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Mark Donaldson VC, Premier Mike Baird to Headline Leadership Programme Launch...

11 Feb 2016

The inaugural Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme will be officially launched on Thursday 3rd March, 2016 at the Hawkesbury Race Club by Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson and the Premier of NSW Mike Baird MP.

The Programme aims to offer local Year 12 students an alternative to ‘Schoolies Week’, by undertaking a week-long service project and learning from the life experiences of outstanding Australian leaders.

Member for Hawkesbury and programme organiser Dominic Perrottet MP said the calibre of the guests was a testament to the importance of the initiative.

“Rather than the mindless excesses of Schoolies Week, we need to provide our young people with an inspiring and positive alternative that instils values of service, sacrifice and purpose,” he said.

“I believe the Hawkesbury is home to the next generation of world-class leaders and this programme offers our Year 12 students a once in a lifetime opportunity to be mentored by leading Australians and make a lasting contribution to the community.”

The 2016 Programme will consist of the Launch Dinner, three leadership functions and a service project at an Indigenous community, to be held during Schoolies Week.

The patron of the Programme is Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson who will also address students at the Launch Dinner alongside NSW Premier Mike Baird.  The event will be MC’d by leading commentator and journalist Jason Morrison.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev and Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti will be among keynote speakers at leadership functions to be conducted throughout the year in and around the Hawkesbury.

As part of the Programme, students from local high schools will be encouraged to fundraise towards the cost of the service trip, further strengthening ties to their community and fostering a strong feeling of achievement and accomplishment. Local businesses are also involved in sponsoring the Programme.

The commencement of the Programme fulfils an election commitment made by Mr Perrottet in March 2015. More information can be found at

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