An incredible experience of leadership development and personal growth.
The NAAUC conference gave us an experience where every single delegate was inspired to commit themselves to bringing about meaningful changes, and develop projects and improvements for the benefit of their community.
With such a strong passion for collegiate life and the desire to contribute positively to the IH community, International House Melbourne sent six passionate and dedicated delegates to attend the National Association of Australian University Colleges (NAAUC) Conference, held at Macquarie University in Sydney. This trip, for a week in the mid-year winter break gathers together students from over 230 colleges and halls of residences from every state and territory in Australia. International Houses were well represented with all five International Houses within Australia in attendance at the conference! What started out to be a conference filled with delegates hoping to learn from each other’s ideas and to personally develop our leadership skills from the talks that were presented throughout the week, turned out to be so much more!
I’m here to share the story of what we learnt at NAAUC with you, in the hope of shaping the future and developing future leaders of Australia – starting with NAAUC.
We all walked into the conference willing to learn, grow, and personally develop our skills and knowledge about good leadership. Through staying at IH, we have developed our social skills, leadership skills, and learned how to balance our lives with studies, extra-curricular activities, hobbies and social activities. Although these were qualities that we have already begun to develop throughout our college life, NAAUC built-on these skills. NAAUC inspired us to have the courage to learn, to continuously reflect and critically analyse ourselves and our thought processes so as to see the big picture and to realise how much significance we can achieve, without the need to become successful as a result. One of the guest speakers at the conference taught and inspired us to “be driven to seek significance that is focussed on others, not about success”. Upon realising this, every single individual in the room was challenged to truly reflect on the purpose of what we do and how it impacts the entire student body. We were able to achieve a well thought through action plan once we identified the reasons behind our decision-making in all aspects of college life as well as life in general.
“What influence do we want to have on people? What kind of legacy do we want to leave and give? What do we want to leave as a legacy?” These are some of the many questions that were raised throughout the conference, enabling us to think outside-the-box and see the big picture; see the enormous impact we can have just by having sincere intentions and desires that benefit the entire student community.
We were inspired to strive to give opportunities to all students within the community to allow them to develop and grow as they carry out their undergraduate degrees through the ideas that we communicate to the IH community.
The numerous guest speaker presentations, seminars, workshops, and role development seminars provided throughout the conference were also accompanied by fun activities that promoted the ideas of diversity and integration, leadership, effective team-working, gender equality, pastoral care, and more!
One of the many key take-home messages that we were taught at NAAUC came from the words of Mahatma Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in the world.
Not only were we inspired to think big, but to also spread ideas designed to bring about positive and progressive change, and to continue to improve and develop our student community in the best way possible. The NAAUC experience has definitely been a valuable opportunity for all delegates, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have had this incredible experience of leadership development and personal growth, and leaving the conference with such great passion, dedication and large visions of continuing to make IH great!
President IH Student Club Committee 2015-2016