Third Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit

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“Young People Leading with Optimism Through the Pandemic and Beyond”

The Third Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit promises to be an exciting and engaging event for young and old alike on Tuesday 15 September 10 am (Australian East Coast time).

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the usual venue city of Shepparton, this event will be online and open to youth globally.

There will be shorter speeches, break-outs for the participants to share their reflections, and sufficient time for Q&A and student replies.

The Nelson Mandela Regional Youth Leadership Summit is the brainchild of Future Voices and the creation of schools and educational institutions in the Shepparton area including the Greater Shepparton Secondary College, Goulburn Valley Grammer, Shepparton Christian College and La Trobe University. It has been fostered and supported by The Gandhi Experiment’s Margaret Hepworth and The Centre for Optimism’s Victor Perton.

The Nelson Mandela Regional Youth Leadership Summit brings together a diverse youth population – refugee youth, migrant youth and Australian-born youth to create a group of connected future leaders of the region and Australia. This year it will be open to youth from around Australia and the world.

Future Voices Incorporated is a not for profit charity established in 2016, working with the diverse communities in Shepparton, Victoria to meet employability needs in the multicultural community. Its most exciting project other than the Summit itself is the Shepparton Nelson Mandela Learning Centre Australia Project.

The Centre for Optimism is a partner of the Nelson Mandela Regional Youth Leadership Summit Victoria run by Future Voices and The Gandhi Experiment. Our COO Victor Perton has presented our classic workshop on the “How and Why of Optimism” at the first two summits. We are supporting the event by providing the registration system and zoom meeting.

The Gandhi Experiment’s Margaret Hepworth will moderate the event. Margaret moderated the first two summits and the students, teachers and other speakers were lifted to higher levels of energy, passion and leadership by her instinctive engagement with youth.

The conference will open with the students exploring their own optimism and leadership before engaging with contemporary leaders in fields of work like diplomacy and business that they wish to enter in the years to come.

The online flow of the Summit needs to be faster paced so we will be asking the speakers to speak for 7 minutes reflecting on the issues that call for youth leadership, how their youth prepared them for where they are today and what youth can do to take up the positions of leadership they hold. After each keynote, students will move into break-out groups to reflect and agree on questions and issues to be put to the speaker, they will return to the main online venue to question the speakers and reflect. We’ll use the zoom tools of @&A, voting up questions and sidebar chats to ensure it’s not passive but very very active.

Register for the Nelson Mandela Regional Youth Summit

Photos and Comments from the 2018 Summit

Confirmed Speakers

Karen Sobels, President at Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will speak on being optimistic in business and being the optimistic leader of 15,000 businesses who are members of The Chamber.

Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist, will speak about optimistic leadership in science, innovation, invention and, of course, in medicine and the pandemic.

Michael F. Kleine, USA Consul General, Melbourne

Andrew Cumpston, State Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Ken Murray, Campus Principal at the Wanganui campus of the Greater Shepparton Secondary College. At the end of 2020, Ken will be retiring after 40 years of service – what a story of youth leadership he will tell!

Margaret Hepworth, The Gandhi Experiment

Victor Perton, Chief Optimism Officer, The Centre for Optimism


Download a Flyer for this Event


Optimism from David Thomas


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