Advice Hills students can bank on

Leadership: Gail Kelly meets with Redfield College student Marvin Fidel and Oakhill College student Seamus Lineham.

Leadership: Gail Kelly meets with Redfield College student Marvin Fidel and Oakhill College student Seamus Lineham.

Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly met student leaders from the Castle Hill electorate over dinner last Thursday.

The one-on-one time at The Hills Lodge was organised as part of a new leadership program launched by Minister for Finance and Services and Castle Hill MP, Dominic Perrottet late last year.

"While she manages one of this country's most important financial institutions, I personally found her advice on how to lead a life that balances both work and family to be both timely and relevant, especially in the busy world of politics," Mr Perrottet, the only other non-student at the dinner, said.

Ms Kelly's tips included:

■ Do what you love and love what you do;

■ Be generous in spirit in the way you lead others;

■ Be pragmatic; remember to apologise for your mistakes and move on;

■ Hold on to your values and be authentic — both essential for success.

"It was a very special evening, with a remarkable group of students," Ms Kelly said.

"I absolutely love the book [given to her] and I am very pleased to have the signatures and brief words from all the students and Dominic.

"It is now in my living room and will be dipped into frequently."

The 14 year 12 students chosen for the program will walk the arduous 90-kilometre Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during Schoolies Week.

But before school finishes up, they will meet some of Australia's finest leaders at a monthly dinner.

They met former prime minister John Howard in May. He said the main quality needed was "a strong set of personal beliefs . . . not taken from opinion polls".

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