Tomorrow's leaders

Some of Sydney's young, aspiring leaders have completed an intensive leadership program at UNSW.

Leadership inside

A diverse group of Sydney high school students have learnt the skills of leadership through an intensive program at UNSW.

The UNSW Leadership Program, a community outreach initiative now in its second year, offers Year 12 students from a selection of public and private high schools the opportunity to learn about various aspects of leadership through a two-day workshop.

Psychologists Julie Grove and Wayne Gillespie from UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services facilitated the workshop and were impressed with the 25 participants, all of whom are involved in school leadership roles.

Gillespie was impressed by the students' motivation to make a positive impact in their schools and local communities.

"All of the students were engaged, attentive and articulate," he said. "They came from very diverse backgrounds but were able to work together collaboratively and have fun while they were doing it."

Zahra Taher (Holroyd High School), James Zhao (Canterbury Boys High School) and Sonia Diab (Caringbah High School) said they benefited from the program's courses in communication, ethics and personalities psychology.

"I learnt some really useful ways to interact with people that I'll be able to use in my role as school captain," said Zhao.

One of the goals of the program is for students to step outside their academic role by completing a project that benefits the community.

Taher, who immigrated from Afghanistan two years ago, has already established a United Nations Development Fund for Women initiative at Holroyd High and plans to extend the project to the local community as part of her leadership project.

The participants will graduate from the program in May 2010.

The UNSW Leadership Program involved two of the ten schools supported by the University's ASPIRE Program which encourages students from low socio-economic backgrounds to pursue higher education.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au