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March 13: Education

Good leaders are everywhere in Ballarat

By Vikki Doddamani

In a jam-packed day three of Leadership Ballarat and Western Region's 2019 program last Wednesday, the 30 participants went to three different venues: Yuille Park College, Equine Learning Experiences Australia (ELEA) and the Sebastopol Bowling Club.

The focus of the day was young people, and how regional issues affect pathways to future engagement and employment. How trauma, domestic violence, financial restraints, unemployment and archaic educational systems can challenge the future of our city's youth. This linked beautifully to the previous day, when participants heard how opportunities could be created through Ballarat's rapid growth and changing infrastructure through reliable energy, maximising agricultural opportunities and strengthening illness prevention.

Selfless acts of kindness and commitment was a theme emanating from guest speakers who spoke about how they are making positive steps to support our youth and deliver successful innovative and creative opportunities for their future. Whether it be from a teacher, parent, professional, friend, therapy dog or even a therapy horse, early intervention to support individual needs is clearly at the centre of delivering positive outcomes. There are wonderful and committed people in our community making a positive impact, helping youth flourish; encourage opportunities, develop key skills, feel safe, prosper and link into the community to feel a sense of belonging.

There are lots of opportunities to be a part of something creative to change the world we live in and strengthen our city and our children's future. Ballarat is a city that is growing and developing. Let's support our youth to be part of it and help them to get ready for the changes, to create sustainability for their future and our wonderful city. Our hat goes off to those already making a difference to our youth.

The LBWR 2019 participants are excited to continue to learn and seek creative opportunities to strengthen our community. Good leaders are everywhere, so sing out and shine, be creative, challenge yourself to be active in your community and inspire others to follow.

Acknowledgments and thank you goes to the dedicated and diligent children who catered the event, parents who took time out of their day to share their excellent leadership journey within the community, and the staff of Yuille Park College, Berry Street School, ELEA, and Ballarat High School for sharing their innovative ways to support our youth.