The Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast communities were today urged to throw their support behind the development of the region's youth.
Nominations are now open for the 2008 Leadership Award and businesses are being called on to identify talented youth within their ranks.
The Award, presented by the University of Newcastle, recognises and encourages emerging leaders under the age of 35 in the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast regions, providing the winner with unique opportunities to develop their skills.
The University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders, said our local regions were fortunate to have such a large pool of leadership talent to develop.
"Today’s young leaders are the key to a strong future for our regions. Investing in our young people today will reap rewards for tomorrow," he said.
David Newham, the 2007 Leadership Award winner and long-standing and active member of the Newcastle local Aboriginal community, said his prize of a five-day senior leadership program at the esteemed Mt Eliza Executive Education facility in Melbourne, pushed him out of his comfort zone.
"The program was very empowering," he said. "It made me analyse the way I am and the way I operate, and was fantastic for my confidence.
"I realised leadership isn't about titles and positions - there is a big difference between leadership and management.
"I really encourage all young people, particularly other emerging Aboriginal leaders, to have a shot at the awards this year."
The winner of the 2008 Leadership Award will receive a package of prizes including a $10,000 leadership development scholarship.
The 2008 Leadership Award is sponsored by the University of Newcastle, Fordcomm and the Coal and Allied Trust. It also receives generous support from the Hunter Business Chamber and the Hunter Economic Development Corporation.
Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast residents under the age of 35 can be nominated for the award. For nomination forms visit www.leadershipawards.com.au.
Nominations close on 3 November 2008. For further information, contact the University of Newcastle on 02 4921 7476.
For interviews with David Newham or Professor Nicholas Saunders please contact Katie Porritt.