On Friday 31st March, 19-year-old Alannah Hall took charge as YMCA WA’s Young CEO for a Day. Carried out by YMCAs Australia-wide, the initiative reflects the organisation’s belief in the power of inspired young people to positively impact communities both locally and globally.
Speaking about her experience Alannah said “I would encourage all young people to get amongst programs like this, it’s such a great opportunity. I didn’t think I could do it but I don’t regret it at all.” Alannah said.
Alannah had the opportunity to raise issues she was passionate about and spent the day learning and discussing ideas with community organisations RUAH and Palmerston. She also spent time with YMCA WA Chairman and PwC Partner Justin Eve and YMCA WA Executives including CEO Ross Kyrwood.
“This was a great opportunity for us to hear from a passionate young person what we could do more of or better, as an organisation. At YMCA we want to hear what young people think and want to provide more opportunities where they can contribute and share their ideas,” Ross said.
“First up we went to RUAH, an organisation which helps the homeless and I met with one of their Executives Emma Jarvis and a manager at their drop in centre. I got to ask them a few questions around how we could help them with the recovery aspect for people who have been homeless and have now moved into a home or how we could help to prevent it,” Alannah said.
Alannah was also was interested to learn how RUAH supported front line staff to see what else YMCA WA could possibly do to look after the mental health of their staff as well.
“Next we went and saw Justin Eve our President, which was really good – I got to find out where he would like to see the Y going and what kind of things he would like to see for youth. The best thing we got out of that was I know we believe in the power of inspired young people but I think we can always believe in the potential of young people as well – and what could they be,” Alannah explained.
Alannah and YMCA WA CEO Ross Kyrwood next visited YMCA WA Board member and Palmerston CEO Sheila McHale, who answered all of Alannah’s questions about drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation. Alannah and Sheila spoke about the potential of a Palmerston and YMCA WA partnership to help the community, which Alannah was thrilled about.
At the meeting with our Executive team Alannah described how she would like to see YMCA WA give employees all of the required resources to succeed in their jobs, and would like to see a focus on the mental well-being of our staff. Our young CEO proposed the idea of a new program to the Executive Leadership Team, which would aim to re-engage people who have dealt with major issues which have seen them disconnected from the community. Alannah believes this program would also have the capacity to better utilise volunteers at the Y.
“I am so thankful for Alannah’s passion and many ideas. We will be sharing these with our staff and look at what we can implement in the future. She was a great Young CEO and I hope she learnt as much from the experience as we did from her,” Ross said.