These are some testimonials of people who have participated in one of our programs or initiatives to build adaptive change and leadership capability with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
Kim Robertson BSocSc, MA
Academic & business owner
"We all see the world differently and are at different stages of our leadership journeys, but if you are serious about personal growth and creating change, the Social Leadership Australia program will challenge and reward you. The program I undertook forced me to reflect on my beliefs and practices, to build on my strengths and address my weaknesses, especially in relation to communicating, navigating power in relationships, and learning to adapt to different roles. SLA presented me with a unique opportunity to explore important cross-cultural leadership concepts in an interactive environment, extend my networks, gain more confidence in stepping up into leadership roles, and hone my skills. Committing to the lessons from the program has directly improved my capability and endurance to undertake leadership roles across my family, work, and community spheres.”
Deputy Campaign Director, Recognise
“I gained a lot of encouragement to pursue my leadership through the program. I felt like I had a safe place to talk about some of the really difficult issues you face in leadership in particular. I got a lot of support. It helped me to continue to push myself. That continues to be useful to me in that I now have a network of peers that I can talk to about some of the things I face in my leadership now that I have a shared understanding of some of the difficulties, so it’s helped me be part of a network that’s essential to me feeling strong enough and capable to do some of the things I have to do—some of the decisions to be made and politics to be navigated in the course of my work.”
Faith & Development Advisor, World Vision
“One of the things I’ve learnt is that change is harder than it looks. To work with conflict, to have the deeper generative conversations, you have to sit longer in that uncomfortable space than you want to…
“The other key learning is about power and influence and rank … I presumed that all the power was with the people with the resources, but they also need understanding and guidance, and I have something to offer to use constructively too.
“In black and white organisations working together, what I’ve been able to do is highlight the importance of understanding the system, as opposed to the people, and to help myself and others recognise that what we’re in is a tough dynamic: 'It’s not them, it’s not you … it’s the dynamic, and unless you appreciate that you’re not giving anyone permission to move.'”
Director, The Yettica Group
"It deepened my understanding around the affinity and affection you need to cultivate to have people realise the broader social justice agenda... everyone's in this together. It's not just Aborigines and whites, it's all of us. It's a conversation about the human condition. It's our Australian story...
"What I would say to you if you are considering doing the Social Leadership Australia program is you will become more enlightened, more enlivened and probably more passionate about how you can create social change within your sector. You will become confronted with your own power and limitations and rank, but also the power, limitations and rank of others, and how you can partner and collaborate better."
HR Manager, Westpac Banking Group
“The program has definitely given me more confidence in leading and not being afraid to be vulnerable and ‘put myself out there’ especially in an environment where others are more experienced than me. I have realised that things like love and compassion are crucial emotions in leadership and to not be afraid to use them. Most of all I have learnt that anyone can have the best intentions to make change but unless people to take the time to understand others’ viewpoints and what each have to lose to make a change, change will not be successful. I am operating at a different level."