We Are All Sydney testimonials

We Are All Sydney graduates praise the program

Daniel Gobena

Alison Barnard

Amar Singh

Basim Shamaon

WAAS graduates Sydney Wantok Association President Roxanne Pouru & Immediate Past President Steven Gagau, said:

“The WAAS Program was more of a capacity building and succession planning journey personally and organisationally for our Sydney Wantok Association Inc. That was the objective to enter the program with Roxanne with positions as follows;

Steven Gagau – President
Roxanne Pouru – Youth Ambassador

By Graduation Night, positions had changed due to the development pathway that we worked towards and embraced with our community. This was reflected and resulted after our AGM on 7th November 2020.

This is a testimony of the positive outcomes of such a WAAS program and its impact on participants as leaders, emerging leaders or future leaders.

Steven Gagau – Immediate Past President
Roxanne Pouru – President”

Feedback from graduates

Question: What three words would you use to describe the program?

Innovative, Multicultural, Professional
Relationships, Inspiring, Relevent
Empowering, Stimulating, Encouraging
Interesting, Inspiring, Empowering
Practical, Engaging, Inspiring
Inspiring, Rewarding, Hopeful
Empowering, skill-building, Impactful
Excellent, Unifying, Humbling
Useful, Fun, Ground-breaking
Inspirational, Relevant, Powerful
Unleashing the power of Diversity!

Question: What, if anything, did you learn or feel that surprised you?

The challenges that most minority communities face in Australia are actually similar if not the same.

That “big time” leaders were like me before, “small time”. That it is how we think we can grow and connect with each other that makes us big.

The importance of coalition-building.

How similar we all are, yet so involved in self-glorification as “I am the best”.

The coalition building session and what can be achieved by working hard, smart and collaborating such as the Keep NSW Safe campaign.

I realised that I could be a leader and that is transformative.

Knowing myself through Lumina was just jaw-dropping.

I was surprised at how humble and authentic Rabbi Bob Kaplan is. He, who walks with people of such high status, is walking and talking with me – insignificant me!! He didn’t tell us about himself, rather he showed us how to be like him, how to see ourselves as brothers and sisters, no matter how very different we are all.

Learnt so much from the other ethnic/faith community groups in Sydney! but it was great to hear about all of the stuff that was going on in the Jewish community – and to use that as an example of what can be done.

The diversity in the room. Fantastic stories and journey of people and communities.

Question: What main learnings are you taking away from the program?

I learned how to build coalition with people from many ethnic communities and learn about their culture(s), the challenges and how to overcome them.

The importance of relationships and networks. You never know how we can help each other build each other, our communities and society.

Unconscious incompetence is actually a term!. 😀

The importance of building strong networks.

Listen to understand and NOT just to respond. To always confirm my assumptions about cultures. While we may have differences, we can always come to a common ground. Small steps lead to a bigger change.

We belong to different communities but we are facing the same challenges. If we collaborate , we can learn from each other and create a better communities.

A leader is not necessarily born. A leader can be formed through learning.

Being the change I want to see. take steps to create leadership and upskill others networking and the knowledge that as humans we have solutions to most of our challenges and networking connects the dots.

Everything, one cannot only take one, as they are all inter-connected with one another in our Leadership Role, when you aspire to have a positive impact.

That I CAN lead and I can make a difference. I’ve learnt that if something in the world isn’t good, we are able to do something to change it, and not wait for other people to do it.

How to present yourself ,your cause and community. The concept of cultural humility.

Question: Is there any other comment that you would like to make?

Would like to thank the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for holding this training and to Lynda and Hila for what they invested into this. Bringing in professionals from different fields to impart knowledge to the cohort. Thank you for being visionary and proactive in ensuring that as we share this great city, we see ourselves as We Are All Sydney striving for the best of all the people who call this great city home. Thank you Shalom!

Thank you Lynda and team for the opportunity to come together with such a diverse cohort of leaders passionate about community. It was a great opportunity to learn from different cultures, to strengthen and support each other.

Keep up the good work . Lynda you are such an inspiration.

Spouses or partners of leaders carry a fair weight of burden as they provide support behind the scenes. A session of the program to optionally invite spouses in the company of their leader partners to learn how to assist and cope with certain pressures could go a long way to help.

God bless this initiative, I think it surely will make a bigger difference in coming days.

After the program, I want to know more about the other participants or culture. Also interested to meet the other alumni.

Lynda, you created and delivered this amazing course professionally and warm at the same time. It was a privilege to be part of such a diverse and intelligent group of people. I look forward to continuing the WAAS journey and to continue to grow and learn from it. Thank you!

Great food!

Thank you for the opportunity to establish relationships with friends from around the world, here in Bankstown. I walk away from this program seeing my friends, beautiful and humble people, here to help each other, to make a better community for us all to live in, seeing my friends in the cultural nation they are from eg. Kate in every Vietnamese, Isaac in every Ghananian, Ali in every Pakistani, Lynda and others in every Jewish person I meet.

Thank you so much for this. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m so happy to have been a part of it. This program has so many important messages and I’m so happy that you are running it.

WAAS community building workshop

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