By Ashley Robinson:
On the 24th and 25th, I had the privilege of going to the ASLA S4S National Leadership Conference at the University of Wollongong. What an amazing experience it was!
For those that are not quite sure what the S4S conference is in basic terms, it is a leadership experience where you listen to keynote speaker, have smaller topical workshops, and interact with other students in team experiences.
For me, the weekend left me feeling so inspired. The keynote speakers challenged my typical thoughts on leadership. One speaker that stood out was Ben Pettingill who, despite losing 98% of his vision overnight at 16, has challenged social perceptions and became the first legally blind person to complete the Spartan challenge untethered. The workshops challenged my thoughts on advocacy, empowerment, the power of organisations and how important it is to be a kind person.
I cannot forget to mention the profound impact meeting people had on me. I met students from all over Australia. Each person was so unique but all of them were leaders and could make a change. They brought their own special qualities and used that to work towards their passions and goals. From them, it was reinforced that there is no one person that is cut out to be a leader. Everyone has the ability to lead, and everyone has the ability to grow. To be fair you don’t realise how much you have been impacted when you are hanging out at lunch in a ball pit or trying to push a car up a hill but at the end of the weekend when we all dressed up for the Gala evening, it was clear that I was changed for the better.
I would have to say a quick apology to anyone who has since been around me after my weekend away. I have tried to motivate and empower everyone around me which is not always welcomed before their morning coffee.