The long road to leadership

After dealing with trekking in sleet and snow in a Canberra winter, the student staff leaders for NYSF 2015 will probably be able to cope with any challenge that presents itself in January – although the weather conditions will be very different.

The 2015 NYSF Student Staff Leadership Training Program began in April, with the ANZAC course held over four days at the Australian National University’s Kiola campus on the south coast of New South Wales.

NYSF Director, Damien Pearce, says that, “Our ANZAC program is basically about bumping in as a group, learning about each person’s personalities, their strengths and weaknesses. We also do a lot of work on NYSF values, being supportive and respectful of individuals, as well as transitioning from being an NYSF participant to being a leader of a team.”

The Outward Bound experience was challenging for us on both a physical and personal level

The second phase of training comprises a week-long outdoor trek experience, conducted by Outward Bound Australia. Held on the rural outskirts of Canberra, the trek brings the session groups together, and provides physical and intellectual activities designed to challenge the participants and develop their sense of self as well as their interdependence.


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At the Tharwa base camp the groups participated in a high ropes course, a session in different leadership styles, as well as team activities including ‘Chicken Run’, ‘Lava’, and ‘The Bomb’. The students were upbeat with their feedback.

“The Outward Bound adventure has been one of the most beneficial and enlightening trips for me personally. We were able to learn valuable lessons in perseverance, pushing our limits, learning to trust and support both ourselves and others. It really brought us all so much closer as a team. We were also given an opportunity to spend some time alone on a ‘values trek’. The trek carried us through the beautiful mountains and valleys, where we had a chance to reflect and appreciate the scenery.” – Jasmine Rose

“The Outward Bound experience was challenging for us on both a physical and personal level, but I am so grateful for the opportunity. We all realised our potential to overcome adversity, both within ourselves and with the team. It was an adventure that brought out the best of people and is an experience that I will never forget.” Adi

“… then it snowed! It was such an amazing surprise that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Our amazing experience was a reflection of the high calibre of the instructor that supported us along the way. It’s an experience I recommend and will never forget.” – Brittany


Images courtesy Alistair Chandler