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Cleveland Youth Detention Centre | Youth Speakers | Luke S. Kennedy


Okay... I know I've had some big moments, and impacted different people all over the country as a youth speakers for schools and corporate motivational speaker, however, my latest talks at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre, North Queensland, was something I'll never forget.


I know, in other blogs, I've written about the importance of the leaders and organisers energy when looking looking at impacting the audience. I knew this one was going to be special after liaising with the organiser, and program coordinator, Brodie Phillips.


Leading up the event, I could easily feel his passion about the youth he was looking after at the detention centre. He also seemed like a really cool guy. I was excited to get there! Having the ability to travel the country as a youth speakers for schools, motivational speakers for prisons, and corporate events, has allowed me to meet and connect with some beautiful and thoughtful people. It's what I love most.


I had been to North Queensland earlier in the year when I was a motivational speaker at an event in Ayr. I spoke all day to students, and then an evening got the community.

A police officer was there, and he saw the impact made on the day and night, and contacted the youth detention centre for me to speak there.


When speaking at spots, it's nice to have been through a referral (most of them are) because, although I don't need assuring, it's still comforting to know of the positive effect being made.


I had to get an hour and 20 min flight up from Brisbane, and stayed in town centre for my two talks the next day.


Speaking to Brodie, he informed me that the two youth speakers talks would be back to back starting at 10:40, and I'd be finished at 2. I saw that the airport was 2 min drive from the centre, so booked my flight for 2:45 (I know, I cut it fine).


Arriving in Brisbane Tuesday morning (talking on Wednesday), I was lucky to get an early check in at the airport, so I got to put my bags in and go chill out..

I had a box of my books, Stabbed Ego, with me as Brodie wanted to purchase 20 copies for the young peeps. All people are keen to read my book after the talk, so it was great to see the centre would have copies floating around.


The youth speakers talk was for two different groups, all mixed ages and sexes. It was eye opening, and said, to hear the center was for male and female aged between 10 - 18.


10 years old!



I went and had some lunch at a nice spot called Born Wild Wholefood & Espresso (Check out their FB), and then headed back for my room to record an episode of my podcast, The Stabbed Ego Project.

I had recorded it earlier in the week, however, when uploading, for some reason, there was minutes muted out of it (yay!).

Born Wild Wholfood, Townsville

After recording the episode I has a snooze, which I do most days. I get to at 4 most mornings, and by 2 I'm feeling like a little nap. It gives me a boost for my arvo and replenished my creativity.


After the snooze, I went to the gym and enjoyed a session before spending some time stretching. Getting into my yoga, I now spend a lot of time working on my mobility and stability. Being a youth speaker all day, it can get taxing on the body, so I need to keep my training and nutrition on point.


Walking back from the gym, I walked past a yoga studio, Lighten Up (check out their INSTA),  that looked fresh! I could just see through thin curtains, though the set up and people in there, was enough for me to book a session for the next morning.


After a good sleep (again) I woke early (again) to head to yoga. Walking in, the instructor, Hayley Cooper, had a beautiful energy, and I was extremely thankful this was the spot I picked out of all the other studios in the area. Hayley was right up there with the best instructors I've practiced with, and it all came down to her caring aura, and obvious passion for yoga. Check out her INSTA!

The session was fantastic, and exactly what's needed before a day of speaking.

Hayley In Action

Hitting breakfast again, I got ready and organised a taxi. I told the taxi driver where I wanted to go.. He scoffed and said "I call that place the criminals college".


Well thanks for your insight mate.


Arriving at the centre, I had to put all my stuff in a locker and get scanned through. Brodie was a champion! I liked him straight away, and his enthusiasm boosted mine even further.


Walking me through the centre, I could see a bunch of young peeps playing basketball, others walking around chatting, and some leaving their cells to join the ones walking around.


Large steel gates with wire at the top circled the centre, and there was even more big steel black gates inside which separated the sections.


With a riot a few years earlier, extra measures has been taken place to try preventing from happening  again. Everything was systematic, and a section of young peeps couldn't enter another without it being orchestrated by guards and facilitators.


After setting up, Brodie and I chilled out, and he told me about some of the other speakers that had been there recently. I like hearing about other speakers, and what the young peeps got out of their talks. We're all pieces of the puzzle.


Waiting in the room for the young peeps to come through, with a buzzing of locks, and closing of gates, in rocked the first group of 8 peeps. Shaking their hands and introducing myself, I was pumped to go.

They sat down, and the gates whuch allowed them through, was locked behind them straight away. This same sequence was done as another 8 or so came through. After 4 or 5 groups came through in the same way, the room was buzzing with laughs and cheeky comments.


And away I went...


I felt a strong connection throughout, I saw some deep nods of their heads as my hard points were hitting home, and in between some laughs, and questions, the end of the session was met with a heavy applause and a couple put their hands up to them thank me. That's what it's all about!


The next session was just the same, and I sat on my knees for a while as the young peeps were escorted out. Some came up And thanked me. Others made some beautiful comments and shared their insight.

I'm incredibly thankful to have been invited as youth speakers at Cleveland Youth Detention center, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to plant some seeds in those beautiful minds. Not long after I received messages from the youth workers saying how much the young peeps got out of my talk, and a whole heap of them haven't put my book down!


I had to get my skates on to make the plane! Brodie gave me a lift to the airport and we thanked each other for the day.


I had to pay $60 cos my carry on luggage was too heavy, but with the beautiful day that just passed, the stewardess comment who saw the receipt still in my hand as I boarded the plane "you got stung for luggage and you've still got a big smile on your face" was evident of how the day made me feel x


Guest speakers for schools, & youth motivational speakers, Luke S. Kennedy is Australia's most requested speakers for primary schools, high schools, corporate key note speaker, and one of the happiest people of all time (and pretty humble hahaha).


Book your guest speaker now

Or check out The Stabbed Ego Project Podcast  

Do you have a group of kids that need a push in the right direction? Let Luke inspire your kids.

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