The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Australia - Gold Participant, 16 year old Xenia Lopes, was the sole representative for Australia at the Global Young Leaders Conference which was held in Europe earlier this year. Touching on issues that are facing emerging leaders in the 21st century, the conference was held from 28 June to 7 July and looked at what it takes to be a global leader.
Describing the experience as “two of the greatest weeks of my life”, The Hornsby Girls’ High School student travelled to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic attending presentations as part of the Conference. “The last speaker could speak 80 different languages, that was amazing. (Another highlight) was going to the Berlin Wall and seeing something like that in real life.” She says.
The self-funded trip is being used for the Residential Project component of Xenia’s Gold Award. Xenia herself applied online for permission to attend the conference, displaying a high level of leadership. When asked about what she attributes to be a good quality of a leader, she shared “I guess it’s a lot about communicating with other people and being able to compromise.” Extending upon the knowledge gained at the conference, Xenia says “I learned a lot about cross cultural communication, being able to see other people’s perspective and being able to work in a team. This experience has enriched me in many ways: it has made me more confident in expressing my views and to seek leadership opportunities in the community.”
To read more about Xenia's experiences at the Global Conference click here.