Our story

Our Personal Leadership Program was originally developed for corporate settings. The program was originally used as a management training tool to increase employees’ motivation for their work, both individually and as a team.

After seeing employees reach beyond their perceived capabilities, and grow significantly in job responsibilities as a result of the program,  founder and developer Peter Marshman OAM soon realised the benefit it could have on school-aged participants.

In 1997, Peter founded the charity Youth Opportunities Association (SA) Inc, with the aim of developing the leadership skills of young people and helping shape the future of young people experiencing disadvantage. His aim was to give young people the skills and tools to make positive life choices, breaking the cycle of long-term unemployment and disadvantage.

The first school-based Personal Leadership Program was delivered in 1998 to Year 10 students in two schools in Adelaide’s North, Salisbury and Smithfield Plains High Schools. The positive outcomes instigated further development and expansion across metropolitan and regional South Australia. Twenty years on, the Personal Leadership Program has been delivered in over 80 schools and organisations in metropolitan and regional South Australia, changing the lives of over 13,300 young people.

With a renewed focus on developing emotional intelligence and resilience in young people, The Personal Leadership Program is more relevant than ever, giving tomorrow’s leaders the skills and tools they need to thrive in school, work and life.

With a renewed focus on developing emotional intelligence and resilience in young people, The Personal Leadership is more relevant than ever, giving tomorrow’s leaders the skills and tools they need to thrive in school, work and life.

The change in my child is amazing. Zac was unfocused and not engaged with family or school. He now knows what he wants to do after school, he does his homework without being asked and he joins in with the family every night at dinner and even helps with the dishes!

Parent of Graduate

Our program is founded on the belief that a person can gain success, wellbeing and happiness if they acquire the tools of thinking and action.

Peter Marshman, Program Author

Learn more with our annual report

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