At Merriwa, we know the importance of encouraging good leadership in all areas and at all levels. We recognise the value of building leadership skills, including informal peer leadership and leading by example.

At Merriwa, being young is not seen as a barrier to showing good leadership.

One way we develop the leadership capacity of our younger team members is through our Emerging Leaders program, focussed on creating positive connections with our all-abilities team members. Merriwa is also currently supporting several team members to complete a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, some of whom are in their early 20s.

Vanessa Brambly is an Area Coordinator in the Timbers division. She is undertaking the Certificate IV course. Vanessa believes good leadership includes having compassion – valuing people for who they are, increasing their self-confidence, and broadening their horizons. To Vanessa, leadership also means having the courage to ask for feedback about your leadership and being open to learning as much as you can.

“For example, today someone told me I’m a good leader. I asked them ‘Why?’ because I want to know what I need to keep doing,” Vanessa said.

Adam Sylwestrzak is another young team member developing leadership skills. Adam volunteers on Merriwa’s Supported Employee Advisory Committee (SEAC). His experience on this committee has taught him peer leadership skills such as running meetings and listening well. Adam appreciates the opportunities that SEAC has given him to “have a voice”.

Changes Adam and other SEAC members are proud to have instigated include safety and accessibility improvements for Merriwa’s all-abilities team members.