Deer Park’s Tahlya Cutaja: A leader in the making

Most teenagers spend their high school years trying to fit in. That’s not the case for Deer Park’s Tahlya Cutaja, who’s comfortable that her leadership skills stand out.

The 14-year-old was nominated by her school co-ordinator at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Braybrook to take part in this year’s Whitten Project for young leaders.

The project provided 32 year 9 and 10 students with a range of life and sport experiences to build their leadership skills.

“It was a really rewarding experience,” Tahlya says. “We spent about six months together, getting to know each other and learning about what it really means to be a leader.”

Tahlya says the main thing she learned is that leadership is as much about others as yourself.

“I also learnt you should never give up,” she says. “If you want to do something, stick to it. Be that person who has the initiative to find a different way.

“I’ve tried to be a good leader in my work as college ambassador and I’m hoping I can help out in next year’s Whitten Project.”

The young leaders celebrated their graduation at Whitten Oval on October 27 .

The ceremony was hosted by graduating leaders Jes Evans and Scott Peacock-Pereira, and featured guest presentations by Melbourne Vixens captain Bianca Chatfield and Western Bulldogs board member Kylie Watson-Wheeler.