It was a rainy Thursday afternoon on 11 March 2021, when 36 attentive and ambitious leaders of the Student Executive Committee embarked on a journey to the beloved Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre (NVEEC). The students were set for a nice one-day-one-night retreat with Term 1 exam block being just around the corner. Every leader, instead of walking around on the properties of the centre holding textbooks, we embraced the timing of this retreat. All students took some time off to ensure that they could relax, refresh, and recharge for the numerous upcoming exams, or in the case of the graduating class of 2021, the Internal Assessments and drafts of their Extended Essays. It was with open-mindedness that all leaders adhered to during the leadership retreat which allowed them to not only become a better leader but be more inspired and equipped with everyday sustainability skills which can be applied to positively impact their own community.
On the day of arrival and the night following, two impact sessions were presented by an Unleashing Personal Potential instructor (Pete, he was quite cool) and the leaders learnt about how to become empowered and to thrive as they learn, live and lead. The two sessions delved into the different leadership strengths, and how leadership is influence. Pete revealed that there are three types of leaders: prophet, planner and people. In order to achieve synergy, a leader must understand their own strengths and identify areas of growth. To lead every day is to be present and on your best behaviour, always being willing to serve and become a leader in action. All students were then encouraged to choose an item out of many as their missionary item for this year, to which their style of leadership may be demonstrated through. Moreover, the NVEEC is in close proximity to nature, so the program on day 2 was no doubt created so the leaders could familiarise with each other while being immersed in the beauty of nature. Many activities nailed the IB Learner Profile Attributes such as being a risk taker during canoeing and an inquirer on the walk to learn more about the Indigenous culture of the Kombumerri people. It was a combined effort of excellent attitudes displayed by the students, and the tremendous support from the Numinbah Valley community (explicitly, the delicious meals) that made this retreat such an enjoyable one for all the teachers and student leaders of the QAHS community who attended.