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From across Australia and the world, students converge for leadership event

Published:07 November 2019

TOP: Guest speaker Josh Worley. MID: All the participants gather. BELOW: Cindy Wisco enjoys the event.

Around 80 CQUniversity students were able to draw on mountains of inspiration, quite literally, as their leadership conference in Rockhampton this week included a guest address by ‘Vertical Year’ climber Josh Worley.

Mr Worley is a CQUni alumnus, professional engineer and mountaineer from Gladstone, who completed a personal philanthropy project entitled the Vertical Year, in 2018.

His project involved scaling frozen waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies, 6000m peaks in the Peruvian Andes and sheer rock walls in Yosemite Valley, while raising $20 000 and awareness for youth mental health and climate change.

Australian students travelled to the conference from as far afield as Cairns, Perth and Tasmania. The event also involved international students who have come to CQUni campuses from nations including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia, Pakistan and The Philippines.

Filipino participant Cindy Wisco, a Master of Professional Accounting student from CQUni Melbourne, said the conference helped to develop her public speaking and employability skills.

"One thing we need to learn is about soft skills, because how we communicate with others is how we show skills like leadership and teamwork," she said.

Earlier in the event, students had the chance to hear about the inspiring career and life journey of CQUni Alumnus Dr Melinda Mann, who is now CQUniversity’s Deputy Director, Student Life & Wellbeing.

Conference organiser Tanya Rutherford said the conference theme was built around ‘storytelling and curating your own story’ and the ‘power of storytelling in leadership’.

“Students were guided and encouraged to build their personal resilience, sense of identify and personal brand,” she said.

“They also recorded stories shared by local Indigenous Elders and members of our multicultural community, which we ‘gifted’ back in digital form, during an honouring ceremony at the close of the conference.”

The conference included a session to honour the Student Mentors of the Year for 2019, including overall winner Vivian Hoy.