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Jared Slater, Board Cadet

Board Duration: 2021-2022

The Community College Gippsland Board Cadet program was a professional development opportunity like no other for 2022 cadet, Jared Slater.

An experienced health practitioner and former science relief teacher, Jared has a long working history of helping people. When a seat came up at the table of one of Gippsland’s largest not-for-profit organisations, he didn’t hesitate to apply.

“The Cadet program is a unique experience, and one that very few organisations make available,” Jared said. “You get to learn how boards operate from highly diverse, skilled and professional directors, in an organisation that makes a real, tangible difference in people’s lives. That’s quite an amazing opportunity.”

The year-long program enables two Cadets per year to take on a non-voting role on the Board, actively participating in the discussions, workshops and committee meetings in a supported way. It was a perfect fit for Jared, who was particularly interested in volunteering opportunities in the education sector. 

“I was really interested in the chance to learn about the inner workings of a board, and especially for an organisation like CCG,” he explained. “I’ve seen first hand how challenging it can be for children with learning difficulties, so being able to participate in the leadership of an organisation that supports people to thrive in education was especially meaningful to me.”

For Jared, the experience exceeded expectations.

“I went in with high hopes, but the experience offered so much more than I thought,” he said. “I found myself learning at every stage of the journey. There is a lot to take in, but the program is really well structured and steps you through the key learnings incrementally.

“A key benefit was the opportunity to listen to the strategic discussions between the board and executive and gain first-hand experience in how strategy is set collaboratively for the short and long term. It really helped me understand the role and responsibilities of a board director, and affirmed how I could use the skills I learnt to contribute in the future.”

When asked if he would recommend the program, Jared’s response was immediate.

“I would absolutely encourage others to take part in the cadet program. Joining a board is a significant commitment, and this provides a unique way to try before you buy, so to speak. I now have hands-on experience in performing the role of a board director, and just as importantly, I’ve been able to be a part of an organisation that makes a real difference. Jump in and have a go. You won’t regret it.”