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LfG 17/18 Canberra blog

Who would have thought that we as a group would have such a fabulous opportunity to immerse ourselves in our nation's capital city and to meet and to learn from our country's most senior and influential leaders?

Meeting with The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC, was a fantastic example of authentic leadership. A genuine person with a presence about him, our brief conversations showed that these were the qualities that made him such a strong and respected leader in both his military and civilian careers.  We (along with CfG's Chairperson, Dan Simmonds, CfG CEO, Rebecca Casson, Cr Peter Murrihy, Deputy Mayor, City of Greater Geelong, together with some CfG board members and other VIP guests) were so incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to walk through the Government House and sit where history has been made time and time again. 

We listened to leadership presentations by Cr Peter Murrihy, Deputy Mayor, City of Greater Geelong and the Deputy Chair of Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, Gillian Costa. Peter discussed examples-based leadership and the importance of respect and we enjoyed Gillian's thoughts around whether leaders are born or made.

The old Parliament house is a keeper. Its grandeur and ghosts kept us on our toes! Whilst after an early morning and long day some of us may have taken the opportunity to push out some zzzzzz's in those ever-so-comfortable cabinet chairs, the cabinet debate exercise woke us up. It illuminated for us how decisions made by leaders in the past have impacted us today and it strengthened our resolve to ensure that lessons are learned from the past and the same mistakes not repeated.

To sit at the edge of question time in the House of Representatives was truly an eye opening experience for everyone. The theatrical repartee of many of the MPs or "Muppets", as the Treasurer so finely put it, may have left us with more questions than answers but it was entertaining and intriguing to say the least.

It would be remiss of us not to thank The Honourable Richard Marles MP and Sarah Henderson MP for their candid discussion and insight into Federal politics and Geelong's presence in the Federal environment.  

Perhaps we will take their advice on board and create our own path toward leadership and influence on a local or possibly even national level.  As the member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said to us during her very engaging discussions, "if not you, then who?" and "if not now, then when?"

Finally to cap off, as NBL All Star, keynote speaker (and car salesman) Cal Bruton said so smoothly during his address to us on our last evening, hopefully this experience puts some "SWAG" in our bag!     

Thank you to the Committee of Geelong for providing us with this amazing opportunity.



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