Richmond Club was among a prestigious room of sponsors and guests supporting the official launch of the Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Program last night.
The program, an initiative of Hawkesbury MP Dominic Perrottet was officially opened by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson at Hawkesbury Racecourse.
It offers Year 12 students an alternative to Schoolies Week. They take part in a week-long service project in an indigenous community as well as being mentored by outstanding Australian leaders such as Prof. Marie Bashir, Virgin Aust CEO John Borghetti and Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev.
MP Dominic Perrottet, program organiser, said the community has a responsibility to provide young people with an inspiring and positive alternative that instils values of service, sacrifice and purpose.
“I believe the Hawkesbury is home to the next generation of world-class leaders and this program offers our Year 12 students a once in a lifetime opportunity to be mentored by leading Australians and make a lasting contribution to the community,” he said.
This year's program consists of a launch dinner, three leadership functions and a service project at an Indigenous community, to be held during Schoolies Week.
Richmond Club Group CEO Kimberley Talbot said the group, whose motto is Community Heart, is committed to supporting the Hawkesbury-Hills Student Leadership Program.
"It is important to foster leadership and give our young people every chance to grow and excel in life," Ms Talbot said.
"Mr Perrottet is very passionate about this project, which is a fantastic alternative to the mindless drunken culture of Schoolies Week.
"Previous years have seen students walk the Kokoda Track and been mentored by retired defence chief General Peter Cosgrove, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and former prime minister John Howard."
Students from local high schools are encouraged to fundraise towards the cost of the service trip, further strengthening ties to their community and fostering a strong feeling of achievement and accomplishment.
Richmond Club Group is among a host of local businesses involved in sponsoring the program.
* Pictured above: NSW Premier Mike Baird with Richmond Club Group director Di Finch at the launch.
* Main image and images below: courtesy Dominic Perrottet.com.au