Left to right: Andrew Gee, Luka Smith, Mitchell Crossman, Jonah Thew, Jessica Hickman, Sophie Heath, Kitana Hoswell-Parsons, David Waddell, Amy Van de Ven, Reg Kid, (front row) Jack Evans, Eleanor Matheson-Clark, Rachel Chippendale, Lilly Hassall and Lynda Smart.


Regional Development Australia Central West (RDA Central West) recently celebrated the third year of the TEN4TEN Leadership Dialogue with a breakfast and presentation at The Hive in Orange.

The program partnered ten Year 11 students from Orange, Blayney and Cabonne, with ten local community leaders for a unique mentoring experience.

Students reflected on the highlights of the year and made recommendations to make 2023 even better. All feedback was very positive, with students expressing much gratitude for being able to participate.

Of the 2022 cohort, two students, Jyothis Jojo of James Sheahan and Claudia Horan of Orange Anglican Grammar, were elected school captain. Eleanor Matheson-Clark of Kinross Wolaroi and Mitchell Crossman of Canobolas High school were elected house captains and Lilly Hassall of Orange High School was elected a prefect. Antonia Tuckwell, Sophie Heath and Kitana Parsons-Hoswell, were all short-listed for school leadership positions.

Luka Smith of Orange High School is completing an engineering fabrication trade whilst completing high school, with Hort Enterprises offering full-time employment to the year 12 student on completion of his studies. Anson St School student, Jonah Thew, is training for his pilot’s license as is TEN4TEN mentor and local Quest owner, Amy Van de Ven.

RDA Central West acting director, Lynda Smart, said the program continues to be a great success.

“Research shows that mentoring is integral to life success, and we are so proud to continue to deliver this experience to students in our region. The program continues to go from strength to strength and the long term benefits to these young men and women are truly immeasurable,” said Ms. Smart.

“The students are wonderful ambassadors of their school and community and are exemplary youth leaders.”

This year the TEN4TEN Leadership Dialogue featured new and returning mentors in the program, including local MPs Andrew Gee and Phil Donato.

“The Central West is home to so many wonderful people doing extraordinary things and the students have had such a unique opportunity and experience learning from our local leaders,” said Ms. Smart.

“Without the mentors there would not be a program and I would like to thank them for their involvement and contribution – dedicating their time, expertise and advice to the next generation.”

Ms. Smart said that applications for the 2023 program will be available upon return to school and encourages all students aspiring for leadership positions in their careers to apply.

“We welcome applications from year 11 students at all local high schools in Orange, Blayney and Cabonne. This is a great opportunity, and we’d love to see more students apply for the chance to be a part of the 2023 cohort.”

The TEN4TEN Leadership Dialogue was delivered in 2022 thanks to the support of Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Council.

To learn more about the program, please visit the RDA Central West website