Transform to LEAD: A journey towards lifting others



[Two student leaders were selected to delegate at Queensland University of Technology- transform leadership program under the LEAD program of Western Sydney University.]

Representing Western Sydney University at the two-day Transform Leadership Conference held at the Queensland University of Technology on 19-20th April 2017, was an impressive experience. The Student Leadership Coordinator; Jimi Bursaw kicked off the Conference with a powerful word: ‘Aaniin’, which means ‘I see light in you.’ This set the scene for our journey of self-discovery that took place over the two days, through personal reflection we could envisage our own paths to becoming a leader.

The key-note speaker on day 1; Kurek Ashley, a life coach and trainer, inspired students by sharing the failures and successes of his life journey, and the impact that external influences have had on shaping who he is today. Kurek explained fortune comes from the follow through, it is about participation, meaningful thoughts and action that brings desired outcomes, and that the only way to fail is failure to participate.

What platform would help us to mark the world? was the second day’s main question. The liveliest and engaging session occurred when Halt Australia co-founder Jeremey Forbes who powerfully captured the spotlight with his charming personality and strong sense of humor. Kurek took us through his journey of becoming a leader and shared how his community helped him to take the initiative to halt the suicidal attempts of tradies around Australia. Jeremy’s brilliant story also inspired us to think about mental health and how could we contribute as a leader on a global scale.

Several workshops were held over the two days that were focused on discovering various paths of becoming leader. How do create values through our own stories and strengths, and how can we overcome ambiguity in taking the first step into change. Spicing up personal development, or lead through conversations or how we decide when to take lead and why do lead certain ways were also conducted on final day of conference.

It was indeed a memorable experience to participate in QUT- transform conference, particularly as we had just recently participated in our own Leadership conference at the WSU Kingswood campus. The aims of the two leadership programs were almost identical in the sense that both were designed to create future leaders. The Western Sydney University’s Lead program was more career centric and practical, whereas the Queensland University of Technology one was more about discovering self-awareness. The Lead program workshops were intense, well designed and professional. Whereas the QUT program was more informal as it was conducted by its students, which provided them with an opportunity to be empowered. We feel that whilst this is not competitive, it could rather be complementary to enrich both programs.

We would like to express our gratitude to the QUT conference organizers for their support and hospitality during our stay in Brisbane, particularly, both university’s program officials’ Siobhan and Corinne for taking the initiative to share the knowledge and ideas between the two universities. We think that such experiences can help students to find likeminded students and enrich their experience to become great leader. From our perspective, it was a great journey of personal development which will ultimately help us in the real and professional world. This kind of leadership program, may not change people overnight, but it has a deep impact on self-awareness and discovering our individual potential. This is a powerful way to encourage us to rise through helping each other find the astonishing light of our own being.


by Reza Alam & Caroline Profilio

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