A District 9800 Recognition Award Project for Vocational Service

In partnership with Young Change Agents (a NFP social enterprise), Rotary Brighton late last year hosted an opportunity for 58 young women aged 12–18 years to participate in The Bayside Academy of Enterprising Girls, an immersive workshop experience to learn social entrepreneurship skills.

To select participants, Rotary Brighton invited female students from Brighton Secondary College, St Leonard’s College, Star of the Sea College and Firbank Grammar to provide an Expression of Interest on why they wanted to make a positive change in the world through business. The selection process allowed Rotary Brighton to identify a new generation of future leaders (and potential Interactors) who want to make a difference in their community.


In the one-day workshop, the participants were given the opportunity to develop the skillset, mindset and toolkit for social enterprise. They were able to learn resilience, understand the art of problem-solving, and develop the confidence to bring their ideas to life and how their ideas could change the world.

Working in groups, the participants looked at a number of community issues ranging from youth mental health (including depression, loneliness and connection), environment and sustainability and youth unemployment.

To ensure program sustainability and capacity building, a number of educators from the participating schools along with several Rotary Brighton members also shared an immersive experience in the program. These adult participants are now equipped with a greater understanding of social enterprise thinking and the skill to mentor students in the program. They will also be able to champion programs in their school or with future groups.

In a year where traditional school and Rotary programs such as RYPEN were not conducted due to COVID, this program provided a well-needed opportunity for the participating girls to engage in some extracurricular learning opportunities. This has empowered them with a new range of skills, and at the same time, enabled Rotary Brighton to re-engage and foster greater relationships with the participating schools, also raising Rotary’s profile in a current and relevant space. Additionally, it has provided a platform on which to discuss other Rotary 2021 projects/initiatives such as Bayspeak, RYPEN and Interact.

A Year 10 Student Reflection of the Program

On Friday the 2nd of October, I attended the Academy of Enterprising Girls workshop. The primary focus of this workshop was how to create, validate, and present a business idea. Throughout the day, we were put into small groups with other students from different schools where we had to come up with a business idea that was beneficial to the community, and work on the steps to form the whole concept of our idea. I found this workshop really helpful for me personally as it showed me what the next steps are once you have a business idea, whilst also building teamwork and communication skills with students from other schools, who we had never met before! I strongly recommend this workshop, if our school has this opportunity again, especially for students out there who are still unsure of what they want to do when they finish school, as it really opened my eyes to this aspect of the workplace.

Kiani Bishop | Year 10

Brighton Secondary College