Tag Archives: mentor

Keynote Address to Wagga High Year 10

First of all, it is a great honour to be able to address year 10, students, teachers and staff here at Wagga High School, after the teaching body here at the school developed this 2 week program – so well done to the teachers and staff who have made this possible, it is a terrific initiative that should really be adopted across the board as an example of what is possible.  Give the teachers and staff a round of applause for this two week program. I should also mention the efforts of Compact for organising speakers for the Q&A session and leadership day and whose “purpose statement” perfectly sums up their involvement in this program:

“Connecting people, education, community and the workplace to promote successful futures” – I love that statement.

Congratulations to you all for participating in this two week journey of discovery and learning about community involvement.  Well done and give yourselves a quick round of applause, you deserve it.

So thank you for this opportunity to present.

And what is it that I have been asked to present on?

It’s a theme in line with your journey over the past two weeks – giving back to the community.

Why is that?  Why would it be necessary to make a keynote address about the subject of giving back to the community?

It’s simple.  The 80/20 rule applies.

On Monday I had the great pleasure of entering into a discussion with some of your peers here in the school.  There were about 20 of us in the room and we talked for well over an hour about different things such as leadership, and the role of leadership in the community.  We talked about the definition of success and the perceived definitions of success that surround us.  But the most interesting part was when we spoke of the 80/20 rule.  The concept that 20% of society provides the income for 80% of the world.  The concept that 20% of society volunteers within their community.  The concept that 20% of the people in a room where a speech, presentation or indeed a keynote address will exit the room and implement something they have learned from it – and 80% will do nothing.

The 80/20 rule has been around since it was first articulated in 1906 when an Italian farmer named Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.  And the 80/20 rule frightens me.

It frightens me because it means 80% of the population is complacent, lazy or uninterested in giving back to the community.

It means that the burden of providing for the community, falls on the same shoulders of 20% of the population.

And why is that?

What are our challenges in the community?

What are the three biggest misconceptions that we should be questioning as a community?

How is it possible to turn this horrendous ratio around or at least improve on it for our future generations?

I have had the great privilege to be involved in some terrific community projects over the years.  Some have assisted those with a disability.  Some have benefited those who are homeless.  Some have contributed to those who have been affected by a mental illness.  And each of those have had impacts on certain people within our community who are constantly faced with their own challenges and are constantly surviving in a world that is different to the world you and I know.  And I am saddened to say that yes, the same people turn up to all of these different events to raise funds for others in need, or to give a hand to those in need, or to volunteer for those in need.

There are three big misconceptions in our community.

Misconception number 1 – you have to be in business to contribute back to your community.

From all of the events I’ve been to and all of the dollars that have been raised, there is a reliance on medium to big business to do all the work because they are the ones who earn big money.  They are the ones with time on their hands.  The misconception is that if you are in business you have an obligation, a responsibility to give back to the community because the community has given so much to you.  The misconception is that by providing benefits to the community you as a business may receive benefits back.

Everyone has the ability to give back to the community and it should not be for something in return.  It should not be because it’s an obligation.

It should be because it’s more than just doing something right – it’s doing the right thing.

We can all contribute something.

How much is up to us.

Misconception number 2 – it’s the job of governments and organisations to take care of society.

People elect governments and as far as I’m concerned we elect them to govern not just to provide.  We should provide.  We should provide for others, we should provide vision for our own community.  We should provide for ourselves.  We cannot rely on governments and other organisations to provide for those in need – alone.  We have the collective power to provide for others right here in this room.

Misconception number 3 – we only need to support causes that directly affect us or our loved ones.  I think we all know of causes close to our hearts because of something that has affected us, but we need not wait for that cause to start helping.

Ronald Regan once said “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

When I was first involved in setting up the local initiative known as Ignite Mentor, I wasn’t alone.  We started with a concept – how can we provide mentors for young people in our community who may not have access to positive role models in their lives, whether it be because they have no positive figures in their current lives, or the only ones they do have are considered an authority figure – not a friend to share things with.

I also came across people who told me it couldn’t be done anyway.  What’s the point?  You can’t change everything.  You can’t change everyone.  The problem is too big.

What a horrible way to look at the world.

All big achievements come from small steps.  Remember that Regan quote – you can’t help everyone – that’s not the point – you can help someone though.  And that someone can help someone else and so on.

With Ignite and through a relationship with Mary O’Neill, Laurinda Motion, Jeremy Hutchings and Anglicare Riverina who already had some mentoring programs in place, and the Department of Education and Communities who also had some programs in place, four of us – just four people, came together and created a brand that recognised and fostered all of the existing programs into the one bright name, Ignite Mentor.

