Inspiring young women: "She Leads"
By Charly Snare, Year 10
On 30 October, a team of Year 10 girls, accompanied by Mrs Hunter, attended the 2020 She Leads High Conference held by YWCA Canberra. The conference is held annually and is an opportunity for young girls to develop new practical skills and knowledge to help inspire and accelerate their leadership journey. This year’s conference theme was ‘Unstoppable’, so they had a few powerful young women speak and do a panel for us.
The first speaker was Maddie Diamond, the founder of Trash Gather, a youth-led community group that arranges regular rubbish clean-ups across Canberra. She was named 2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year for her efforts. Hearing from such an influential young woman was really interesting - especially listening to her experience making a bold statement for climate justice at the National Award Ceremony, and her awkward encounter with the Prime Minister.
The conference also included a panel session with four young women who have all had their own unique challenges with regards to leadership in the workplace. A personal favourite panellist was Kasey Dragisic, a firefighter with ACT fire and rescue. As she is part of such a male-dominated workforce, she has obviously come across some challenges, but she still made it into the squad. As a young woman who is looking towards an architectural/engineering career pathway that is very male-dominated, Kasey’s story spoke to me the most. She proved that if you work hard enough and deserve your position, you can truly do almost whatever you want in life. The last part of the conference focused on managing your own mental health, offering valuable skills and tips.
If there are any girls who are thinking of attending this conference next year, I would highly recommend it, as it was a great inspirational experience and has definitely motivated me to take action and seek out future leadership roles.