Education: University of Technology, Sydney
Involvement: Elisa was elected as Year 12 Mercy Action Leader at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. At the University of Technology, Sydney, she was a member of the Beyond UTS International Leadership Development Program, which encompassed a short study program on Business in the USA at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently, Elisa is a proud advocate and member of Toastmasters, the Golden Key International Honour Society and Young ATEC Program. In 2016, she graduated from ATEC’s Emerging Leaders of Inbound Tourism Excellence Program and was nominated as a National Finalist for the Len Taylor Young ATEC Award for Excellence.
is a Bachelor of Business (Tourism Management & Marketing) graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and a passionate ambassador for Australia’s tourism industry. Her proudest achievements to date include her nomination as a National Finalist for the MyTravelResearch.com Young Tourism Professional Award and her completion of a half-marathon in support of the Can Too Foundation – a non-profit foundation which transforms lives through fitness and fundraising for cancer research. Elisa is committed to promoting self-awareness and self-improvement as core principles of leadership and life. She is an enthusiastic believer of the notion that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
"Stay hungry, stay foolish." - Steve Jobs
Instagram @ellejak & Twitter @jak_elisa
Year on year, Scandinavian nations such as Denmark and Norway top the world’s happiest nations list. So what is it specifically about these countries that attract these high scores? These countries continually rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness--caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.
These strategies can be broken down into the following categories: purpose, pieces and preparation.
It’s almost alarming how easy it is to let morning traffic or a train delay derail your mood for the entire day. It often takes sombre news to bring some much-needed perspective to a very first-world problem. For example, when we learn that a fatal accident is at the root of the traffic or that a suicide attempt is behind the public transport delay. In a (first) world where we have access to so much – unlimited food, water, shelter – how have we come to demand so much more? Rather than begrudging those who may be well-off and never failing in their list of demands, I think it’s more important that we celebrate those who do it right. That is, those who come out strong in the face of adversity, exemplifying gratitude at their core.
I wholeheartedly believe that there’s a positive correlation between happiness and kindness. Despite living in a world that’s more interconnected than ever, we are more disconnected and isolated than we have ever been. How many people do you encounter on a daily basis that you don’t really see? Whether that be on your daily commute, at the gym, or even at the office beyond your self-contained cubicle?
I’ve never been one to flop and drop on holidays. While I can certainly see the appeal, to me, a holiday is about packing in as many – non-work related activities – as possible! In my eyes, I’ve paid to travel to and spend time at a specific destination, so why not make the most of it? You could say that switching on is my way of switching off! The key is planning activities and outings which I wouldn’t necessarily get the chance to do on a regular basis.
In such a fast-paced and cutthroat world, it can be easy to lose sight of what is important. To pursue excellence and hedonism in a materialistic world, at the expense of focusing on becoming more well-rounded human beings. Too many of us, myself included, are guilty of running our lives in tunnel vision, oblivious to what is going on around us. As a result, too many of us are missing out on what is most important.
Despite formal education technically culminating in graduation from high school or university, in my quarter of a century, I have learned that life is a constant quest of learning, change and self-improvement. At the risk of sounding morbid, it’s your funeral that is the ultimate graduation – from life! Life is a journey in understanding more about oneself and about the world, while making meaningful steps towards becoming a better-rounded person. While it would be ideal for formal education to teach ‘life skills’ such as change management, resilience and positive psychology, the reality is that this is rarely the case. Therefore, it’s up to each individual to seek and pursue opportunities for learning and for growth. Stay hungry for opportunities and be foolish enough to make mistakes along the way; for a mistake is just another learning opportunity.
Change is hard. Resisting change when your mind and body are screaming out for it is even harder. If there’s one thing I wish I could go back and tell my teenage self, it would be to worry less about securing my dream career pathway. During my teenage years, I was set on becoming a journalist. I loved to read and write; English had always been my favourite and strongest subject; and I dreamed of getting the opportunity to travel to foreign and exotic lands to nail the perfect story.
We live in an age of the highlights reel – filtered photos on Instagram, posts on Facebook announcing moments of celebration such as engagements and pregnancies, and general all ‘round political correctness – where we reflexively answer “great” when asked how our day is going.
Looking back at my primary (elementary) school years, I doubt that anyone would’ve handpicked me as ‘most likely to succeed.’ While I have always been somewhat academically inclined and very driven, this has been coupled with a rich imagination and tendency to retreat inwards. I remember being nominated for ‘Prime Minister’ as part of a class government activity. I declined for the role of ‘Hansard’ which involved no speaking, and only listening – basically transcribing the thoughts and ideas of my more eloquent and loquacious peers; ultimately my idea of heaven! One of my class peers actually listed one of his most memorable school moments in the class yearbook as “hearing Elisa talk”…Need I say more?