On 9 and 10 February Brandon Pinto (from Adelaide) and Sharlien Cummings (from Perth), together with 16 others, attended RESULTS’ Leaders Retreat in Canberra: two days of learning about political advocacy and the issues we work on, followed by a day of meetings in Parliament House with elected representatives from all over the country. They recount their experiences at the retreat…

I found out about RESULTS from my university’s volunteering portal. After I looked up the RESULTS website, I was honestly taken up by the passion of the organisation to make a difference at a grassroot level with a mission to end global poverty. 

Being someone who loves taking on opportunities and wearing different hats, I was intrigued by the amount of things I could gain by volunteering for RESULTS. When I was told about the Leadership Retreat and the opportunity available for me to be a part of the Adelaide core organising team, I was really excited. 

The retreat touched upon various key elements of developing leadership, and then led into how we leaders can contribute effectively towards the goal of RESULTS – ending global poverty. The workshop that I liked the most was the ‘Values’ workshop. I also liked the innovative solutions that came up when we looked at approaching parliamentarians and planning our meeting with them. I think the most memorable learning from the retreat was to see how we all thought of different solutions for similar processes to reach a common goal.

Brandon Pinto

I was honoured to attend the RESULTS Australia leadership retreat in Canberra. Having only just joined RESULTS a couple of weeks prior I was unsure of what to expect from the retreat.

On the Saturday, I hustled to the conference room and was met by a number of friendly individuals from a vast array of backgrounds who had committed to spending their weekend with a bunch of strangers. With this said, we didn’t stay strangers for long.

The next one and half days were packed full of information, laughter, inclusive activities and a role play thrown in for good measure. (My greatest fear is role play so I was grateful to learn that we had run out of time for every group to undertake this activity. :-))

On Sunday, we had a panel of speakers including Sharon Claydon, Member for Newcastle and co-chair of the TB Caucus. I’m not an overly political person, but having the opportunity to listen to an MP speak with such honesty and transparency ignited a fire inside. We all have the opportunity to educate and effect an immense amount of change in our own communities and beyond.

On Monday, we were onward bound for Parliament House. As the team approached the MP’s office my polished speech had slipped my mind. Whoops! My speech no longer mattered as the team went into freestyle mode answering questions from the MP. Our conversation flowed like beautiful music as we gathered support, and discussed common interests.

All in all, the team did a fabulous job, and the retreat allowed us to achieve this great success. The 3 days of learning and laughing meant that we all knew each other’s strengths, and in a time of pressure we were able to leverage these areas of expertise.

Sharlien Cummings