to find a purpose and convinced me that it’s worthwhile” the active young leader said of the conference.

The conference concluded with a gala dinner at Innovation Campus. A raffle and auction helped to raise money for the conference’s charity partner, the Oaktree Foundation. The conference is in its 7th year this year.


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