MacKillop Student Association Leadership Retreat

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”- John C. Maxwell.

Recently North Sydney’s MacKillop Student Association (MAKSA) Executive spent valuable time on a short retreat with the Campus Ministry Team and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Coordination), Professor Hayden Ramsay, exploring themes of leadership, responsibility and building culture.

The retreat was an important opportunity for outgoing and incoming MAKSA members to engage with one another and be encouraged for the future, and praised for their efforts during this year.

The day saw some team activities followed by input from Professor Ramsay, with significant time for discussion in both small groups and as a whole before each MAKSA member was thanked by Campus Ministry and presented with a memento.

Over 2019, the FX Mission Team, a part of North Sydney’s Campus Ministry, has worked hard to demonstrate to students the love we’ve encountered from God. A great pathway to achieving that has been through a real and transparent friendship with the MacKillop Student Association.

Both Campus Ministry and MAKSA have come to realise that we have the same mission in mind, but under a different name. MAKSA calls it ‘building a vibe’, and Campus Ministry calls it 'showing God’s love', but there is a ‘joy’ and a ‘fire’ that we all long for in common, and working together we’ve been able to bring this to life on campus.

When Campus Ministry has empowered the students as leaders, it encouraged them to be bold and to realise that they really do have the ability to change the student culture of our university, for the better. MAKSA has similarly encouraged Campus Ministry and asked for our involvement and influential footprint.

Since MAKSA and Campus Ministry both desire change, it was easy to engage in our retreat day together, meeting each other where we’re at and consciously inviting Jesus into that space as well.

Professor Hayden Ramsay was able to talk to us about being ‘bridge people’, consciously connecting cultures, faiths and the silos of the university. It was a great honour for Campus Ministry to assist Professor Ramsay in thanking the outgoing MAKSA Executives for their service, and to welcome and encourage the incoming members.

My powerful take-home for the day was that leadership should never be restrained to a title or position. It’s true that there is a difference between power and influence, so be happy to influence even if you don’t have the power.

Michi Lonas
MAKSA and Campus Ministry team member

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