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Activate #5 Session Six

Personal reflection from an Activate participant:

Activate #5 met for our sixth session at the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a venue which offers the chance to learn about the local Aboriginal Culture. I had never been to the centre before so it was nice to discover the location surrounded by beautiful native bush land.

Unfortunately my first lesson for the day was around time management - arriving late to be greeted by the Leadership Manager after the session had started wasn't the best way to begin the afternoon. 

The first part of the afternoon was some peer to peer coaching - I have found this component to be really insightful, especially hearing the issues others are dealing with and the advice given by participants of the group to help manage the various situations presented.

We were then joined by Paige Williams for her second session with the group on Social Leadership.

Social Leadership is defined as being "to devote one's life and ideals to improve society regardless of social standing, wealth or privilege" which really resonated with me. While I am a leader within my own organisation, which is influenced by community expectation, I feel I do not otherwise actively offer anything back to my community (except what is required of me in my employment).

The second session moved on to stakeholder management, which I am required to do all the time as part of my role. The session included identifying stakeholders, their influence on a project/task and how to deal with different types of stakeholders. This gave me some great ideas on how to manage stakeholders related to my employment in order to get the best outcome for all parties involved.

During the break we were able to have a look at some of the Aboriginal art and cultural artefacts that the centre had on show.

For the final session of the day the group was joined by Lucinda Tucker, the Operations Manager for Volunteering Geelong. Lucinda explained what her organisation does and the importance of managing volunteers within any organisation. She highlighted that this was integral to ongoing community support because if a volunteer has a bad experience, they are unlikely to want to volunteer again. She also acknowledged that it is important to manage volunteers' expectations, and make them feel appreciated.

Lucinda also detailed how volunteers' motivations seem have changed over the years and unfortunately most now want to know what is in if for them, as opposed to volunteering for the benefit of others, which seems to be a sad reflection on the state of our society. 

The afternoon has really made me consider what I can do within our community to give something back, which is part of the reason I applied for the program.



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