We Are All Sydney testimonials

We Are All Sydney graduates praise the program

Daniel Gobena

Alison Barnard

Amar Singh

Feedback from the 2019 participants

Question: What three words would you use to describe the program?

Innovative, Multicultural, Professional
Relationships, Inspiring, Relevent
Empowering, Stimulating, Encouraging
Interesting, Inspiring, Empowering
Practical, Engaging, Inspiring
Inspiring, Rewarding, Hopeful
Empowering, skill-building, Impactful
Excellent, Unifying, Humbling
Useful, Fun, Ground-breaking
Inspirational, Relevant, Powerful
Unleashing the power of Diversity!

Question: Do you have any specific feedback (either positive or negative) about any of the experiences?

This program is great for gaining professional growth and building the most unlikely coalition with different communities.

The program was well structured and delivered by experts in their field. This was quite beneficial to pick up on critical information that would be helpful in our work and in our leadership development. Sadly I missed a few sessions and it would have been good to have a recorded version available for those who missed out on sessions to view.

Tour of the jewish museum was a treat, wondering if it can be a bit longer.

Just excellent.

It will be fantastic if we can have this program expanded into Universities & Colleges, focusing on international students who actually make a good chunk of multicultural society in NSW.

Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to learn.

The course exceeded my high expectations.

I feel a bit more time should be allocated to the tour of the Memorial Museum.

The fact that the presenters were people of top rating says so much about the JBD. That you care so much about unity, harmony, safety, fair-go in the city we all live in is so humbling and powerful.

Public speaking was really good because there were lots of activities and we were constantly practicing what we were learning. Personal leadership – it would’ve been good to change the structure of this session so we would have a dedicated 10mins with each participant explaining their lumina results to them, and then having strategies of making SMART goals or something.

Question: Which sessions or experiences made the biggest impression on you and why?

All the sessions were unique and there was always a valuable takeaway. Conflict resolution stood out for me as it gave me skills to deal with circumstances both on a professional and personal level.

Personal Leadership, Networking, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution.

Leadership challenges: it made me feel better about myself.

The museum tour, because of the history that the Jewish have been through and how they’ve bounced back.

Cultural humility – I deal with different people regarding their cultures in broad terms only thereby overlooking the specifics which rather make them unique 2. Coalition building – as a minority group, we could learn from the bitter experiences of other groups rather than choose to experience things on our own 3. Networking – seeing and comparing notes with other people can help to promote my community’s interests 4. Public speaking – as a leader I must be ready at all times to speak ad lib about a relevant subject

Dinner at the Synagogue. I had been wondering and wanted to share this, but I am thinking of asking decision makers here to have lunch at temple, iftar at Synagogue & or Shabat at Mosque.

The session with Rabbi Bob about cultural humility. He share his experience and when used it creates change/difference.

The Lumina profile gave me a better understanding of myself and others. It was interesting seeing the different colours on our cover pages which showed a rainbow of our different strengths and reminded me that we are all same-same-but-different. The conversation during this session made me more mindful of how to approach and lead people who are different to me.

Lumina Profile confirmed that I have leadership qualities. The Dinner was fantastic for networking.

Masterclass, Lumina Personal leadership, conflict resolution.

All were excellent, but the ones that stood out for me was the Lumina Profile, self-awareness is so powerful for leaders, so you can understand why you behave the way you do and how you can try to improve yourself. The other was the Conflict Resolution & Reflection, again recognising your place in the conflict, your abilities, your limitations is a resolution in itself before you try to understanding the other.

Lumina. It showed me who I am and where I can get better.

Jo’s session was really practical and useful. But also liked the lumina results that I got – I liked the idea of untapped potential and looking at how my personality changes from relaxed to stressed (or something like that). The community speakers, rabbi bob, coalition building, and running community organisation sessions were also great for me. It showed me different examples of leadership and how to make changes. This was really good to see – definitely keep this stuff in the program.

The public speaking workshop was by far the best. The workshop was fantastic and Jo’s feedback was very helpful and she brought out the best in us. Also the museum tour was very impactful.

Question: What, if anything, did you learn or feel that surprised you?

The challenges that most minority communities face in Australia are actually similar if not the same.

The Lumina profile was informative and gave a good insight into my strengths and areas I needed to grow and develop in. Speaking up in public and keeping confident right to the very end and not dropping my voice. Stand up tall and strong.

That “big time” leaders were like me before, “small time”. That it is how we think we can grow and connect with each other that makes us big.

The importance of coalition-building.

How similar we all are, yet so involved in self-glorification as “I am the best”.

Lumina Profile, provide opportunity to understand your strength and weaknesses.

The coalition building session and what can be achieved by working hard, smart and collaborating such as the Keep NSW Safe campaign.

I realised that I could be a leader and that is transformative.

