House debates

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Constituency Statements

Corio Electorate: Youth Leadership Awards

10:02 am

Photo of Richard MarlesRichard Marles (Corio, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

This year at the end of term 4 it will be my pleasure as the member for Corio to again present outstanding leadership awards to students in primary and secondary schools across the Corio electorate. These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the effort and energy of students committed to playing a positive role within their school. Last year we broadened the scope of these awards, offering each recipient of the outstanding leadership award from their school the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Geelong youth leadership awards. It was the first time young people in our region had been acknowledged at a federal level for their citizenship efforts. We held these awards earlier this year on Australia Day.

The students were invited to tell us what they thought it means to be an outstanding leader. I was blown away by the calibre of the entries. Students spoke about the need to always try your best and the importance of motivating others and being thoughtful and caring. They had organised school fundraisers, visited the sick and elderly, and set themselves the task of being good role models to others and overcoming personal challenges. Most of all we looked for students who exhibited the greatest qualities of leadership: courage and kindness.

Out of an excellent field of 21 students we had two outstanding winners: Bellarine Secondary College student Jenna Sinclair and Christ the King student Sarah Kenworthy. These girls demonstrated a wonderful capacity to lead by example both at school and through their activities outside school. I have spoken to the member for Corangamite and this year we hope to extend these awards to schools in the Corangamite electorate as well so that they too can participate in the Geelong youth leadership awards for Australia Day next year.

Good leaders are not simply presidents, prime ministers, mayors and successful businesspeople; good leaders are everywhere. They are the backbone of our community, running our sports clubs, Auskick clinics, school canteens and charities, fighting our fires and attending our accidents. They pitch in when work needs to be done and encourage others to do the same. We need good leaders across every facet of our lives. Good leaders build strong communities. Our schoolchildren are learning this. Whether it is through raising money for a charity or giving time to a worthwhile cause, they are learning the important lessons that will last them through their lives.

That is why I am so proud to promote the outstanding leadership awards at the end of this year and flowing from them the 2011 Geelong youth leadership awards to be awarded next year on Australia Day. Every school has been invited to participate. I encourage each of them to take up the invitation. I encourage students everywhere to get involved with their school awards. Encouraging the qualities of good leadership among the next generation of citizens will ensure a great future for Geelong.


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