Change for the better

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Change for the better

IN November 2013, the Halogen Foundation hosted a National Young Leader’s Day to develop strong leadership values amongst young Australians.

Mirboo North Secondary College student Dana Flahavin was there and left feeling empowered.

Now school captain, she wants to ensure her experience at the leader’s day spreads to the school community.

Almost single handed, although with lots of direction and mentoring from several of her teachers, Dana has set about coordinating a day of guest speakers and workshops at her school on Friday, September 12 which has been declared Change YOUR World Day.

Change YOUR World Day will begin with addresses by Arron Wood and Tim Cope.

Arron Wood is a councillor for the City of Melbourne, a winner of the United Nations Individual Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment and the 2001 Young Australian for the Year for the Environment.

He has emerged from the boy who was told to be quiet in school to someone who now uses his voice to inspire others.

Tim Cope, brought up in Drouin South, first came to public prominence with the release of his book Off the Rails telling the story of his and his friend Chris Hatherley’s first epic journey by recumbent bikes from Moscow to Beijing.

He is now a well known author, adventurer, film maker and public speaker.

On Change YOUR World Day, he will join Kirstie Marshall, Australian Olympic skier and Victorian state politician, to participate in workshops on a wide variety of topics from over-packaging, marine biology and human rights to living simply, being yourself and same sex marriage.

Another integral part of Change YOUR World Day will be Kids Teaching Kids, an environmental education program run by Cr Arron Wood.

Twenty four year eight students have been coached by a Kids Teaching Kids education officer in interactive teaching methods and will run sessions on subjects like deforestation, food health and well being, hunger and recycling.

Over the course of the day, all students will make imprints of their hands on exterior walls and finish the day by writing statements around them beginning, “So I will…” as a response to something they feel passionately about.

For example, I am passionate about injustice, “So I will…”

Dana said planning the day has been a fillip.

“I was so over school and doing this has kept the passion alive. I feel even more than ever that anything is possible,” she said.

“Plus I have learned how to plan, how to delegate rather than trying to do everything by myself, how to tactfully approach people and talking to different people.”

What makes Change YOUR Wold Day even more remarkable is that when she was in Year 10, aged 15, Dana lost first her father and four months later her brother.

She says her brother always really lived his life to the full and inspired many others to do the same.

He was always reminding everyone who knew him how short life is and how important getting out there and living is.

Her brother’s death gave Dana a sense of urgency to make her dreams reality and to live each day as if it were her last.

Dana says her brother’s short life is summed up by Howard Thurman’s words, “Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Her father she said was interested in everything and always helping her with her school work.

And Dana does not want to forget her mother who has always instilled in her daughter the can-do mentality now bearing fruit.

Asked what she hopes others will take from the day Dana said, “That the end of the day won’t be the end but the beginning.

“I hope others feel inspired and realise that they can make a difference.”

Opening doors: Mirboo North Secondary College school captain Dana Flahavin is bringing inspirational speakers to her school.

Opening doors: Mirboo North Secondary College school captain Dana Flahavin is bringing inspirational speakers to her school.

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Posted by on Sep 2 2014. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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