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Charities Leadership

Executive leadership programs key to inspiring the future of Australia

3 min read

Schools Industry Partnership, the Western Sydney-based charity supporting young people through education and towards employment, recently partnered with consultancy ThinkChangeGrow for a three-day workshop with the aim of driving more engagement around its ‘Inspiring the Future Australia’ campaign.

The Greater Collective Executive Leadership Program, powered by ThinkChangeGrow, consisted of a series of executive development courses to amplify how ‘Inspiring the Future Australia’ creates connections between students and people in the workforce, giving students access to a diverse range of industries to foster future employment opportunities.

Data from YouGov shows that young people who can connect at school level to four or more employers are five times less likely to be unemployed between the ages of 19-24. As such, youth employment programs with a hands-on approach are key.

Ahead of the event, Ian Palmer, CEO of Schools Industry Partnership, said he was looking to implement practical solutions to increase their volunteer pool and help foster relationships between schools, students and professionals from various industries.

Inspiring the Future Australia is looking to triple the number of volunteers it has available in Western Sydney for teachers to access,” Palmer said.

The charity currently places 6,500 students in work placements each year directly and is part of a New South Wales network responsible for a total 60,000 placements annually.

Hiam Sakakini, Co-Founder at ThinkChangeGrow, expressed the importance of leadership development initiatives like The Greater Collective Executive Leadership Program to building change-makers who excel at tackling real-world problems both inside and outside the workplace.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, social purpose has become core to economic success. The difference between good and great leaders is the ability to address market trends to deliver on both purpose and profit,” Sakakini said.

The workshop was held in Sydney, with attendees coming from a range of sectors including real estate, financial services and higher education. It was hosted by Dexus Place at 1 Margaret Street, the flexible meeting room and corporate event space which provides a collaborative atmosphere for seminars and workshops.

Chris Hynes, Head of Office Leasing at Dexus, said the venue sponsor was inspired by the program’s purpose to connect individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organisations with a shared cause.

“The resources of charities or not-for-profits can be limited and they may not have the space or capability to host the meetings or events required to run their business. That doesn’t mean that they would not benefit from the opportunity to work in collaborative workspaces.

“Facilities like Dexus Place can act as an extension of their workspace, providing discreet meeting spaces, rooms for team offsites, or larger auditoriums and areas with catering for fundraising activities. A number of not-for-profits have high-powered boards but not the facilities to host board meetings. This is where quality boardroom space available for shorter meetings can be of value to these organisations.”

Ian Palmer supported this idea, saying he welcomed the opportunity to refresh and enhance his executive leadership skills and be involved in the experiential program outside his usual work environment.

He further commented that it was outstanding to see three separate teams pitch strategic ideas bespoke to Schools Industry Partnership, as well as the productive and engaged atmosphere amongst attendees in the room.

Chris Hynes said shared and collaborative spaces were instrumental for similar programs, events and workshops to effectively achieve their aims.

“The key to the success of events like these is moving off site to a different environment and away from the distractions of the everyday workplace. Further, it’s about finding the right environment that can support the type of activity being held – in this case one that involves collaboration across a variety of different stakeholders.”


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