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Leadership programs

Partnering to develop future leaders

Some kids need a bit more support to believe in themselves.

In disadvantaged families, it’s often harder for young people to engage in activities that supplement their classroom learning and stimulate personal growth. This can also affect a student’s self-esteem, self-reliance, leadership qualities, team-work abilities, confidence, compassion and interest in their local community.

Without access to opportunities and a social network, disadvantaged students miss out on more than just activities. They can miss out on a chance to see themselves as leaders.

smiling teenager Leadership Programs

Partner organisations

I have learnt to put myself out there and share my ideas, not to judge people from first impressions, to trust and push myself and most importantly, that I am stronger than I thought.

The Smith Family works with a number of partner organisations to offer young people in Learning for Life communities the chance to undertake a leadership and personal growth experiences that might transform their image of themselves and the world.

Working with Outward Bound Australia, we facilitate access for over 20 young people nationally every year to attend the National Aspiring Leadership Summit. We also work together to provide the Outward Bound camp in various states across Australia. These opportunities are open to young people in Years 9 to 12 to help expand their understanding of themselves and what they can achieve. The activities aim to strengthen stamina, leadership and team-working abilities.

Through our partnership with Foundation for Young Australians, we annually support up to 15 young people aged 18 from across Australia with the chance to work as an overseas volunteer from four to seven months. The placement allows these young people, who have just completed high school, to experience life beyond Australia, develop different perspectives, learn new skills, grow in confidence and independence and make new friends from home and abroad.

How do these experiences help?

Strengthening leadership and building self-esteem.

Young people who participate in leadership experiences are exposed to activities that strengthen their leadership and help them to develop more self-confidence and self-esteem.

What participants said:

"[I learnt to be] more comfortable in my own skin, especially when I have only just met people." - National Aspiring Leadership Summit Graduate

"I have gained so much confidence from my trip, and found it a really rewarding experience that will stay with me for life. My placement in Vietnam also helped me decide what I wanted to do at University next year. I had deferred a Bachelor of Primary Education until next year, however, I gained experience as a teacher in both Primary and Tertiary Centres, and because of that I have decided to change my degree next year so that in the long run I will be teaching Secondary Education rather than Primary. Without that experience I don't think I would have a clear vision of what I want to do in the future." - Sarah, Young People Without Borders participant

Sophie sitting with a book

Related links


Young people are linked with a mentor to provide advice and guidance about workplace, study and career opportunities.


Students with an interest in the creative arts are connected with art organisations and provided with access to relevant career information.

Leadership programs

The Smith Family partners with organisations which offer young people the chance to undertake leadership and personal growth experiences.

Work Inspiration

More than just work experience, this business-led initiative provides young people with opportunities to experience the world of work first hand and in a meaningful way.

Learning Clubs

A safe and supportive out-of-school learning environment where primary or secondary students can participate in activities that develop their academic and social skills.

Money for Life

Giving young people financial education early helps them develop the skills and habits they need to better manage their money now and in the future.

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