Reflections of a Student Leader

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The following NSLF reflection was written by Jess Kelly, nominated to attend the 2015 Forum from Federation University.
“Leadership is the legitimate use of power to achieve outcomes on behalf of a group of people”

The National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, held in Canberra over 4 days in September, was a melting pot of leadership styles, personalities, experiences and beliefs as young leaders from across Australia and around the world were encouraged to look beyond the label of ‘leader’, to what drives each of us to do what we do, to consider what it is to harness your faith and values into true servant leadership.

Over a short time immersed in talks from, and conversations with, passionate & experienced leaders from all sectors of our community, it quickly became evident that this was not an ordinary student conference. From the most well known of speakers including the Prime Minister and Governor General, to the valuable small group discussions with other delegates, an appreciation grew within each individual of what lay beneath our growing lists of commitments. To consider that behind each person there must be a grounding faith that the efforts they are investing are worthy, that each action is driving positive change, that each moment that you spend serving others, no matter how big or small, repays you and your community 10 fold is an empowering realization!

Too often we get caught up in the day to day rush of a modern life, in a dynamic world which is ever changing and expectant of us to keep up, to never drop the ball, to continuously build ourselves to be better…But rarely do we take or get handed the chance to pause, to reflect on what we’re truly interested in achieving with our one, important life!

NSLF was this chance on a silver platter, the opportunity to connect and share with like- minded individuals whom give you so much hope for the future of this lucky country!

To be pushed beyond quoting your resume, to the deeper responses of what it really means when someone asks you about you, was a confronting and eye-opening experience. As young people in an increasingly competitive workforce, we are often weighted with the need to constantly be preparing ourselves for the next step, to continually be resume builders in order to stand out from the crowd. And in a room of 300 student leaders that’s an intimidating crowd!! With the support of an extremely honest and welcoming small group, together we were able to explore our fears and our triumphs, our goals and our trials to become exponentially more aware of ourselves and our potential to be successful Servant Leaders. While many lessons will continue to become evident from NSLF over time, ultimately I walked away with a new mantra, a grounding statement to bring me back when I catch myself running ahead trying to beat the crowd…

“Take the time to establish and maintain deep and strong roots, in order for your branches to spread wide and be fruitful in the years ahead”.

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