My Beach

During the first week of February, 23 young surf lifesavers from around Australia and New Zealand came together for the annual SLSA National Leadership College (NLC), a weeklong leadership and development program held in Sydney. Mandurah SLSC’s Monica Reinhardt spoke about her experience as WA’s representative at the college.

Run by Surf Life Saving Australia, the NLC provides an opportunity for members aged 20-30 years to further develop leadership skills so that they can continue to contribute positively to the surf life saving movement. Participants are from a variety of clubs, roles and surf life saving backgrounds and are recognised and nominated by their peers, clubs, branches and states to participate in the national program.

Monica, who as both a board member and Director of Surf Sports at her club demonstrates what can be achieved at a young age, said the experience was a week to remember, filled with a variety of new challenges, new knowledge, and new friendships.

“Being the only representative from WA gave me the opportunity to network with individuals from a variety of surf life saving clubs,” said Monica.

“The college allowed me to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, but also showed me ways to improve my skills upon returning to my surf club.

“It challenges you to get out of your comfort zone, work collaboratively with others, and to think outside the norm.”

The NLC consists of five days of core leadership components building from individual skills through to leading a large organisation. Each day included keynote speakers, group discussions, elective sessions, facilitation of group discussion and fun evening activities.

Topics, designed to challenge and engage attendees over the course of the week, included Creating a vision for the future, Personal Brand, Mindful Leadership, Extreme Leadership, Inclusive Leadership, Influencing and developing others, confident communication, conflict management.

“The National Leadership College has been run for over 20 years and aims to provide our future leaders with the skills, support and knowledge to enable them to reach their leadership potential,” said SLSA President Graham Ford AM.

“SLSA has invested significant resources over time into preparing the program to ensure that it meets the needs of our members and the changing environment in which we operate, and the program was not only successful, but also memorable and inspiring for all involved”.

Information regarding the 2021 National Leadership College will be announced by SLSA in coming months, with information circulated to clubs and members once released. As a fantastic opportunity for young members, we encourage those wishing to get involved to apply through their club.

Pictured: Monica with State Development Committee & Fremantle SLSC’s Kate Burke who was also involved in this year’s National Leadership College.