Ararat youth explore leadership opportunities

Young leaders from Ararat are preparing to showcase their achievements to the public as they work through the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Leadership Project.

Ararat College’s Holly McAdie and Natasha Ferguson are participating in the program alongside Marian College’s Samuel Cairns, Jack Cameron and Max Willmott. The group have been learning new skills, making new contacts and growing into more confident people.

PHOTO: Holly McAdie

“The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation team, running the program, have been very impressed with the growth of participants, who have gone from shy young people to more much confident humans in the space of a few months,” Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said.

Harrison said the program was aimed at 14-16-year-olds and has been running in the municipality for the past two years. This year it has been co-sponsored by the Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network.

Salim Mohamed, Western Bulldogs Youth Coordinator said that the participants have been on two camps that included many leadership activities. They also attended a Western Bulldogs home game and met with player Ben Cavarra.

PHOTO: Holly McAdie

Ararat College Year 9 student Holly McAdie expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be involved with the Western Bulldogs program.

“The program has really helped me grow as an individual, I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn some leadership skills,” she said.

“I really enjoyed the camps and also the multiple workshops that we completed. I’ve made so many lifelong friends and memories that I will treasure forever.”

Mr Mohamed said the Ararat participants teamed up with participants from the Glenelg Shire to present an entrepreneurship idea to Powercor staff in a round of ‘Shark Tank’.

“The idea they developed was R.O.C.C.E.T (Robotic Ocean Cleaner Creating Eco Towns), a robot that drives into the ocean to pick up waste that has been dumped, bring it back to shore then recycle it and turn it into bricks to build houses for the homeless,” he said.

PHOTO: Holly McAdie

“The project covered teamwork, presentation skills and time management, and the young people came up with a really creative idea with a noble cause that would be sure to have great social impact.”

The team will be presenting a fundraiser event to the public on September 20th, raising awareness about Mental Health. The funds will be donated to the Dolly’s Dream foundation.

“Many hours have been put into our event. We cannot wait to present it to the public,” said Ararat College Year 9 student Natasha.

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