Damien Ganley

Where are you now?

I am now working at Covenant College in Geelong as a Year 7 Homeroom Teacher, whilst also teaching many different subjects and year levels. Last year was my first year out, which I've loved because the school has spent a lot of time investing in me and allowing me to try new things, make mistakes and create new accomplishments.

When I moved to Geelong, I attended a new church, and took on a youth leadership role. This has taken in many different types of role, and it is looking like 2016 will also be a year of reaching new levels of leadership in this. It is extremely rewarding and inspiring to encourage, walk with and support our younger generation, supporting them to make great decisions and standing beside them when they don't.

What leadership/volunteering did you do at uni? What did you get out of it?

Whilst at Uni I volunteered in a range of different roles – I was the manager of the Footy Club, an Outreach Ambassador (talking to rural Highschool kids about Uni and taking them on hikes) and volunteered with Red Frogs (and still do), a chaplaincy program ran out of churches all around Australia who work with Schoolie week events, Uni events, Cricket Australia and Music festivals just to name a few.
I look at the points above and it summarises why I do what I do. I love people and love seeing people succeed and reach outcomes they never thought was possible. I love being able to teach and lead people through areas that I got stumped with and learnt from, and creating a culture where people feel free to push further than before. Funnily enough, leading people has taught me a lot about being lead. A close friend of mine, a mentor and fellow leader once said to me, 'a good leader is also a good follower', and I have built a lot of my leadership and volunteering on this statement. The saying 'you cant lead people where you haven't been yourself' makes the former comment even more powerful. I have spent a lot of time learning from others, going to leadership seminars, listening to many more experienced leaders then I, and volunteering under different leadership structures, has allowed me to create my own taste of leadership, all from first following others. But one thing that has always stood by me, is that without relationships with people, it is very hard to lead them. That's why pushing people beyond their limits and seeing them achieve is so rewarding, and that's why I love being a leader.