“The benefit will be to the community back home. It will be to the school that I work in, the students that I work in and for and my family as well. The benefit will be that I am more informed on how to work with different people and achieve the best results,” says Carmel Debel, graduate of the AILC’s Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership.

As a devoted mother and employee at St Mary’s Catholic College in Cairns, Carmel is certainly no stranger to being a leader whether it be at home or in the workplace. But she says the Certificate IV altered her perspective on leadership and opened her eyes to different the different styles and how and when they can be used.

“The course definitely changed my perspective on how to do things,” Carmel says.

“I learned how to better be a leader, how to do that in an effective way and take a balcony view of what is happening in in groups.

“It is not always about the leader and it is not always about the group. It is about how they work together to come to an end goal and do so effectively.

“I don’t need to always rescue people. Sometimes the learning is enabling people to answer their own questions, giving them that little bit of a hint to help them get to where they are trying to go.”

Students of AILC courses take turns as the daily leaders, assisting the course facilitator with running each day’s session. At the conclusion of each day, the daily leaders receive feedback from their peers. This was a highlight for Carmel, who says the task provided a good opportunity for self-reflection.

“I learned so much in doing that, especially hearing back from the group and having the time with Duane the facilitator to learn about myself and self-reflect,” Carmel says.

“Then also I got to hear about other people’s thoughts were and take those on board.”

Carmel says while it can be frightening to step outside your comfort zone in taking part in an AILC course, she would encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a go.

“I would say don’t think twice (about taking the course). It is better to get out there and give things a go.

“Sometimes the unknown scares us, but being in this sort of environment with like-minded people and in a safe environment I would give it a go.

“The experience is something that I would recommend to everybody.”