Since it began in late 2011, Ignite Mentor has created over a hundred pairings between young people looking for someone to talk to, and members from the local community with backgrounds in business, sport, media, and health – people in the public of all ages, backgrounds, heritage and upbringings.  We had created and continue to create with the backing and support of Anglicare a vehicle for those who want to volunteer to be matched with those who are asking for volunteers.

I’m extremely proud of Ignite and its achievements.  I’m proud of all the people involved in its operation and running, including our major Naming Sponsor Brunslea Park Estate who have been extremely supportive of the Ignite brand and work.

I’m proud of our Ambassador and good mate to Ignite and Wagga, Tim “Rosso” Ross who has helped raise awareness of our cause, as well as money and created experiences for some of our young people.

I’m proud of the local role models who have put their hand up to contribute either time or money and sometimes both – but most of all I’m proud of the young people who have gone on to greater things because of their newfound path.

They have gone on to become employees of local businesses, they’ve gone on to become volunteers themselves, they’ve gone on to become positive role models amongst their peers and they’ve gone on to become contributors to our community.  They are quite possibly our future leaders.

But the success of anything, as we talked about in our smaller group the other day, is not about the number of people who have contributed one way or another.  It’s not about an end result of funds raised or hours contributed.  They’re numbers.  They’re benchmarks for others to determine are either successful or not in their eyes.

Success has to be internal.  Success has to be determined from your own benchmark and that is the journey.  Success is not a destination it is the journey itself.

The pursuit of happiness is not as important or even realistic as the pursuit of the full range of emotions we will all inevitably face.  Success should be defined as your acceptance and appreciation of your present.  Success should be the aim of balance with your mind, your body, your relationships, your wealth and your contribution to society.

So I put it to you year 10.  Where do you fit in this picture?  Are you feeling you are in the 20% that does something?  Are you in the 80% who may feel they do something but in the scheme of things it’s almost nothing?

Someone mentioned the other day that a focus and desire we often have in our school years is to be the best at something.  Be the best runner, swimmer, academic – I want to challenge you on something else before we head into presentations, don’t aim to be the best at anything – there’s no point

– focus instead on being better.

You can only be the best out of a selection of people for a certain amount of time and then what?

You can aim to be better at everything and always improve.

Be a better son or daughter.

Be a better partner, student, teacher, athlete, academic, artist,

– be a better version of whatever you want to be but most of all, stop wondering WHAT it is you will one day be, and start focusing on WHO you want to be.  On WHO you already are.

After contributing so much over the past two weeks, you can now decide if you want to continue to be the person who is in that 20%.

My takeaways for you today come from my observations and experiences over the years.  These are my top 5 tips for a balanced and emotionally rich life;

  1. Never compare yourself to others – you are special no matter what your strengths or weaknesses
  2. People who have gone onto achieve something for their community, their work or their family should be admired not cut down for their achievements
  3. Surround yourself with positive people as much as possible, and don’t beat yourself up about losing touch with people who aren’t a positive influence
  4. Don’t expect anything in return for anything you do, be satisfied that it was the right thing to do
  5. Don’t be the best…just be better

I’ll finish with my three favourite quotes in the world:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Henry Stanley Haskins

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give” – Winton Churchill


Thank you.

Must Attend Event – Daily Check-In 25th Jan 2013

This is What’s On Wagga Friday on the Daily Check-In. It’s an event that I’m involved in – so here are all the details.

Do you want to have fun?
Do you want to laugh?
Do you want to raise money at the same time?

Then watch this!!

Remember, you only live once, so make today count!

Monday – Movie Review
Tuesday – Trivia and Prize
Wednesday – Top 5 Tips of week
Thursday – Property of The Week
Friday – What’s on Wagga?

There aren’t enough human beings in the world like…Tim Ross

I’ve decided to start a series of blogs that will appear every now and then, entitled…”There Aren’t Enough Human Beings in the World Like…” followed by someone’s name who I truly admire for whatever reason.  I’ve been sparked into this because after a great weekend with a wonderful chap from Sydney, I realised we just don’t say it enough.  Quite often we are exactly the opposite!  We talk about what went wrong at the restaurant…about how rude and obnoxious some kids down the street were…basically we whinge a lot!  So why not spend a couple more seconds focusing on the positive moments in life, inspirations brought on by positive connections with other human beings…and share them?  It probably doesn’t sell as many magazines or newspapers…but it would be nice!

So, “There aren’t Enough Human Beings in the World Like Tim Ross.”

