This evening I had the privilege of officiating the 2008 Young Leaders Program hosted by EV’s Youth Centre in Croydon.

Alex awarding a certificate to a participant of 2008 Young Leaders Program

The Young Leaders Program is a week long program aimed towards year 10 students by providing them with a variety of leadership skills, such as public speaking, communication and conflict resolution. At the conclusion of the program the participants host a presentation evening to demonstrate the skills they have learnt.

It was fantastic to see each participant gain so much from the program and I hope that they will continue to use these leadership qualities in not just their school and employment pursuits but also within the broader community. Many community groups would welcome the input and dedication of younger people and it is imperative that our future generations step forward to continue the strong tradition of volunteering that we have within our community.

Alex with the participants of the 2008 Young Leaders Program

Please continue reading for a copy of the speech that I delivered this evening.

Given that tonight’s event is being held during Reconciliation Week I would like to begin with an Acknowledgement of Country to pay our respects to the traditional custodians of this land.

In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge that we are meeting on land for which the Wurundjeri people and their ancestors have been custodians for many centuries and on land which Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.

We accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.

The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality, to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.

There is no better event than to recognise and respect the individuality, unity and cohesiveness of our community than through the Young Leaders Program.

Alex speaking at the 2008 Young Leaders Program

Good evening and welcome to EV’s Youth Centre for the Presentation Evening of Maroondah City Council’s Annual Young Leaders Program. It is wonderful to see so many people here tonight to celebrate the achievements of the 2008 Young Leaders. I would like to congratulate the many participants for their fantastic program this evening, let’s give them another round of applause in recognition of their many skills they have displayed this evening.

I would also like to acknowledge Cr. Jo-anne Taylor and the many staff of EV’s Youth Centre who run programs like tonight, and many others here at EV’s Youth Centre.

As you have heard, Young Leaders is a week long program designed to support and empower participants via the learning of various leadership skills including:

  • effective communication
  • group processes
  • public speaking
  • assertiveness and positive self talk
  • conflict resolution
  • and much more

These life skills are attributes that everyone should take the time to learn, particularly Councillors involved in local government!

Maroondah City Council is delighted to be able to offer such a comprehensive leadership program to the young people in our community.

The dedication of the twenty young people participating in the program throughout the week is a credit to them and highlights attributes required for a being a leader. It is said that the most commonly reported social fear is public speaking and it is clear from tonight’s proceedings that each of the particpants have overcome that challenge!

Tonight each and every Young Leader participant has taken on these challenges and conquered any fear or nerves they may have experienced to present to you the skills they have learnt from the past week, once again well done for your dedication to this program.

With this in mind, I would like to congratulate all the Young Leaders participants – for your efforts throughout the entire week and for tonight’s performance. You have challenged yourselves to a degree that absolutely delighted your audience. Congratulations for accepting this challenge with such enthusiasm.

It is great to see that this has been such a positive experience for our participants and I hope you can now confidently implement these skills learning in everyday life, helping grow as leaders in our community. Use these skills not just for school and work but also in our wider community. Many community groups would welcome the involvement of younger people, so please take the time to look at ways you can use these leadership qualities through the many community organisations, such as environmental, welfare or social groups that exist within our community.

In addition to recognising the young people, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the schools and parents for encouraging these young people to attend this program. I am aware that by attending this program the participants are absent from the normal school program for a whole week and while they do not appear to have minded missing a week of school, it is a large commitment so I thank you for your support. I hope you feel the same way that I do, that it was a week well spent.

I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Council’s Youth Services Team who have worked hard putting this program together, including facilitating the program and ensuring tonight’s event runs smoothly. Tonight is one of many great events and programs run by Council’s Youth Services Team and I would encourage you to speak with a team member if you would like any further information.

Upcoming events include the Snippets Youth Short Film Festival, where young people can make a short film to be screened at Hoyts Eastland in September and the Youth Performing Arts Program, which will organise community performances for later this year. Please stay involved in EV’s Youth Centre and ask us if you would like any further information on the wealth of programs that are available.

Again, I congratulate all the Young Leaders on their achievements and thank them for their wonderful performance tonight. I hope you enjoyed all of your experiences throughout the week. Good luck with implementing your school-based projects, I’m sure this will be an exciting journey for you all.

I wish you the very best for the future.

I will now be accompanied by Cr. Jo-anne Taylor to assist in the presentation of the award for this evening.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email:


  • Kayleen says:

    What great life skills to be teaching our children. It is great to see schools and community groups promoting such valuable life skills. To give our kids the greatest chance in life is to build up their communication and confidence skills so they can explore every opportunity open to them with gusto. This world has a great deal to offer all of us when equipped with such things.

    My compliments to you Alex for supporting the night.

  • Alex Makin says:

    Dear Kathleen,

    Thank you very much for comments. The Young Leaders Program is certainly a fantastic opportunity and it was great to see each of the participants gain so much from being involved in the program.

    It was great to have the opportunity to officiate the proceedings. The standard process is for the Mayor to host these events but he was an apology for the evening providing me with the opportunity to present the awards and present the overview. Cr. Jo-anne Taylor also attended, Jo-anne is a great supporter of EV’s and we both try to attend each of the events they hold to provide support for younger people within Maroondah.

    The EV’s Youth Centre hosts some amazing events for young people and I hope that these participants continue to be involved within our community.



  • Kayleen says:

    Dear Alex,

    You are very dedicated to your job. I think we both have a few of those life skills above including drive 🙂


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