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June 22, 2024 5:04 PM

Burn Bright Promoting Leadership and Wellbeing

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Year 5 Singleton students Ryley Dallas, Kayla Newman Lillie McCarthy, Dayne Hipwell and William Nash found the day valuable in developing their leadership and wellbeing skills.

By Meredith Blair

Organised by Where There’s A Will and sponsored by Hunter Valley Operations, Burn Bright’s programs were delivered for the first time to Singleton’s Year 5 students, teaching them valuable lessons about leadership and maintaining their wellbeing.

Burn Bright has been voted Australia’s top not for profit for three years in a row, employing young people who have been through similar mental health struggles to deliver programs aimed at increasing student leadership and wellbeing.

“We choose Year 5 because they’re leading into their last year of primary school where they’re expected to be leaders,” Where There’s A Will student leadership coordinator Lindy Hunt told The Hunter River Times.

“We do a bit of an introduction to leadership, talking about it as being influence.

Not influencing others to do what you want them to do, but to achieve even more than what they think they can.”

Attended by schools from across Singleton, the program encouraged the children to do cross-school group activities, emphasising the need for connection amongst the groups.

“One of the things we emphasise is the need to connect with other people in our community, so by getting the kids to work in all different combinations with kids from different schools we teach them how important connection is for leadership. If you can’t connect with people, you can’t lead them,” Lindy said.

The program has a theme of superheroes, having activities and scenarios that are relatable for the participating children.

“The kids have to identify the characteristics of superheroes and then relate them to leadership, so what we try to do is make it real for them by using examples that they relate to as Year 5.”

Offering the program to students across the Upper Hunter from Murrurundi and now to Singleton, Where There’s A Will hopes to hold more leadership workshops with Singleton children.

“We’re planning to build on the program with some of the Singleton kids coming further up the Upper Hunter to do the Year 8, 9 and 10 workshop, as well as some coming up to do our Year 11 Leadership summit,” Lindy said.

Lindy is excited to be apart of such a large-scale project, teaching Upper Hunter youths how to take care of themselves and one another.

“This is the first time in the world where children have had access to a resource like this on this scale, teaching our communities about how to be the best people and empowering people with the skills and strategies to be healthy and well. It’s great to be involved in something so innovative and it’s great to have Singleton schools involved now as well,” Lindy said.

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