WTF is Leadership?

Leadership. It’s this complex buzz word that’s thrown around in business meetings, job applications and by motivational speakers. But what does it really mean? Surely it’s more than some confusing words on a resume?

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Yes Mr. Trump, “leadership” is a real thing, and it’s a really freakin awesome and empowering thing. Being a leader or having leadership qualities isn’t a finished product or end result. I guess that’s what I used to think. Growing up, I’d draw inspiration from people I admired and wanted to be like. Looking at their success as a polished, final piece of art. Motivational speakers will always talk about their ‘journey’ their ‘failures’ and ‘setbacks.’ Sure, these mistakes are all part of the journey, but they’ll always finish with a classic one liner of ‘and you can do this too.’ And I’d be sitting there thinking… how?! Tell me how!

I think the concept of being a leader needs to change. Being a leader doesn’t inherently mean you’ve ‘made it.’ But instead it means your figuring it out and making it work for you. There’s no secret formula, no ‘how to’, no road map… the best place to begin is way out of your comfort zone, without a road map.

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One thing I’m extremely passionate about is travel. Not only is it incredible to see the sites of the world, but I get such a buzz out of meeting new people from all walks of life with all kinds of incredibly unique experiences. I love trying new food, wandering new streets, learning new languages, listening to stories and relishing in history. I’m extremely lucky to have been able to travel quite extensively around the world. France, England, Poland, China, Italy, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Canada and America to name a few. But the place that challenged me the most was my recent trip to Mexico (you can read more about my trip to Mexico here).

It was the first time I’d ever been somewhere with such poverty and inequality. Mexico has the highs of the highs and the lowest of lows, which in itself is such a hard task being somewhere with such contrast and flavour. I was there studying immigration and had the incredible experience of meeting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from all over Central America. Listening to their stories was incredibly heart breaking. But instead of feeling pity for these people, I felt motivated. I had just formed a genuine connection with these people who opened up and shared with me some of the hardest struggles of their life. I was so inspired by what they had overcome, the immense strength they possessed and beautiful way they looked at life.

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These people are in no way close to the standard definition of successful, or the definition of a leader. And I’m sure they wouldn’t accept that title anyway. But that’s who true leaders are. They are people who are humble, determined, driven, considerate, thoughtful, have integrity, humility and courage. True leaders inspire others to self reflect and challenge them to make life better. After my encounter with these people, I’ve never felt more out of my comfort zone, lost and confused but I’ve also never felt more motivated to make a difference and pursue my goals and dreams.

To me, leadership means being unapologetically yourself. Possessing self confidence, backing yourself and being your own biggest fan. How can you expect others to believe in you if you don’t? Leadership means networking and teamwork. No great leader ever made it to where they were without the epic behind the scenes work of their network of people that believed in them and helped them out along the way. It means taking risks and learning from your mistakes when those risks don’t turn out. To me, leadership is about taking control of your life, what you want to get out of it and making a positive difference.

You shouldn’t aim to be a leader. Just aim to be yourself. You never know who you’ll inspire along the way.

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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2017

If only there were 2 of me.” That’s what I used to say when I was young and wanted to be a ballerina and an astronaut. Now I say it as a way to have a successful academic and professional career plus a thriving social life with my friends and loved ones. This month has been full on. I’m beginning to doubt that there’s enough hours in a day and days in a week to get everything done. Yet somehow, I’ve managed to get through it. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself. This month has honestly been hectic and next month is my LAST SEMESTER OF UNI! OMG! But before I get too ahead of myself, let’s have a little reflection time on the month that was.

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❄️ Snow

I started the month in the snow! Yes Australia has snow and I finally got to experience just how amazing it is. My dad, my sister and I headed down there for a long weekend, including three days of skiing and three nights of stuffing our faces with amazing food and beer. I got to see my sister have a hilarious temper tantrum on the side of the mountain, reminiscent of our childhood days (haha sorry Elly), saw my dad accidentally ski backwards unable to stop, my dad pushing me off a TBar, drinking steins of beer, carving up some fresh snow and tobogganing downhill in a blizzard. It was a pretty damn awesome long weekend!

 

 

 

 

💌 Friends and Shenanigans

What’s a month without some wonderful shenanigans with some wonderful people? I’m so so so blessed to have such a supportive group of people around me and I constantly feel lucky to have them in my life. Whether it’s for the parties or hangover’s…. I’m in love.

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🎵 Concerts and gigs

Wollongong has been delivering the goods when it comes to music this month! And all around this month has just been filled with epic music. I went and swooned over Gang of Youths with my bestie in Sydney, rocked along to Camp Cope and was blown away by Meg Mac. That’s a lot of extremely decent music right there! And to top it off this weekend was Yours and Owls Festival! Damn what a music overload. I’m just lucky I have amazing friends and an awesome boyfriend that’s into cool music and we can go drink some beer and make a night of it.

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🌴 Byron Bay

Sometimes you just need a little escape, and I spent 3 days in beautiful Byron Bay with Mitch. I wrote a separate post titled ‘A Romantic Weekend Away In Byron Bay’.

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🎒 My Little Brother Getting School Captain!

OMG shameless plug but damn I am so damn proud of my little brother Isaac! He’s going into Year 12 and just got nominated as school captain! Not that I ever doubted his ability to achieve such an amazing honour, but I just can’t believe it’s real. Because, another shameless plug, myself and sister were school captain of our highschool. So poor Isaac the pressure was on. But I honestly can’t think of anyone more kind and deserving of the title! Dude – I’m freakin proud of you!