Between 1998 and 2002, I was out of University and living in Sydney as a “struggling actor”.  There were but three professional inspirations I remember clearly at the time:

1. Russell Crowe – for making it big in Hollywood but keeping himself rather grounded

2. Mel Gibson – childhood idol


3. Merrick and Rosso – couple of blokes carving it up on radio and just starting to venture into TV

The last pair I could really relate to.  In fact my mate Sully and I thought we could be the next Merrick and Rosso…we just didn’t know how to get into radio.

So it was with some trepidation that in June 2012, I approached Tim “Rosso” Ross at a conference in Sydney he was speaking at.  If you have read Rosso’s book “Mum had a Kingswood”, you will of course know that he has been in this same situation – meeting celebrities and being slightly concerned he would sound like a wanker.

I had the opportunity to grab him for just a few minutes, but little did I know the impact this short conversation would have on the lives of so many others.  What started as a compliment about how much I loved his speech, turned into an invitation to come to Wagga Wagga – the reason?  To be our first celebrity Ambassador for a Youth Mentoring Recruitment initiative I’m involved in called “Ignite”.

Tim wasn’t just interested in the concept of members of the community being paired with young people who required some form of positive role models in their lives – he also accepted the invitation.  It was done on a handshake and the exchange of twitter handles.

Within 48 hours Tim Ross had sent a direct message tweet to me saying let’s work out dates!  I was chuffed.  Could this actually all work and come together?

Over the following months I liaised with Tim, his management team and Ignite to secure a date and work out schedules.  It was all going to happen on the 22nd September 2012.

Fast-forward to the date of the event, and Tim Ross is sitting in my car as we travel into Wagga Wagga.  The last thing I wanted, was for him to feel like he was about to experience a scene from “Welcome to Woop Woop”.  In actual fact I needn’t have worried because nothing could concern Rosso – he is so laid back and relaxed, it wouldn’t have mattered if I accidentally vomited on his shoes – he’d just say, “It’s cool mate, let’s go buy a new pair…it’s fine”.

So, why exactly is Tim the first person I wanted to write about as being a fine human being and just all round good bloke?

For starters, the way he spoke to a bunch of kids at The Juvenile Justice Centre.  Home to some young kids who have done the wrong thing and ended up in gaol for those under 18, some as young as 10.

It would have been pretty daunting.  Walking into a massive auditorium with about thirty brooding young blokes looking back at you, and then being told on the spot that you have to do a speech to the boys.  Most people probably would have crapped in their tracky dacks, but not Rosso.  He just started his talk with a moment from his youth that he thought the boys could relate to, and then preceded to make one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard.

Things that were mentioned were:

“You kids are all good kids, and people love you.  What you have to do, is let them love you, let them care for you so that you can believe in yourself too.  Because we live in a pretty bloody good country, and I reckon you can do anything you want in this country – you just have to believe in yourself.”

The boys’ eyes had stopped darting around the room and they started to focus just on Tim.

To say the speech was inspirational, touching and relevant would be a massive understatement.  These kids were listening.

Tim then broke away from us during the afternoon tea, and just went up to some of the guys to get to know them bit better.  Find out where they are from, how old they were, what they could do for kicks whilst inside.


Tim said to me later it was an emotional thing to experience because these are just “kids in tracksuit pants, locked up each night who probably cry about everything in their life at night, trying to get to sleep.”

That night we again found ourselves listening to Rosso.  There would have been 120 or so people who had come along to celebrate everything that had been achieved by Ignite.  Nearly 200 members of the community had been involved in training to become mentors for young people and our night was to be a true celebration of not only the efforts of the mentors, but also the stories of achievement from a young person’s perspective involved in the programs.

After a few remarkable speeches from some of the people involved directly in the Ignite framework, it was time for Rosso again.  He had basically observed all night, listened to different people’s experiences and got to know some people one on one in conversations around the room.  He loves to approach people and find out more about them and what’s important in life.  So from a few dot points scribed on some scrap paper found on an isolated desk, Tim delivered the next best speech I’ve ever heard!

For starters he had everyone in stitches with anecdotes from his past and the trappings of being a “celebrity” – from neighbouring Delta Goodrem and Cate Blanchette and not being photographed enough in his own street by the “paps” to helping a young kid out years ago who was on struggle street by giving him some work experience that later lead to a successful career in producing on Australian television.  Tim “Rosso” Ross did not let us down!

He had some people in tears when describing his experience inside the Juvenile Justice Centre that afternoon and had others thinking about how and why they should get involved in our mentoring initiative.

I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to chaperone one of my true idols around town and was blessed to see him in action with everyone he met.  He touched so many lives and made so many people happy.

For those of you who already follow Tim in his blog or through his regular chats on TV and radio, you may surprised by the softer side of a bloke who observes human behaviour and tantalises with deep Aussie wit.

