A new experience for students combining leadership development and volunteering recently culminated in an award ceremony at the Launceston and Hobart UTAS campuses.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Award was piloted in 2010 by staff in Career Development and Employment.
The Award was created to educate, challenge and inspire.
It is designed to strengthen students’ character, work ethic, community awareness, leadership and employability, as well as their skills in communication, teamwork, and problem solving – skills sought by employers.
It was available to students who had completed their first year of tertiary study and were assessed to possess the determination, dedication and perseverance required for completion of the award.
The Award was delivered to students on the Hobart and Launceston campuses across semesters one and two. It involved three main components:
- attendance at 6 seminars
- completion of 40 hours volunteering (self-initiated), and
- a phased process of reflective writing using MyLo.
Around 60 students (across Hobart and Launceston, including two students who travelled from the North West to attend the Launceston seminars) met the requirements for the award.
The students received their certificates of achievement at ceremonies on the Hobart and Launceston campuses. Their certificates were presented by UTAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Daryl Le Grew.
Representatives from participating volunteer organisations, seminar speakers, family members and a number of UTAS senior management staff also attended the presentation.
Prof Le Grew discussed the principles of leadership and stressed the importance of communicating effectively.
“Leaders must have the common touch and learn how to communicate with everyone, no matter who they are.”
Prof Le Grew said it was also important to develop the leadership qualities of integrity and humility.
Elizabeth Park, a third year Arts/Business student, successfully completed the Award and thouroughly enjoyed the experience.
“I’m up for anything and the course looked different - and I thought it would look good on my CV also,” she said.
She volunteered with the Make a Wish Foundation’s Hobart branch and enjoyed it “so much.”
“I attended their ball, which was awesome.”
Elizabeth said the volunteering involved fitted it in around her current routine.
She was also keen to hear the views of students from other Faculties throughout the course.
“So often we all stick to our own Faculties, so it was really interesting to hear what people from other Faculties thought about the same scenarios that were put forward.”
Elizabeth said there was a focus on feeling, not opinions and on developing empathy.
She said leadership was not about announcing yourself as the leader, but communicating, empathising with others and also recognising and supporting the great ideas others have.
Elizabeth is now a ratified volunteer and plans to continue volunteering.
More information on the Award
Image: Elizabeth Park with her certificate for completing the Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Award