Sarah Powell is part of a family-run mixed-farming business at Wharminda on the Eyre Peninsula. In her early career Sarah gained experience in business advisory and economic development, but soon discovered a passion for arming the next generation of leaders with skills to continue to drive and recognise the evolving needs of industry.
As an Executive Officer on the board of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Sarah chaired the Young Chamber program which invested in the development of a new generation of business leaders in far north Queensland. From there she assisted in the development of this program in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Following a move to the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia, Sarah rediscovered her passion for regional communities. Shortly after arriving she established new relationships through social groups, including local sporting clubs. These groups helped Sarah realise the potential of local sporting clubs as a mechanism to build future leaders, which she believes is core to keeping regions sustainable.
In particular, she believes these community groups are an important vehicle for young people and women to gain essential skills and confidence and ultimately increase their community participation. She also believes that the culture of mentoring in sporting clubs empowers young ambassadors and gives them confidence and motivation to step up in their club and community.
Sarah will use the $10,000 Award bursary to establish and manage the pilot program ‘Champions Academy’. The Academy aims to foster personal development through sport and mentoring, teach aspiring leaders how to lead by example, act with integrity, think selflessly and demonstrate commitment. It will be delivered through a culture of mentoring that engages, empowers and builds confidence and motivation for participants to take on change-agent roles. The grant will also be used to develop a community leadership succession plan to continue to build strength and resilience in her local community.