Reflections from Future Leaders Residential 1

Trying to keep up the practice of reflective writing is an endless repetition of writing about how you’re going to try to keep writing.

Alas, here we go. Try again.

I’ve just returned from the first residential of the Australia Council Future Leaders Program. There were 26 of us in this year’s cohort. Of the 26, 6 were internationals from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, India, and China. The only straight man was Indigenous. 18 women. Of the participants from Australia, 4 were women of colour…

I’d like to think of these figures as optimistic – that the art sector’s leadership can and might, dare I say already, looks like this.

There is much to digest, reflect, critique, and unravel. And I suspect these thoughts will take its time to flesh out.

I want to write more poignantly about the deep thoughts during and since the residential, and perhaps from way earlier in this process of inquiry –  but as always, I’m much better over cups of tea. I must admit, I go over my journal, and actually cannot recognise my handwriting.

Most of all – I am invigorated by the relationships formed, and excited by the depth of conversations to come.

But here, for now, a few notes and lingering words, questions, thoughts, and Asian Aunty nuggets of wisdom:

Tension, temperament, personalities, expectations, baggage, curiosities, a point in time.

I see facilitation as a core practice in (my) leadership. If not for any reason, but to facilitate ourselves. A deep listening and witnessing, of the other person, of the rest of the room – then the response, of what the room needs. And sometimes, the room doesn’t need you to act.

Oh how I crave the practice-led – walking, eating, looking…; embodying by moving, touching, bare feet and water; to talk vision with an actual vantage point.

Joy. It was named, I was affirmed. And I want to hold on to that – I work with joy.

How do you demonstrate leadership in a room full of leaders? When do we allow ourselves to be held, and to be led? What is the dramaturgy of leadership?

Why was there no rice?

Can I keep this diary up?

My mother say, “try everything once.”

Don’t be shy. If you shy, you lose out.

Good buy must buy. But just because it’s a cheap buy doesn’t mean you should buy.

Drink more water.

Pace yourself.






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