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Igniting Leadership, Day One

17 July 2016 By Linden Heywood

What a start to the Igniting Leadership course! At the end of the first day I felt stimulated and challenged by the speakers, and inspired by my fellow program participants. 

The session that me inspired me the most today was the first session, "Igniting Leadership”, featuring two former graduates of the program, Maryum Chaudry and Tesfaye Yigzawe. Maryum and Tesfaye both spoke about the challenges and rewards of being a leader in their respective communities. Maryum is a Muslim woman, born in Tasmania but of Pakistani descent. She attributes her success as a leader to knowing her intention, and not letting voices of criticism distract her from that intention. Tesfaye is a recent migrant from Ethiopia and has shown passion and persistence in supporting his vision for his community in Australia, even when he has suffered discrimination, including in seeking employment.  

I was particularly struck by the good humour, determination and tenacity both Maryum and Tesfaye have shown in sticking to their visions. Their reflections showed me the importance of having a clear purpose, and the importance of having the clarity of mind to not be dissuaded from that purpose even in the face of setbacks. 

In the Igniting Leadership Program, I hope to clarify my own particular vision of leadership, and I am looking forward to seeing how my vision grows and transforms over the coming days.