Queensland’s top young lifesavers enhance leadership skills at UQ

4 Aug 2016
Associate Professor Remi Ayoko

A group of Queensland’s most outstanding young surf live savers gathered at The University of Queensland for a three-day Surf Life Saving Queensland Leadership Excellence Program.

The program aimed to develop and harness the group of 18-30 year olds’ communication, teamwork and management skills.

It included teamwork and physical challenges, a boot camp session and workshops on topics including conflict management, mentoring and leadership, as well as a workshop with UQ Business School Associate Professor Remi Ayoko.

Associate Professor Ayoko who is an award-winning researcher in areas including conflict management, leadership, diversity, and team work said she feels incredibly privileged to be a part of this year’s program.

“The participants were vibrant, energetic and ready to embrace life. This is a good stage of life to infuse quality leadership skills into the participants who have volunteered their time and energy to serve the community and are responsible for developing others in this capacity,” she said.

She spoke to the group about servant leadership and the importance of developing followers’ potentials for community service organisations such as SLSQ.

She also advised the young leaders how to manage emotions and conflict that may arise during their duties as life savers.

In welcoming the young leaders, UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ and Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) forged a partnership last year as the organisations shared many similar values.

“We chose to be the key sponsor of this event because nurturing and equipping future leaders to create change is the most important thing we do as a university.

“We are pleased to share our expertise and facilities with you to help you develop the skills and confidence to become leaders of influence,” he said.

SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse said the program theme covered natural, economic and social sustainability.

She said the participants represented the future of surf lifesaving.

“We aim to provide a clear pathway for them to build upon their skills and eventually transition into more formal leadership positions within their clubs and the wider organisation,” she said.

“On behalf of SLSQ, I’d like to thank and acknowledge The University of Queensland for its vital support of this initiative.”