HUNDREDS of the region’s future leaders were at the Tamworth Town Hall yesterday to learn how to become better role models for their peers.
The GRIP student leadership conference was attended by 400 Year 6 students from Tamworth, Narrabri, Quirindi, Muswellbrook, Niangala and all places in between.
The same conference was held in Armidale on Monday and is in Moree today.
The Tamworth event is one of 40 the GRIP (Generosity, Responsibility, Integrity and People) team has scheduled for the first half of this year, ultimately reaching more than 25,000 students across Australia.
Director Ronan McGinniss said the inspiration for the conferences was simple.
“Nearly every school in Australia gives students leadership roles,” he said.
“But very often they’re left to work out for themselves what this actually means.
“Our aim is to give them fresh ideas and the chance to draw on ideas from others to become more effective leaders.”
Yesterday involved presentations, discussions, leadership games and videos all centred on school-based scenarios.
“We’d like them to leave here with both an enthusiasm for their leadership role and a clear direction in terms of how they can make a difference in their school,” Mr McGinniss said.
Boggabri Public student Lilly Dredge was enjoying the conference and the chance to learn some new strategies for dealing with tricky schoolground situations.
“It’s important not to be mean when someone has an idea or says something you don’t really agree with – you can be nice about it,” she said.
Tamworth Public SRC co-ordinator Melissa Mack said her students had taken away practical ideas that would allow them “to lead in a meaningful, authentic and responsible manner”.