Renegade Leader Wrap

17 May 2011 By Stefan Grun

Dr Frederik Vervaet
Dr Frederik Vervaet

A cold Melbourne night brought out the best of the city with a reputation of debate and discussion. Mandela, Assange, Suu Kyi and Greer flashed one after the other on walls of The Cube at ACMI, surrounding us in the steady imagery of the Renegade leader – the topic of the second LV Salon event for 2011.

There was certainly a sense of renegade energy in the air. From the moment Alumni began arriving the room was abuzz with friendly chatter, clinking glasses and warm hellos, only coming to a quiet when Jerril Rechter, introduced the night. She took the opportunity to announce a new knowledge partnership with the University of Melbourne, (the launch to be held later in the year), and highlighting the potential for an important exchange.

Our MC Tonya Roberts was the perfect renegade host.  She was quick-witted, warm and engaging all to tweet their thoughts and ideas on the ‘renegade leader’ throughout the night.  With alumni out there leading the community and driving change it only seemed logical to ask them to participate; and they did.  More than just an information session this Salon Event was an open discussion.

Fittingly, the first speaker from The University of Melbourne, international scholar, Dr Frederik Vervaet, began with a presentation on the power and glory of ancient history’s renegade leaders: Socrates, Alexander the Great and the like.  It may seem uncanny but their paths to power and the philosophies that led them there are still relevant, and reflected by today’s emerging leaders.

Sandie de Wolf, from Berry Street, gave a moving speech about the renegade leaders in health history and her own personal accounts of the leadership challenges she’s faced during her time in the community sector. In keeping with the ‘ten by ten’ format of visual images, Sandie chose some poignant images to support her words, one being the railway tracks that symbolised the merging of Berry Street.

The last speaker, ALP Member for Broadmeadows Frank McGuire, discussed leadership in politics and his work establishing the Hume Global Learning Village.  Being a politician, Frank has learnt to roll with the punches and some tough questions from the audience were deftly fielded by him.

The panel Q&A discussion made clear the passion, commitment and awareness of the LV alumni. The tweets came rolling in, as did the questions. This was a room filled with people with something to say, future makers who jumped at the opportunity to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions to our worthy (and worthwhile) speakers.

Overall, last night’s innovative Salon Event was an exchange of ideas: inspirational speakers and an enthusiastic audience trading ideas through a variety of platforms – old and new – and at the heart of it all was the renegade: somebody who chooses to live outside laws or conventions.  Somebody who abandons previously held beliefs or loyalties.  An outlaw or rebel.


dogsinspace: Job description for #Renegadeleader: speak many languages, die young (+ violently). Hmm. More contemporary models? #leadvic

CharlieCAus: Listening to all things “renegade” at Leadership Victoria event. Diverse case studies, from Constantinople to Broadmeadows. #leadvic

HelgaSvendsen: @berrystreet And can you thank Sandie for her inspiring talk at @leadvic tonight? She was amazing – and we agree Sam Newman is NOT a leader!