This time last year, George Kettle, from Mt St Patrick College in Murwillumbah was finishing up year 11 and getting ready to travel to Perth to take part in the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in January 2013. He had been selected as one of almost 500 young people from around Australia who attend the NYSF each year.
Fast-forward 12 months, and George is preparing to attend the NYSF again, but this time as a volunteer staff member. And in July 2014, he will be heading to London as a volunteer staff member at the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF). George also attended the LISYF in 2013, having been selected as one of ten young people representing Australia.
After the NYSF January Sessions in 2013, George was picked by his peers to participate in the NYSF Staff Leadership Training Program. Each year, the student staff who coordinate and deliver the January Sessions are drawn from the previous years’ program participants, after being nominated by their peers. A program of professional leadership training is delivered to the students, before they are selected to take on positions of responsibility in the NYSF to organise and facilitate the following year’s January sessions.
NYSF HAS influenced my study choices by opening up new areas in science – fields I didn’t know existed
This training involves a week-long program and a leadership bush trek in the April/May holidays, known as ANZAC, to learn, understand and display the expectations required to be a student staff member and program leader. Based on ANZAC values, this program teaches skills including personal resilience, logistics, group development, personal wellbeing, time management, taking responsibility for actions and other capabilities required to facilitate a successful full January session program of 500 attendees.
George says, “The NYSF opens up a new perspective on science and the people in science. To be a great scientist – or any other professional – you also have to be a well-rounded person. The people you meet at NYSF are all intelligent, but what makes NYSF stand out are all the great personalities.
It HAS influenced my study choices by opening up new areas in science – fields I didn’t know existed. Because I love this diversity, I decided to study science further. The hard part is choosing where to go next. I love it all!
I feel honoured to be selected to attend both the NYSF and the LIYSF. I can not believe the opportunities that the NYSF has opened up for me.”