The One Small Thing conference is coming up on the 17th + 18th September – if you’re involved in the program, there’s really no excuse for not knowing that… 🙂 – and one of last year’s delegates, Bella, very kindly sent us her thoughts on her experiences last year.
In 2014, I began my interest in the Leadership and Volunteering Program and being a part of the wider university community. Best decision so far! It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, undertake professional and personal development and have fun. I truly recommend having a look to anyone with an inkling of curiosity or enthusiasm for leadership, volunteering, socialising and learning.
As you can imagine, when I first heard about the first ever Leadership and Volunteer Program Federation University Leadership conference I jumped at the opportunity to attend. I signed up and was excited to be a part of a university-wide event with students and staff from all years, schools and degrees. There were a range of aspects that made it an educational and enjoyable two days but here are four of the main parts of the 2014 Leadership Conference that make me want to attend this years conference.
The pre-conference networking began as a mysterious bus ride out to Warrenheip with all guests dressed up. It turned out to be a night out at Kryal Castle with all the students, organisers, contributors and guest speakers to meet each other, tour the medieval grounds of the castle, eat, drink and be merry. For me it was a great way to start the conference journey because it was a fun to informally meet everyone and learn about each other, so when we all turned up on the Friday (main conference day) it was like catching up with friends instead of the usual initial separation between strangers. It also made for a great conversation starter, whether it was seeing the farm animals, the terrible torture tour or the interesting ice breakers. I can’t wait to see what the pre-conference event will be this year.
I have heard many guest speakers in my time and there is always a threat that they won’t interest you or they won’t present with enthusiasm that makes you want to listen. The guest speakers selected for the 2014 Leadership Conference were no disappointment. They not only presented beautifully, they were inspirational and approachable and were a pleasure to listen to. My favourite was Olly Tripodi, former Youth Governor of Victoria and MTV’s Millennial Leader, truly inspirational. He has achieved so much at such a young age it was encouraging for all the students to see what is possible.
The professional and personal development workshops were a large portion of the conference and this allowed students to design a conference that they would enjoy and learn from the most. I picked a UN Youth run “The Diplomacy Challenge!” which was a debate based on the United Nation. I then learnt about “Navigating your Purpose” from facilitator and business coach John Sharkey, which was followed by “Living Your Last Legacy” by Federation Alumni Andrew Davies and Michael Davies who are very successful and motivated fundraisers for those in need. I liked catching up with everyone between breaks and hearing what they did. It was a wonderful way to customise our leadership conference experience.
Having student run workshops and planning was a good aspect to the conference. I found it encouraging that we have great leaders all around us and using them for the conference showed me the Leadership and Volunteer Program Office truly appreciate our students.
I can confidently say it was a wonderful experience and I am even more excited to be a part of the Federation University 2015 One Small Thing Conference in September and encourage everyone to get involved: http://bit.ly/OneSmallThing15
Bella Fry-McBean, 3rd Year Biomedical Science Student