On Thursday 23 February fourteen of our student leaders attended the GRIP Student Leadership Conference in Melbourne. The students joined about 2000 other students at the Melbourne Convention centre for the conference. The theme of this year?s conference was RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility in leadership means accepting the duty to contribute to others and follow through on expectations. After the keynote session, The Compass of Leadership? the students split up to attend smaller sessions with a specific focus. The optional workshops attended by the students included: 

Option 1: Generating Ideas that are Outside the Box 

Student leaders seem to like the concept of being creative, but often default to only replicating the events and activities of previous leaders. This workshop taught leaders how to use a valuable tool for generating new and exciting ideas that meet the necessary balance of being both creative and realistic.

Option 2: Overcoming the Challenges of Leadership

The journey of every leader will involve challenges of some kind. This workshop explored challenges leaders face in the form of people, places and personal struggles. Students learned practical ways to show resilience so that challenges can be embraced and become a positive experience in a leadership journey.

Option 3: Turning an Idea into Action 

Often great ideas only ever remain as great ideas! This workshop taught leaders how to use a reliable process for bringing a great idea to life and following it through to the end.

Option 4: Seeking the Support of Your Peers

Passionate leaders can easily be disappointed when their peers do not share the same enthusiasm for their ideas. Leaders often find it challenging to gain the support of fellow leaders, only to discover that it?s even harder to gain the support of the whole student body. This workshop explored practical ways for leaders to understand the principles of constructing and communicating ideas to achieve maximum support.

The conference finished up with a big Q&A session with the GRIP Leadership Team. Students from different schools asked questions and the GRIP people gave advice about strategies that might help. The students were asked to reflect on something new they learned about leadership at the conference. Their reflections included the following:

  • It's not always about being right
  • Responsibility is an important leadership value
  • You don?t have to have a badge to be a leader.
  • Trust is key
  • To get the best results, you must plan
  • Different strategies
  • Everyone has the potential to be a leader

The sessions all had bits of fun activities in them, and the team have already decided to use some of them during the year. Everyone had at least one good idea from what they saw that will be used back at school to help the leadership team be as effective as they can.