Setting Goals and Thinking Big

Pictured: Ganbina young people with SVA staff and John Di Natale (far right)

“When setting goals and thinking about your future, stretch yourself – think big. Don’t think outside the box, forget there is a box”.

John Di Natale, managing director and founder of Big Think Business Booster, believes the key to success is in the power of setting goals. He says, “Setting goals gives you focus and commits you to a path”.

Once you’ve committed to the path, John recommends seeking out the people who have already achieved success in what you want to do. “Don’t be afraid to seek people out and surround yourself with people who will push you and guide you to be your best”, he says.

Other advice shared by John to Ganbina’s Melbourne based young people was to believe in their own ability to succeed, and to build their dreams around the uniqueness of what they have to offer.

John was the keynote speaker at a Corporate Futures Networking Dinner, hosted by SVA at our offices in Melbourne. The dinner was attended by SVA staff and young people in the Ganbina program.  The event kicked off the 2015 Corporate Futures program, now in its second year, designed for Ganbina’s partners to meet and engage with Ganbina young people who have left Shepparton to study or work in Melbourne.

Ganbina works with young Indigenous people on work readiness, vocational development, careers education and the provision of scholarships – linking education, work experience and employment as a pathway for economic and personal opportunity.

Over a meal, SVA staff shared their personal career stories. This posed a unique opportunity to reflect on the networks, passions and opportunities that had brought each of us to SVA. While paths to SVA varied from stints in journalism, law, engineering, conflict resolution and resource management – via Nigeria, Jerusalem, Sydney, London and Nepal – common themes arose across everyone’s stories.

For example, pivoting from one profession, industry or career path to another is worthwhile but can take some time. Chasing your passion, adventure and opportunity sometimes needs to be balanced with competing realities of needing to pay rent or wanting to be closer to the people you love. Success can be measured in many different ways.

The highlight of the evening was hearing the young people tell their own stories of how Ganbina has helped them finish high school, gain their driver’s licence, find part-time jobs, be encouraged to travel, and to choose degrees and internships – steering them to a future of living up to their potential.

For these young people, now starting and finishing bachelor and master degrees, diplomas and internships, Ganbina has been a constant level of support and advice for ten years, sometimes longer. These tangible examples show how sustained investment in an organisation like Ganbina can translate into young people becoming agents of change for their community.

Ganbina has been part of SVA’s Venture Portfolio since 2003.

Author: Lara Hook

Lara is Development Manager, Venture Philanthropy at SVA.