Leadership quest puts Perryman on path to Canberra

YOUNG LEADER: Baie Perryman could one day follow in the footsteps of her father, former mayor and current Mount Gambier City Councillor Steve Perryman, if she decides to pursue a career in politics. Baie proved herself a worthy future leader after placing among the top 40 finalists in the nationwide Country to Canberra leadership competition last month. Picture: BRITTANY DENTON

PROVING herself a worthy future leader, Baie Perryman placed among the top 40 finalists in the nationwide Country to Canberra competition last month.

Connecting young rural leaders with inspiring female role models, the annual leadership competition this year asked young women to respond to the question “from primary school to Prime Minister, how can we create strong pathways to power for women?”

Vying for an all expenses paid trip to Canberra, Baie submitted a stirring 400 word essay on the importance of gender equality in the classroom and the workplace.

“I received an email in the middle of the year from one of my teachers that just said ‘here is an opportunity for girls’ and it piqued my interest,” Baie said.

“I really like writing and the question made me think about where I sit on the topic.

“I think I am unconsciously aware that we need to create pathways to power for women, but reading the question really made me think about how we should go about doing that.”

Despite narrowly missing out on a trip to Canberra to meet politicians and tour parliament, Baie said the experience was one of self-discovery and added she was delighted to have her work published.

“The top 40 submissions were published on the Country to Canberra website,” she said.

“To have my work recognised and know it is out there for the world to see is really cool.”

When asked if she had any aspirations to pursue a career in politics, Baie said she intended to keep her options open.

“I have no idea what I want to do yet, but becoming a politician is something I think about sometimes,” she said.

For now, Baie said she was exploring opportunities for further involvement with the Country to Canberra program.

“I’m looking into becoming a blogger for the website and there is an opportunity to bring a national project to my school, which I haven’t followed up on yet,” she said.

“Right now my priority is studying for my Year 11 exams.”

Visit countrytocanberra.com.au to read Baie’s published submission.