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My grandparents there to watch Isaac’s inaugural speech.

🕺 Yours & Owls

Let the photos speak for themselves. There was glitter, beers, double blacks (who ever thought that was a good idea?), crepes, bread and just all round good times.

🎶 Tunes

Angus & Julia Stone. Ahhhhhh this song is BEAUTIFUL! I’ve had it on repeat and it just feels like love and adventure. Can’t wait to get my hands on their album.

Camp Cope. What babes?! I was lucky enough to see these guys at UniBar and they were absolutely AMAZING! Their music is different, funky and raw. Plus I think they’re now mine and Mitch’s band so I’m pretty down with them.

Miguel. MY MAN IS BACK!!! Oh my lord is this not the sexiest most amazing thing your eyes have seen? I’m absolutely in love and can’t wait for his album!!!!! Anyone who knows me knows the significance of this man and damn am I excited.

🎥 Flicks

I have been getting into docos lately and damn it is good for your soul! I’ve been getting in to States of Undress, a documentary series you can watch free on SBS on Demand. It examines the interaction between fashion and politics. Some of the shows I’ve seen so far take us to France, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia. This is binge watching worthy and your brain will thank you for it.

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

I usually don’t like to repeat bloggers and vloggers from month to month but these guys well and truly deserve it. Flying the Nest have really upped their game lately. Their style and personality is gorgeous and they’re travelling to some really cool places; including The UK, Israel, Jordan and Japan! I’ve also just discovered their BLOG! I’m in love and realise just how much work they put into their brand #impressed

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Jess and Steve

📗Books

Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age – Jacqueline Bhabha

What a compelling book. It’s academic and based on primary and secondary research. At times the language can be quite technical, however it’s presented clearly and draws on personal stories and encounters which really add depth to this book. It covers various issues like Trafficking, Child soldiers and international adoption. For someone researching potential thesis topics, this book really sang to the part of me interested in researching migration.

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📝 Quote

The following quote/idea has really captured my attitude towards life lately. You may never be ready for what you’re about to do. The timing may never be perfect. You just have to do what’s right for you and not measure this against others. And that’s it’s always worth the risk when you’re truly excited about something. You can’t live your life questioning if you’re ready, instead you should ask yourself if it feels right. You never know, you may end up feeling more alive than ever before.

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Well well well…. September you were bloody hectic. Next month is my LAST MONTH OF MY DEGREE!!! Woah! Before I know it I’ll be submitting my last assignment and hanging up my student cap (well at least for the time being). So watch out October, I’m going to take you by storm.

 

 

 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: OCTOBER

October… I’m glad you’re over. With the wrath of university taking it’s toll, it was a tough one… but I made it. So… recap on the month that I’m glad is over.

Do It In A Dress

This month, myself and an awesome group of young leaders participated in the One Girl campaign Do It In A Dress. We raised over $8000 to go directly towards educating girls in Sierra Leone. If you want to learn more about this amazing campaign working hard to fight such a huge social injustice we have in this world, you can read here. 

Doin it in a dress at uni
Doin it in a dress at uni

Fox and the Hound

So I may be a bit biased because my friend is in the band… but they’re honestly great! I love supporting local talent but I know it won’t be long before these boys make it big internationally.

Speaking of music….

This SONG!!!! Sia you’ve done it again. I’ve listened to this song probably a billion times and I just can’t get enough. Her vocals are absolutely incredible! If you need to get pumped or inspired… blast this on repeat and I promise you’ll feel ready to take on the world!

Netflix

What else are you supposed to do when you’re tied down with uni work? Procrastinate!!! And Netflix offers endless opportunities for procrastination. This month I finished watching Narcos  and Sense8. I also started watching Orphan Black (I know, I know… I don’t know how I do it, I just do). Such quality shows and I’d definitely recommend them all!

Making my promo video

So I have this friend. She’s ridiculously talented. And she made a promo video for my blog. Whilst we’re still fine tuning it and super excited to release it as soon as possible, I still can’t get over the amazing fun we had shooting it!!! We spent a whole day galavanting around Wollongong and the South Coast. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn’t of asked for anyone better to spend it with!

Promo video fun
Promo video fun

Halloween Formal

Every session at college we have a formal. Sometimes we get fancy, and other times we get freaky. My best friend and I went as an angel and devil duo. There was glitter EVERYWHERE!!! Had such a great night!

Zina and I rockin the classic duo
Zina and I rockin the classic duo

Oxfam Presentation for Global Climate Change Week

This month I was lucky enough to represent and speak on behalf of Oxfam at the University of Wollongong’s Global Climate Change Week regarding the relationship between Climate Change and Food Security. It was such a great opportunity and experience to speak in front of nearly 60 people who are all concerned and passionate about Climate Change and creating change.

Map displaying the countries most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. Extreme weather = extreme poverty. Let's be the change we want to see!
Map displaying the countries most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. Extreme weather = extreme poverty. Let’s be the change we want to see!

Home

For the first time in months, I finally made it home for the October Long Weekend! And home definitely provided me with the goods. Sunshine, family and adventure!!!

Beautiful Port Stephens
Beautiful Port Stephens