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2017 Power Trip Reflection: “The top 3 moments that changed my life journey”

By Taylor Kelsey-Shueard, 2017 Power Trip winner from Portland, VIC 

2017 winner, Taylor said the experience was life-changing

I remember the exact moment I found out that I was to be one of the 2017 Power Trip winners. I was absolutely ECSTATIC and could not contain myself. I couldn’t imagine how I was to be so influenced and redefined as a future leader.

When I’m asked what was the most exciting experience from the trip, there is an endless list – but there are three things that I believe have had a major impact on my life journey. The first would be the leadership workshops that we had on our first full day – I have truly learnt so much from the activities we did and it has given me a real insight into growth mindset. The TEDxCanberra workshops allowed us to understand the difference between authority and leadership – I have the answers vs. we will find and learn the answers together, learn to accept compliments, understand our worth, and the power of giving compliments, and finally, that the most important public speaking that I will ever do is the private speaking within my own head. That one really stuck with me.

With winners from Tasmania and South Australia at the ABC

The second experience was the interview with the wonderful Genevieve Jacobs on 666 ABC Canberra who asked us about the drive behind our applications for the Power Trip, the importance of our values, and what we hope to take back to our communities after such a significant adventure.

Lastly, the bonding and networking that took place over those short but powerful days was definitely one of best parts of the trip for me. The thirteen young ladies alongside me were some of the most wonderful people that I’ve ever met, and they are all inspirational future leaders in their own individual ways. The ‘Powerful Women’s Breakfast’ allowed us to build on our social skills with some remarkable women, and the ‘Speed Networking’ evening where we talked to a number of current influential leaders for five minutes each was a fantastic experience, providing us an opportunity learn about some of the most pivotal moments in their careers and lives.

Selfies with the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Another thing to quickly add is the opportunities we had to converse with a variety of different politicians. They were all able to offer us stimulating advice and were open to hearing our stories about our motivations to make Australia a better place. And a credit to the incredible Hannah Wandel for surprising us with a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull!

Beforehand, I hadn’t really considered a position in politics. However, after those past five enriching days, I feel overwhelmingly motivated to follow this pathway and give a voice to not only Australian women, but also my generation, and people from across the world! As I learn a language, this combination of politics and language could lead me anywhere – hopefully allowing me to advocate for justice across a wide spectrum.

The amazing Department of Agrciculture & Water Resouces Networking night, MC’d by radio personality Kristen Henry

If I were to refine how the power trip changed me, I’d have to say the advice that I was given by individuals has really changed me. I’ll shorten the list down to my favourite one: Sometimes the rules need to adapt to you, but sometimes you need to adapt to the opportunities.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to ask Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop a question which had been bottled up inside of me: “What would you do differently for your younger self?” Her response that she wished she’d been more open in taking opportunities and following her instincts really resonated with me.

It’s hard to put into words how truly grateful I am and how much I’ve taken away from such a pivotal and life-changing experience. From the opportunities to network with a diverse range of powerful current and future leaders, building public-speaking skills, the exposure to Australian politics and human equality, and the infinite list of newfound skills that I now have under my belt, I can’t wait for what the future holds.

I hope that all the future Power Trip winners are able to take full advantage of this life-changing experience and bring change into their communities. For me, I hope to give young Australians a voice in advocating for what they believe in, and in creating a more equal and progressive society.

Thank you to all of the volunteers at Country to Canberra who made this experience possible!

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