Empowering Our Year 8 Leaders: Fearless Future Leadership Conference

In a world where young females are often met with challenges and barriers on their path to leadership, the Year 8 Fearless Future Leadership Conference gave our Year 8 leaders a day full of empowerment and support. Designed with the aim of fostering growth, connection, and fearlessness among its attendees, this conference serves as a pivotal moment for young leaders to embark on their journey towards a brighter future.

The conference, held at Iona Presentation College, offered our students a safe space to connect, learn, and grow. The conference sets the stage for them to fearlessly pursue their goals and aspirations. Whether it’s through insightful workshops, engaging activities, or inspiring keynote presentations, the conference aims to provide participants with the tools and mindset needed to navigate the challenges of leadership with confidence and resilience.

Empowering Young Women

The conference empowers young women to embrace their unique strengths and qualities as leaders. Through workshops and discussions centred around topics such as wellbeing, confidence-building, and resilience, participants are encouraged to recognise the value they bring to the table and to harness their potential to effect positive change in their communities and beyond.

The keynote speakers shared their personal stories and expertise to uplift and guide our young leaders on their journey towards success, and both speakers certainly resonated with our Year 8 leaders. Upon debriefing the day, the Year 8s said that they gained so much from both speakers and that their key messages are something that they will carry with them on their leadership journey. 

The conference facilitator delved into the crucial topic of wellbeing in leadership. Drawing from her own experiences and upbringing, she shed light on the importance of managing expectations and prioritising self-care in the pursuit of leadership goals. By likening wellbeing to a bank account that requires daily investment, she imparted invaluable tips and insights to help our girls cultivate resilience and balance in their lives.

Following this, the second speaker, Davinia Lefroy, brought a unique perspective. She drew from her journey as a former Para-Olympian and having been diagnosed with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy at the age of 11. Through her story of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity, she emphasised the power of embracing one’s differences and using them as a catalyst for success. By encouraging our girls to find strength in their uniqueness and to leverage it as a competitive advantage, she instilled a sense of confidence and self-assurance in their abilities as leaders.

Together, these inspiring speakers served as examples of inspiration and guidance for young leaders at the conference. Through their personal stories and expertise, they not only empowered our leaders to embrace their potential but also equipped them with the tools and mindset needed to navigate the complexities of leadership with courage and conviction.

Core Pillars

One of the core pillars of the conference is resilience – the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges stronger than before. Through workshops and discussions, our leaders were encouraged to embrace failure as a learning opportunity and to develop a growth mindset that empowers them to persevere in the face of adversity.

The conference also placed a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, recognising the importance of collective effort in achieving shared goals. Through group activities and team-building exercises, our girls learned to leverage their strengths and work effectively with others to overcome obstacles and drive meaningful change.

Innovative thinking is also nurtured and celebrated at the conference, as all attendees were encouraged to think outside the box and explore creative solutions to complex problems. Whether through design thinking workshops or brainstorming sessions, participants were given the space to unleash their creativity and harness it as a driving force for innovation and progress.

Highlights

One of the highlights of the conference was the chance to connect with students from other cohorts and schools such as Perth College, St Mary’s, St Hilda’s, PLC, Iona, and PLC. Through icebreaker activities and group discussions, our girls had the opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas, and gain fresh perspectives on leadership and empowerment. The Year 8 leaders said it was great to meet other girls from different schools and hear what they are doing in their communities in terms of leadership whilst also hearing different stories and approaches to leadership. 

 As Year 8 students, the Fearless Future Leadership Conference was an unforgettable experience filled with moments of growth and inspiration. One of the highlights was the Lego competition, where students were divided into groups and tasked with building a tower capable of withstanding an earthquake. This activity wasn’t just about stacking bricks; it taught valuable lessons in teamwork, problem-solving, and resilience. Students had to collaborate closely, experiment with different designs, and learn from their mistakes as they aimed to construct the tallest and sturdiest tower possible.

Another standout moment was the snowball activity, where students explored the contrast between how they perceive themselves and how others see them. Through this exercise, they gained insights into self-awareness and authenticity, realising that their own perspectives may not always align with those of others. This reflection laid the foundation for personal growth and development as they learned to embrace their unique identities and perspectives.

Applying Their New Knowledge

After attending the Fearless Future Leadership Conference, we asked the students how they plan to apply their newfound knowledge and skills within our school community.

“As Year 8 leaders, we are excited to apply our newfound knowledge and skills within our school community. Firstly, we anticipate using the confidence and resilience we gained to take on leadership roles in various aspects of school life. Whether it’s organising events, leading group projects, or representing our peers, we feel better equipped to step up and make a difference. We look forward to applying the teamwork and problem-solving skills we honed during conference activities to collaborate effectively with our classmates. We understand the importance of working together towards common goals and are eager to implement this collaborative approach in our everyday interactions and academic endeavours. This year, we are working closely with Miss Beekink to create opportunities for our year group to come together for various activities during PCT time and this conference has allowed us the opportunity to work together collaboratively which will help us in these projects going forward.

“As Year 8 leaders, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment within our school community where everyone feels respected and empowered to succeed. We are excited about the prospect of applying our new knowledge and skills from the conference to positively impact our school community. We are ready to lead by example and inspire our peers to strive for excellence in everything they do.”

Overall, the Fearless Future Leadership Conference provided us with invaluable lessons and perspectives that will guide us as we continue our leadership journey.

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