In the last five years, Cameron Armstrong, (Class of 2015 & Music Captain) has been working with GRIP and has had an impact on over 100,000 students (including Northside Junior School Captains) by equipping them with practical leadership skills that they can use in their schools to lead. As he is finishing his time with GRIP, we asked Cameron some questions about leadership.

Cameron also owns his own business Cameron John Visuals. At Northside we have been blessed to work with Cameron on a number of projects, including the Junior School Concert recording in 2020. 

How did you get involved with GRIP leadership and why did decide to work with the organisation?

When I finished my time at Northside, I had a deep desire in me to help others develop their leadership skills. Part of me thought I could have done a better job as a captain in Grade 12 and part of me knew that the things I learnt would be valuable to the next generation of leaders.

I got involved with GRIP through another fellow Northside Alumni who had been working at the company for a little while. They suggested it as a great way to achieve these things that I had expressed.

Is there anyone who inspires you when it comes to leadership?

There are many people out there who have inspired me in different ways. Someone who had a massive impact on my journey was Maithlon Drew. It has dawned on me since school that the lessons he taught us in class were less to do with achieving results in school and more to do with achieving what we wanted to in life (whilst also doing well at school). He truly encapsulated leadership in its truest form; taking the people you lead to a destination they couldn’t arrive at on their own. Not only through teaching us musical skills but also by inspiring us that nothing is out of reach if we stick to it and work hard.

What do you think makes someone a leader?

What makes someone a leader is having people follow them, what makes someone a great leader is the realisation that the people following them are of far greater importance than themselves, and then acting in ways to empower those followers. It is easy for a leader to try and bring about their own agenda, but to look at each individual that is following them and to think of how they can develop and improve life for each of those individuals is the hardest but most rewarding task of a leader.

For every kid who gets nominated for a formal leadership position, there are many who don’t get the role, what advice can you give to those who feel like they could be a leader but have not been selected for a formal leadership role?

I love this question, because in Primary school I was one of the people who didn’t receive a position and I thought that meant my journey was over. But I have since learnt that that is definitely not the case, and that there are many leaders out there (great ones even) who don’t have the official position of a leader.

In the GRIP conference this year we have a theme that is “It Is My Time To Lead”, and what I love about this is that it isn’t about a position or a badge, it is about realising that in each and every single one of us there is a skill that we are uniquely good at or a passion that we hold. And taking a step to advance a cause to do with those passions, or stepping up and using that skill, that is leadership. Position or no position, there are many ways we can positively impact those around us.

In the GRIP conference this year we have a theme that is “It Is My Time To Lead”, and what I love about this is that it isn’t about a position or a badge, it is about realising that in each and every single one of us there is a skill that we are uniquely good at or a passion that we hold. And taking a step to advance a cause to do with those passions, or stepping up and using that skill, that is leadership. Position or no position, there are many ways we can positively impact those around us.

What role did Northside play into you becoming the leader that you are today?

Northside played many rolls in my leadership development, it allowed me to see strong leaders in action, to develop my own leadership and to fail on my journey and be given grace. I am truly thankful for the time I had at Northside, it was an honour to see leaders constantly acknowledge and give the glory back to God.

Anything else that’s on your heart that you feel you would like to share? 

Life is exciting when you follow Christ’s plan, doesn’t always go in the direction you plan or think but it does open some doors that you could never imagine. By surrendering to his ultimate leadership we are led in ways that ultimately can advance the greatest purpose of all – the salvation of humanity through Christ.

 March 2021