Young leaders from Hawkesbury and The Hills had a rare opportunity to meet one of Australia’s foremost business leaders, with Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti joining local students and Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet for the first 2016 Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme mentoring dinner on Wednesday.
Inspiring tales, leadership insights and award-winning pies from event host Glenorie Bakery were on the menu, as Mr Borghetti spoke to students about his journey from Italian child migrant to becoming the head of one of Australia’s largest airlines.
Mr Perrottet, who coordinates the Programme, said it was fantastic to have role models like Mr Borghetti taking the time to mentor student leaders at such close quarters.
“Successful leaders in our community can do so much to inspire our young people, and I know that meeting John and hearing his story is something that will make a lasting impressing on the students who were there on Wednesday,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Leadership takes hard work, perseverance, and a spirit of service, and it is invaluable to have someone of John’s calibre sharing his personal story to make a difference in our young people’s lives.”
Programme participants Matilda Harry and Mia Ecob from Colo High School attended the event.
Ms Harry said, “Mr Borghetti enabled me to envision leadership at its best and motivated me to dream and achieve. As a 17 year old, the future holds great challenges, however there is no elevator to success – I will need to take the stairs!”
Ms Ecob said, “I was fortunate enough to be seated next to the Virgin Airlines CEO. He was very generous in giving up his valuable time to inspire us with his leadership and courage, explaining how he achieved his goals by never giving up. It was an evening that will stay with me for many years to come.”
Mr Perrottet committed to running the Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme in March 2015, following the success of s similar program he coordinated in The Hills in 2014.
The Programme provides opportunities for high-school students to develop strong leadership skills through a series of mentoring events with Australian leaders, culminating in a week-long service project as an alternative to ‘Schoolies Week’.
The next mentoring event in the Programme will feature the second longest-serving Governor of New South Wales, The Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.