MORE than 6500 NSW primary school students gathered in Sydney
recently for the National Young Leaders Day and the chance to hear Michael
The annual event, organised by the Halogen Foundation, aims to inspire
students to lead themselves and others well and challenge them to take
their place as future leaders in the nation.
Speakers apart from Michael included co-host of Seven's Sunrise program
Melissa Doyle, former NRL referee Bill Harrigan and mountaineer Nikki Bart.
Asked beforehand about speaking to such a large crowd, Michael said he
"I really enjoy talking to kids, especially this age group. They are just
starting to think about their role in the world and the opportunity to
perhaps have some influence in their lives is just too good to pass up.
"Kids are brutally honest and, if you don't grab their attention, they can
only be polite for so long. It's instant feedback for a speaker and the
beauty of it is that you can adjust accordingly mid-stream.
"You don't really find out what adults think of you until they fill out the
survey a week later," said Michael.
There was very little chatter during his presentation which must mean it
went well. Eleven-year-old Conor McGrath from Sydney said Michael was the
"He showed us how he can kick a soccer ball and told us how he can ride a
motorbike with one leg and change gears. It was really cool when he rode
his bike on stage.
"Michael's talk made me think about how tough life is and how we shouldn't
judge people by their appearance," said Conor.
National Young Leaders Day events for primary school students are taking
place in five cities around Australia in March with more than 20,000
students participating nationwide. Events for secondary school students are
scheduled for November.
Photo: Captivating - Michael demonstrates how he carries his skis under
his chin. Photo by Paymen Malecki.