Middle and Senior School News

The National Young Leaders Day is one of the largest and most significant youth leadership events in Australia. The Melbourne conference saw near 1,000 students attend from around Victoria. De La Salle took a host of Year 9 Class Captains and Vice Captains, Year 10 Class Captains (from both Semester 1 and 2), a selection of Year 11 students and the 2015 College Leaders to the event on Monday 10 November.

The students heard from guest speakers such as:


A Paralympian medalist in both summer and winter games, Jessica suffers from a degenerative eye condition which has seen her lose her sight gradually since secondary school and she now only has 7% vision. Jessica competes in downhill skiing in the winter games and two events in summer: long jump and javelin. Jessica spoke of being able to look at life like a glass half full given her health and to embrace change and the unknown. Her ability to overcome adversity and achieve success emphasised the courage leadership requires.


Prolific in the music industry and renowned for some infamous reality TV appearances, Ian spoke openly about failure. As Ian put it, “You haven’t lived, if you haven’t failed”. Ian saw that the effort to challenge yourself or to put yourself in new environments outweighed fear of failure. He supported the need for humility within a leader and encouraged an understanding that leadership is not always about the bright lights and the title, but can require you to face and own up to times where ideas are unsuccessful.


The youngest person to sail solo around the world and recipient of the Young Australian of the Year Award, Jessica drummed home the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Jessica emphasised that leadership should be a shared experience and credited her success to the team she had supporting her throughout every stage of her adventure.

Students also had the opportunity to listen to a panel of young leaders who had all taken a problem and been proactive in developing a tangible response.

Below are some reflections from two Year 10 Class Captains who attended the day:

I went into yesterday’s excursion not really knowing what to expect. However, I was surprised with how interesting and helpful the speakers were, with not only giving advice on leadership, but with school in general.”

Lewis Holmstrom, 10D

The day was very eventful and created an insight into making the first steps towards leadership and making the world a better place. Jessica Gallagher had a very interesting story and showed us that even though life may take you down and limit your capabilities, there is always another way to reach your ultimate goal. I also learned that failure was an important aspect of life and that it is not something to be ashamed of, yet can be used as motivation and encouragement to achieve your dream.”

Shiroy Fernando, 10D

Ms Olivia Wenczel
College Leader Coordinator

Back to The Duce Issue 2014 13 - 13 November 2014