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Griffith University Campus Directors reflect on their Millennium Fellowship experience

“Sometimes as a leader you have to be willing to take a step back in order for the team to move forward”

Rachel Kapnias (left) and Kimberley Bates (right)

Serving as Campus Directors at Griffith University has been an invaluable learning journey for us both. This opportunity has allowed us to better recognise our strengths and understand how we can put these values into practice. Every meeting we start by asking ourselves “What can we do to make this a rich and engaging experience for our Millennium Fellowship cohort?” This has forced us (in the best possible way) to get creative with our training sessions by going beyond to offer our Millennium Fellows unique experiences, such as professional networking with industry mentors and emerging youth leaders.

From the beginning we both shared what we hoped to achieve as Campus Directors and the different skillsets we possess. For example, Rachel is an absolute powerhouse with using our communications platform on Teams (including troubleshooting which is no small feat) and Kimberley enjoys putting together graphic design content for our announcements. It has been great to learn from one another during this process and setting aside time for us to build a shared vision as Campus Directors has made this experience all the more rewarding.

Tips that we have for other Campus Directors include setting up a regular meeting time to prepare content and communications with the team. Once we fell into our rhythm, we were able to utilise this time to plan ahead and get more creative. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to look to your university networks to see if you can find additional support through professional mentorship. We were extremely grateful to Griffith University for allowing us to collaborate with Faculty Advisors through our Griffith Honours College and our Sustainability Office.

One of the biggest challenges we faced, yet were able to work through together, was adapting to different learning styles. As avid students of psychology, we utilised visual, auditory, and reading/writing exercises to accommodate for different preferences. Transforming content into interactive activities was also a great way for everyone to participate in thought- provoking discussion. Keeping everyone engaged and finding a time that worked for everyone was also challenging in the beginning. Our advice is to try and keep an open mind and be willing to be flexible. Sometimes this means checking in more frequently, being receptive to feedback and revising your plan to better suit the needs of the team. As Campus Directors we realised that when we took a step back from our schedule and listened to the concerns of our team, we were able to move forward together.

The Millennium Fellowship has sparked in us, as Campus Directors and Millennium Fellows, the ability to lead and find courage in turning our ideas into action. It really is a privilege to work alongside a group of amazing like-minded youth from around the world as we step into the role as facilitators with a dream to support and empower others.


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