The 2016 Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme has officially concluded for the year following the return of Hawkesbury MP Dominic Perrottet and young leaders from a service trip in the Northern Territory earlier this month. The 20 Year 12 participants were selected by their respective high schools in Hawkesbury and the Hills.
This year the Student Leadership Programme (SLP) culminated in a week-long service trip at Nyangatjatjara College’s campuses in Yulara near Uluru-Ayers Rock and Docker River, near the Northern Territory’s border with Western Australia.
Dominic Perrottet and the student leaders cleaned, painted and otherwise refurbished the two school campuses in challenging 40 degree heat. The participants also spent time in the classroom reading with local students and learning about their culture and way of life.
Mr Perrottet said he was proud of what the student leaders were able to achieve as well as the spirit of service they displayed throughout the trip.
“We got straight into the job of cleaning and painting when we arrived in the Northern Territory, and I was truly inspired to see everyone get into gear and their continued dedication and enthusiasm over the course of the week in spite of the 40 degree heat. It was challenging but the group got the job done and did it well,” he said.
Anna Coote, a recent graduate from The Hills Grammar School, said the NT service trip that took place during the NSW Schoolies Week was a great alternative for high school leavers.
“Year 12 often forces us as students to become very self-centred, and I loved the opportunity to use my Schoolies week to give back, broaden my horizons and serve others rather than myself,” Ms Coote said.
Windsor High School graduate Brent Silvers described his time in the Northern Territory as “a real eye opener” which has helped develop his own leadership skills to better serve others in his own community here in Sydney.
“The experience and knowledge I have gained in this service project has already helped me be a great Cub Scout leader as well as a better shift manager at work,” Mr Silvers said.
Over the course of the academic year, Student Leadership Programme participants attend a series of mentoring dinners hosted by leading Australians. This year Corporal Mark Donaldson VC, Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, former NSW Governor General Professor Dame Marie Bashir and Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev mentored participants in the lead up to the service project in the Northern Territory.
The 2017 Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme will be launched early next year.