In the lead up to their HSC exams, Year 12 students participating in the Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme (SLP) had the opportunity to meet and be mentored by Commonwealth Bank Managing Director and CEO Ian Narev.
Mr Narev met with the students at the Castle Hill RSL for an informal dinner and Q&A session hosted by myself and encouraged the students to be models of “conviction leadership” and service in their own communities.
“Leadership is working with and through a team and it must be something that really means something to you personally, that really motivates you. Underneath that there’s got to be that idea of service,” Mr Narev said.
“A leader of a team has really got to be subordinating his or her personal goals to the goals the team is working towards. That’s a really critical part of it.”
The Commonwealth Bank CEO was an example of a leader who understood the importance of listening and teamwork to achieve success, whether it be in business, sport, politics or the arts.
Ian is known to have said ‘you can learn from anyone’ and he reminded the year 12 students that listening is a skill necessary for authentic and effective leadership.
Colo High School leader Matilda Harry described Mr Narev as a “passionate, relatable and inspiring role model” for all the Year 12 students who attended the mentor dinner on Tuesday night.
The Hills Grammar School students Anna Coote and Cooper Lee said beyond the advice given them by the CEO, students had the opportunity to see “qualities necessary to be a successful leader such as humility, generosity and eloquence and clear-mindedness in Mr Narev.
“He spoke powerfully about the importance of knowing your passions, strengths and, most importantly, weaknesses in order to achieve our personal goals and to lead others effectively,” Ms Coote and Mr Lee said.
I committed to running the Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Programme in March 2015, following the success of a similar program in The Hills in 2014.
The Programme provides opportunities for high-school students to develop strong leadership skills through a series of mentoring events with Australian leaders, culminating in a week-long service project as an alternative to ‘Schoolies Week’. This year, students in the Programme will travel to Uluru-Ayers Rock to do service work and learn alongside students and staff at Nyangatjatjara College.
As part of the Programme, participants also attend a series of mentoring events hosted by leaders who have made significant contributions to the Australian community.
This year’s Patron of the Programme is Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson. Mentors include Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, former Governor of NSW Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, and Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev.