Power To Go

Last Monday 15 May, nine Year 11 students, accompanied by Ms Daff – Director of Mission, attended the Powerhouse of Leader’s Conference at Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm. Directed by Brisbane Catholic Education, the conference saw more than 400 student leaders from various Catholic Schools around South East Queensland, gather together for an inspirational day of spiritual formation and leadership. It offered us the perfect opportunity to come together in one place and be inspired by contemporary leaders through music, performances and presentations.

With the main theme ‘Power to Go, the day began with a brief yet beautiful Welcome to Country out on the lawn. This was followed by the first session of the day in which guest speaker, Dr Maeve Heaney, interviewed Year 12 Downs Syndrome advocate Olivia Hargroder* from Southern Cross Catholic College, singer Roby Curtis from Emmanuel Worship and Stephanie Santos, a Gold Coast Catholic Youth Group Coordinator. Each person told of their recent individual journeys, filled with both hardships and successes, inspiring those who listened.

With a quick morning tea to refuel, the amazing atmosphere continued as everyone regrouped in the theatre, ready for the second session. This session was run by his Grace, Archbishop Mark Coleridge who, in the most engaging and hilarious way possible, compared charging a phone to ‘charging’ ourselves – we need to give ourselves the power to go through finding stillness.

After a small liturgy to conclude this session, the next one began with the student leaders splitting up into various groups. This allowed us to meet other enthusiastic and interesting people as we worked together to complete different activities.

After lunch, the final session of the day, and what I considered to be the highlight, began. Former X Factor contest and singing priest, Father Rob Galea spoke about his own teenage years and the troubles he found himself in until he called on Jesus, who helped him to turn his life around. In sharing his inspirational story along with his beautiful musical talents, Fr. Rob delivered the message of resilience, an attribute that is so important to possess as a leader.

All in all, the day was such a valuable experience for those who attended and extended our understanding of what it means to be a great leader not only in our school, but in the wider community. I strongly recommend that the Year 11s of 2018 take up this great opportunity as it really was a fantastic day.

Tessa Buzzo

*Please see below the link to Olivia’s petition. She has presented to the UN on the grading of Down Syndrome in the Olympic Games.