Camille is a Year 12 student at St. Leo’s Catholic College who is one of 30 incredible Art of Smart Future Leaders from across NSW for 2018.

Our Future Leaders Program is NSW’s premier Career & Leadership program that invests in and supports young leaders in Years 10-12 at high school. The program provides mentoring, rigorous peer learning, skills development, work experience and national connections so young people can effectively answer the big question of “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school?” and develop the key skills they need to make an impact in their communities.

Camille stood out from over 500 applications for her dedication to extra-curricular activities and passion for helping others.

Camille has also been accepted into Macquarie University’s prestigious Global Leadership Entry Program (GLEP) for 2019, by demonstrating that she is a global citizen and has made an active and significant contribution to society – an amazing achievement!

We recently spoke with Camille about her goals for the future, how she’s pursuing these goals during Year 12 and much more!

When you finish school, what do you want to do?

When I finish school my goal is to study a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2019!

What is your long-term ‘dream big’ goal?

My goal is to help others, in one way or another. I would either like to work in Medicine or Law, in order achieve this goal.

I see so much injustice in the world, and as a young person I’m still learning all the reasons why this is so. I would like to promote peace and justice in the future, even if this is a small contribution to making the world a better place.

What has inspired you to pursue this goal?

I have been inspired by my parents, who both work in areas that help other people’s lives. Their act of selflessness has a major impact on those they help, and it is a legacy that I want to continue for my family.

I have also been greatly inspired by my faith. As a Catholic, we are called to “love thy neighbour”. I have seen many people in my life that have done so and are continuing to do so.

I remember when I was 14, my friend and I were leaving Westfield Hornsby when we saw a kid our age begging for money for dinner. After giving that boy money, turned back and realised that there should be something more that we can do, because this boy was lonely and was probably being overlooked by everyone who passed him by. So my friend and I decided to buy him dinner and eat with him.

This simple gesture was when I realised that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life, because not only did it help him, but it was a sense of self-fulfilment that you wouldn’t achieve in any other area of life. I want to do more acts like this, and I want to make the world a little bit better for other people.

What subjects are you currently taking for your HSC?

I am currently taking English Advanced, English Extension 1, English Extension 2, Legal Studies, PDHPE and SOR II.

I really enjoy English, because you can explore with abstract thought and this is valuable in learning skills when taking on a career in the future. I love learning about different religions because it is interesting to know other beliefs.

I am very interested in Legal Studies because it allows me to see the extent of which law has been successful in achieving justice.

My Major Work for Extension 2 English is a mixture of these three subjects: it is about religious prejudice that occurs in the world today, and how to combat this issue, ensuring that all may live in a world of peace and harmony.

What is the biggest challenge you’re experiencing at school at the moment?

I struggle with keeping motivation at school, balancing workload and memory retention.

In keeping motivated, I ask others if they can study with me, or a go to a place where other people are studying, which ensures that I do not get distracted and that other people can make sure that I am doing my work.

To balance my workload, I make myself a weekly schedule of what needs to be done for the week, adding weight to the subjects that is of top priority. I use palm cards for memory retention also, which other people can help me with.

What is the #1 study tip you’d recommend to other students to implement?

Maintain good mental health, because without it, learning becomes useless.

You cannot work with a brain that is overworked and stressed, because you cannot achieve the goals that you wish to achieve. I do this by making sure that I take physical breaks by going for a run or to the gym, watching some TV episodes so I can do something that doesn’t require much thinking, calling a mate, or talking to my family.

Taking regular breaks ensures that your brain rests and can refuel its power to handle another set of workload again. I usually find myself over stressing, which does no good for me because my brain gets distracted with the stress. Having breaks takes away stress.

What extracurricular activities are you currently involved in?

I’m involved in a lot of extracurricular activities!

These include working at Woolworths, Aerobics, Choir, Elite Choir, Gym, the School Musical, and SRC President. I am also a Catholic Life and Mission member at school, member of St. Vincent de Paul’s youth ministry and member of Youth for Christ.

What is the extracurricular activity or project you’ve engaged with that you are the most proud of?

Participating in the School Musical!

By doing the musical I was able to make so many friends that we became a family. I became a mentor to the younger students as well, giving them some sort of guidance with the work they were struggling with at school or just advice in general.

My leadership skills came into play when I was ensuring that every member of the cast and crew were taken care of, and present ideas on how to promote the musical and how to work with issues such as time management in school.

I am so proud of this because I was able to experience what it was like working with a team in a new (non-school related) environment, and I was so proud so see how such a diverse group of young people of different, spectacular talents and acts grew into wonderful people.

I was learning something new about working in a team and about other people everyday. I don’t think any other extracuricular activity brought together people as much as this. It was just pure joy and I am so proud to have participated in such a brilliant activity!

Where do you work and what has your biggest learning from working been?

I work at Woolworths Hornsby, doing Front End service! Working at Woolworths has taught me that you need to be tolerant and patient with other people.

When presented with a problem you need to handle it as calmly and respectfully as you can, so that chaos does not erupt. most of the time, you have no idea what people are going through, so you need to ensure that what you do or say next does not cause any more distress.

I have also learned that you need to always remember your manners and to be friendly and smile as well.

You never know, just saying thank you could have just made someone’s day!

What is your favourite hobby?

I love music, especially singing, going to concerts and being a part of musical theatre.

Music, like English, is completely abstract and can be interpreted in different ways. For example, people perceive a single song with different emotions and it reflects how that person is feeling or in a way, who they are. I find this so fascinating, because music is relatable to everyone or every culture.

It allows people to express something in a way that words can’t – there is more emotion that can be seen in this, like how singing can show someone’s feelings. going to concerts allows you to feel a sense of community as well, which is more euphoric than a social gathering. Musical theatre is a perfect mixture of both.

What is a quote that inspires you?

“Everyone has that inner motivation to change the world, make it a better place for even just one person. But people need to remember that it’s also okay if that one person is you.”

What does it mean to you to be a Future Leader?

Being a Future Leader means standing up and standing out.

Stand up for what you believe is right, for other people, for what you believe would equate justice, and what you believe can help make the world a better place. To stand out is to find a unique and effective way to approach this problem, and to be the person that instigates change.

Being a Future Leader is to be a new generation of brilliant minds that can be ready to combat the world’s future battles, and to persevere no matter what.

About Art of Smart and the Future Leaders Program

Art of Smart is a multi-award winning provider of world-class HSC tutoring and inspirational mentoring. Recognising that excelling at school takes more than a focus on the syllabus, over the last 8 years, we have built a reputation for our holistic approach to helping students develop both strong academic foundations and critical study, exam and life skills.

Based on 8+ years of research we’ve conducted with Australia’s top students, we’ve helped over 4,000 students on average achieve mark improvements of 19.41% and help students successfully transition from school to rewarding and challenging studies & careers.