Macksville High's Lillah Hoffman certainly has our vote for PM

Macksville High's Lillah Hoffman certainly has our vote for PM

Macksville High's Lillah Hoffman has fistfuls of ambition ... but that's just what you need when you aspire to be the country's next female Prime Minister.

But her goals don't just end there.

"I hope to be successful in the field of biomedical engineering or industrial design. I believe both of these industries make a difference to people's lives and I am extremely passionate about these fields of study. I want to normalise women in engineering, end racism, (and) create equality," she said.

Realistically, besides being Prime Minister, I would just like to make an impact, positively, in whatever I choose to do.

And there are those currently in political power who are taking notice of Lillah's potential; this year she was tapped on the shoulder to engage in a NSW Government program aimed at boosting the aspirations and leadership capabilities of young people in rural and regional schools.

The NSW Rural Youth Ambassador 2020 Pilot Program is currently immersing an elite group of 28 year 11 students from across the state in six months of leadership development, advocacy and learning.

"Inspiring and sustaining the leaders of the future is one of the most valuable contributions of schools and it is fantastic to see Macksville High School's Lillah is a part of this program," local member Melinda Pavey said.

Lillah was understandably thrilled at her selection.

I honestly jumped up and down with excitement, I had texted all my relatives and my close friends. I was thrilled and very surprised as I thought I wouldn't have a chance.

Lillah Hoffman

Ms Pavey said each of the participants gets the chance to "share ideas, engage with successful business and thought leaders from rural communities, explore opportunities with key decision makers and energise each other".

"Each of the Rural Youth Ambassadors will emerge with enhanced leadership skills and knowledge, plus stronger confidence in their future and a network of peers with whom they share interests and aspirations".

The students have already been participating in online forums throughout this term, and Lillah plans to make the most of the three-day forum next term when she gets to rub shoulders (metaphorically speaking) with the other future leaders she's been speaking with online.

"I hope to gain more of a voice and learn to use it to make a difference, to expand my leadership abilities, to discover my full potential, and to be able to communicate with like-minded peers. I have gained many connections through our online forums and have been exposed to a multitude of career pathways that I may wish to pursue after school. I'm looking forward to seeing our ideas come to reality and hopefully meeting my new peers in person," she said.

Having the chance to learn not only from those around me but also from people who live far away has given me more insight into being a leader.

For Lillah, being a leader is as much about building others up as it is about her own personal attainment.

"Ultimately leadership is important to me because it allows me to share my knowledge, experiences and skills with others," she said.

One recurrent issue in regional Australia is the inevitable 'brain drain' that occurs when many of our best and brightest students migrate to the city to chase their dreams.

Unfortunately, Lillah will join the queue of talented youngsters flying the regional coop. But she is aware of the problem, and she has a plan.

"I hope to attend the University of Technology in Sydney when I graduate, so, yes, I will be one of the many who leave the bush. Unfortunately, the field of work I would like to go into is not offered in my area, or close to it. But that's exactly what this program is about - our education. So, when I'm the Prime Minister, I'll definitely work to build more facilities in regional and rural areas," she said.

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