MADALAH’s Annual Youth Leadership Summit took place last month which aims to connect young aspirant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so they can continue to grow into leaders for the next generation.
This year, the event was kindly sponsored by MHP Lawyers and Strandline Resources Limited which allowed us to take 27 students to Gunnado Farm. Our youth leaders participated in a 4-day camp focusing on capacity building, including problem-solving, networking, critical thinking, public speaking and working as a team which are all important aspects of a being a good leader.
Day 1 – MADALAH students and staff travelled from Perth to Gunnado Farm, southeast of Geraldton. On arrival, they unpacked, set up and settled in for the big days ahead! The camp began with students and staff enjoying a visit to Ellendale Pool, learning about the Bimarra (rainbow serpent) and paying our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which they stood. Students also engaged in a yarning circle with Elders Des Mongoo, Ralph and Eric Dalgety. After hearing the Elder’s individual stories and life journeys, the students took away a positive and powerful sense of strength and ownership. After a dinner of curried sausages, the day concluded with a quiz night and UNO championship before tucking in for the night, recharging for the next day’s adventures.
Day 2 – The students and staff travelled to Kadguwarra (Kalbarri) to meet Aunty Rachel Mallard, who is a proud Nhanda Woman, at Sally’s Tree. Aunty Rachel welcomed us to country and explained the importance of “throwing sand into the water” so we all lined up on the foreshore to do this together. Whilst at the foreshore we had lunch before a group of students went to the jetty to chuck a line in and another group created a space for yarning and a little relaxation. From Kadguwarra, we headed to the “Skywalk and Natures Window” to again meet with Aunty Rachel and learn the significance of the Murchison River and the creation and purpose of the Skywalk and Natures Window. Arriving back at Gunnado it was Friday Taco night!
Day 3 – Students spent the day participating in a range of activities including a music workshop, cooking and painting a canvas portraying the rainbow serpent and a kangaroo designed by the talented MADALAH alumnus Kam Barni. Our first-ever student councillors were announced; head boy, head girl, events/fundraising representatives and wrap-around support representatives. These roles were created to ensure our students have a voice for all our program planning moving forward; we are extremely proud of each and every one of them. The students were then split into two teams (Milyura and Guwiyarl) to compete in a “Minute to Win It” challenge for the annual MADALAH shield. It was a hard-fought contest that resulted in a 4 point difference, but the Milyura team came out on top, finally beating the Guwiyarl team after 2 long years.
Student Council Representatives: Head boy: Oshay Calgaret, Head Girl: Jorjah Walley, Student Support: Lavinia McKenna & Tyson Crawford amd Events/Fundraising: Monty Petterson & Brooklyn Cowdrey
To celebrate the final night of the Youth Leadership Summit, a gala dinner was held. We also awarded our Belle and Beau of the night, our Rising Star, Future Mentor and Community Development positions.
Belle: Aliyah Ninyette, Beau: Tj Walker, Future Mentor (Snr): Peter De Assis, Future Mentor (Jnr): Derell Corunna, Rising Star: Benjamin Stack, Future Community Impact (Male): Kane Simpson and Future Community Impact (Female): Tahnee Ransfield.
Day 4 – Students and staff packed up and gathered their belongings ready to head back to Perth. On their journey home, the students wrote letters describing each other’s leadership skills and the qualities they had shown on camp. What they wrote was truly heartfelt and we could see just how many special and lifelong friendships had been made.
The Youth Leadership cohort impresses us every year. They always strive to do their very best, stepping out of their comfort zone and being vulnerable.
They are our leaders of tomorrow and we could not be prouder of them all!
Thank you to MPH Lawyers and Strandline Resources for sponsoring the Youth Leadership Summit and making it a reality.
Thank you to Lumiere Media and Jesse Pickett for capturing these super special moments.