Friday, March 29, 2013

Stronger, Smarter................

This week has been intense!! 
I have been on an amazing personal and professional journey through the Stronger, Smarter Leadership Program facilitated by the Stronger,Smarter Institute and the DEC. I headed off to the Magenta Shores Resort on the Central Coast last Sunday, not really having any idea of what I was about to embark upon, other than it was some program about Aboriginal Education.
I was expecting to a get new set of tools or as usually happens in these courses an old set of tools re-badged .
I got neither!! 
Instead we were challenged to look into our dilly bag of tools, discard what no longer works and be prepared to embrace a new set of tricks in the form of processes to be truly effective.
The process required having a good, hard look at ourselves on a personal level and then on a professional level, and it was challenging, for two and a half days!!
With all that stripped back we then began to explore new ways, not of doing but of being, of truly walking the talk. Through being the doing would flow naturally ~ that's the best way I can describe it. It is not tangible, I can not go back to school and describe a way of doing things, but I can go back and "be".
The most powerful part of the process for me was it validated thoughts and beliefs that I have held for a long time about dealing with all kids, not just Aboriginal kids, which are challenged on a daily basis by negative staff who constantly operate from a deficit position.
Being recently appointed into a leadership position, I knew the physical function of the job, but now I know my purpose in this role, and I am rearing to go.
This graphic best describes the result of the last week:
Chris Sarra is the founder of this amazingly powerful program and he has a mantra that he used with the Koori children at Cherbourg. He would constantly remind the kids that they were 
"young, black and deadly".
unfortunately due to my age and DNA this can't apply, however my new mantra is 


in all aspects of life, but especially when I walk into a classroom or am interacting with kids.
I am still digesting much of what happened over the last 5 days and the effect it has had on me, but I feel invigorated and inspired. Some of the participants were able to express their thoughts and feelings through song or music or poetic words ~ look out for my creative expression through fibre, fabric and dolls.

All that remains to be said at this point is 
T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U.
 so much to Spilly and Toby from the Stronger,Smarter Institute who facilitated the program and led us through this journey 
and to Renette, Kenny, Leigh and Sonia from the DEC who supported and provided the program.

It's a cliche, but Stronger, Smarter is life changing and I can't wait for phase 2 
in a couple of months time ~ bring it on...........


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