Knowing myself through Lumina was just jaw-dropping.

I was surprised at how humble and authentic Rabbi Bob Kaplan is. He, who walks with people of such high status, is walking and talking with me – insignificant me!! He didn’t tell us about himself, rather he showed us how to be like him, how to see ourselves as brothers and sisters, no matter how very different we are all.

learnt so much from the other ethnic/faith community groups in Sydney! but it was great to hear about all of the stuff that was going on in the Jewish community – and to use that as an example of what can be done.

The diversity in the room. Fantastic stories and journey of people and communities.

Question: What main learnings are you taking away from the program?

I learned how to build coalition with people from many ethnic communities and learn about their culture(s), the challenges and how to overcome them.

The importance of relationships and networks. You never know how we can help each other build each other, our communities and society.

Unconscious incompetence is actually a term!. 😀

The importance of building strong networks.

Listen to understand and NOT just to respond. To always confirm my assumptions about cultures. While we may have differences, we can always come to a common ground. Small steps lead to a bigger change.

We belong to different communities but we are facing the same challenges. If we collaborate , we can learn from each other and create a better communities.

A better understanding of Conflict Resolution and the 12 strategies dealing with conflict. I also liked the way Brando presented this session as it was interactive and the pp slides were visual rather than words, so we had to think and interpret them rather than just read it.

A leader is not necessarily born. A leader can be formed through learning.

Being the change I want to see. take steps to create leadership and upskill others networking and the knowledge that as humans we have solutions to most of our challenges and networking connects the dots.

Everything, one cannot only take one, as they are all inter-connected with one another in our Leadership Role, when you aspire to have a positive impact.

That I CAN lead and I can make a difference. I’ve learnt that if something in the world isn’t good, we are able to do something to change it, and not wait for other people to do it.

How to present yourself ,your cause and community. The concept of cultural humility.

Question: What should we do differently next time? Things to omit, add or change, and why.

Perhaps increase the length of the sessions, allowing more time to discuss what was learned on the day.

Sessions, if they are scheduled on a full day it will reduce the days. In my opinion this way would be better because sometimes it is hard to get half day off and go back to work etc

Monday mornings are usually team meeting and reporting times in many organisations. Shifting the WAAS sessions to another day might bring in more interested participants.

Add Biryani to the list. Add WAAS Graduates session.

The program is amazing. I think we can do more like extend the program for another month. Add Strategic Community planning and create community project that participants can work together to execute before the end of the program.

I feel this course was close to perfect. My only change which is personal is not to do it on a Monday morning as this is a busy work day for me.

Too short, an extra hour would be awesome, perhaps start earlier.

Make sessions longer.

I think a session on building your brand would be very helpful.

I think the networking event should be one of the earlier sessions, so we can use the skills effectively through the program.

I think it would be good if we could get a 1:1 (15 min) debrief on our Lumina profiles.

Question: Is there any other comment that you would like to make?

Would like to thank the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for holding this training and to Lynda and Hila for what they invested into this. Bringing in professionals from different fields to impart knowledge to the cohort. Thank you for being visionary and proactive in ensuring that as we share this great city, we see ourselves as We Are All Sydney striving for the best of all the people who call this great city home. Thank you Shalom!

Thank you Lynda and team for the opportunity to come together with such a diverse cohort of leaders passionate about community. It was a great opportunity to learn from different cultures, to strengthen and support each other.

Fruits was good, food was so-so, pastry was sometimes not nice. it was like…a whirlwind romance :), too fast you don’t realise what happened. wondering if there’s a way to make the participants more aware before, during and after, of what is to come, what is happening and what will have transpired?…to fully maximise the gift we are to receive, receiving and have received?

Keep up the good work . Lynda you are such an inspiration.

Spouses or partners of leaders carry a fair weight of burden as they provide support behind the scenes. A session of the program to optionally invite spouses in the company of their leader partners to learn how to assist and cope with certain pressures could go a long way to help.

God bless this initiative, I think it surely will make a bigger difference in coming days.

After the program, I want to know more about the other participants or culture. Also interested to meet the other alumni.

Lynda, you created and delivered this amazing course professionally and warm at the same time. It was a privilege to be part of such a diverse and intelligent group of people. I look forward to continuing the WAAS journey and to continue to grow and learn from it. Thank you!

Great food!

Thank you for the opportunity to establish relationships with friends from around the world, here in Bankstown. I walk away from this program seeing my friends, beautiful and humble people, here to help each other, to make a better community for us all to live in, seeing my friends in the cultural nation they are from eg. Kate in every Vietnamese, Isaac in every Ghananian, Ali in every Pakistani, Lynda and others in every Jewish person I meet.

Thank you so much for this. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m so happy to have been a part of it. This program has so many important messages and I’m so happy that you are running it.

WAAS community building workshop

WAAS public speaking workshop