He is a husband, father, friend to many, entertainer, professional and just an all round good bloke.

Thanks Tim for your visit to Wagga Wagga.  You’ve changed some lives and created hope for some young people who didn’t think anyone cared.

Who is The Real “Rosso”? And Why is He Coming to “Ignite the Night”?

Ignite Mentor is a community based recruitment group, looking for suitable mentors to become positive role models in the lives of young people in Wagga Wagga.  The programs have been around for some time, both in the Education system and the Community based systems, however increasing the number of mentors required has always been a challenge.  Ignite compliments those already involved in the existing programs by providing the publicity, media attention and connections required to bring new mentors into the lives of young people.


From the very start we have aimed to keep our Mentoring initiative clean and simple.  Our five step process to becoming a mentor allows for an easy transition for those wanting to start their volunteer work and we have always wanted to keep our fund raising to just two events a year.  Those two events are; “Ignite the Night” and “Ignite Movie Night”.


“Ignite the Night” will be kicking off on 22nd September 2012 with the Inaugral event proving to be a must on the social calendar.  It is a celebration recognising everything mentors and young people have been through over the last 12 months and to celebrate the fact that Ignite has now reached a milestone of over 100 mentors in the programs.  Such a feat could not have been possible without the assistance of so many others, including our wonderful supporters, partners and sponsors of Ignite.


Our first ever celebrity Ambassador will be none other than Tim “Rosso” Ross of Merrick and Rosso fame.  After a chance encounter with one of Ignite’s co-founders, Adam Drummond, Rosso said with a firm handshake that he would make the trip to Wagga Wagga to celebrate the launch of Ignite Mentor.  He also waived any appearance fee for the event illustrating what a top bloke he really is.  Tim is not just one of Australia’s top comedians, radio and TV personalities, he also an accomplished author (his book based on his life “Mum Had A Kingswood” will be signed and auctioned on the night), as well as an expert on retro Australian architecture – yes, you heard right!


The founders of Ignite Mentor are Melissa “Mary” O’Neill from Anglicare Riverina and who acts as the co-ordinator of the community based programs, Laurinda Motion from Department of Education and Communities and who acts as the co-ordinator of the education based programs, Jeremy Hutchings from Action Coach Wagga and Adam Drummond from Fitzpatricks Real Estate.  Jeremy and Adam provide the many connections required to bring on fresh mentors to the programs.


So if you are looking for a top night out and would love to meet Rosso, the founders of Ignite and find out what all the hype is about, pop along to the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (Partners of the event) at 5pm to 7.30pm Saturday 22nd September.  Tickets are just $30 each and are available from Anglicare Riverina 1 Church Street Wagga Wagga (cash only accepted).  Ticket covers entry to the event, entertainment provided by Rob “Mossy” Moss, alcohol, soft drinks, and canapés (supplied by the very generous Storehouse Deli in Baylis Street).


We are also receiving a helping hand from local celebrity Katrina “From the Block” Chambers who has written up a blog on her site and who will also be coming along on the night.  Katrina has recently been named Australia’s Top Blogger too, so her words have a widespread impact!


Hope to see you on the night, tell some friends and as usual if you have any questions you can contact me via:

mobile 0413 571 974

email adam@adamdrummond.com.au

twitter @AdamDrummond


Anne Delaney and Adam Drummond talk “Ignite Mentor”

Ignite is one of the most exciting local initiatives to hit the Wagga Wagga community, and it has plenty of chins wagging.  Find out about Ignite when Anne Delaney from ABC Riverina talks with Adam Drummond, one of the Co-Founders of Ignite Mentor.

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Brothers lend hand to Ignite campaign

ON THE field Wagga Brothers captain-coach Blake Dunn is a force to be reckoned with.
Off the field that image couldn’t be more different as he and the club step up to their next challenge as partner and co-sponsor of the Ignite mentoring program.

[button url="http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/brothers-lend-hand-to-ignite-campaign/2573428.aspx" target="_blank" size="medium" style="tealgrey" ]Read the Whole Article[/button]

Life-changing program

EIGHT months ago he was another demoralising statistic – a male caught up in the offending circle who found himself incarcerated at the Wagga Juvenile Justice Centre.
Fast forward to the present and this incredibe young man has turned his life around and is looking to use his experiences to help shape and inspire the lives of other young people on course for self-destruction.

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Mentors to Ignite kids

SAM Pincott says he had a pretty fortunate upbringing in a good, solid family.
He didn’t cause too much trouble and has three girls of his own now, a wife and the successful Holbrook Paddock Eggs business.

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