The Shapers: Jordan Kerr
Meet the young leader making an impact on a local and global scale.
Published 01 June

Harrison-based Jordan Kerr is a man on a mission. Barely into his 20s, he’s already met the Queen and attended the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington DC. But speaking to him, you get a clear sense that he’s only just getting started.

By day, Jordan holds down a full-time role as a consultant at professional services firm Ernst & Young, while juggling the demands of his final year of an International Relations degree at ANU. In his spare time (if you can call it that), he volunteers for the SES (State Emergency Service) and serves as a member of the Canberra World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hub. Perhaps even more impressively, he also finds time to socialise and go to the gym.

Born and raised in Mudgee, Jordan moved to Canberra in 2013 to study at ANU. When asked to identify the source of his superhuman motivation, the articulate 23-year-old credits his time as a boarder at Hurlstone Agricultural High. “I had so much extra time on my hands,” he admits. “So, I was always finding things to fill that time; whether that was being on the board of a council or looking after student recreation or doing the garden. Within the school community there were so many different things that I was involved with.”

And, true to his word, Jordan used his time wisely. A partial list of Jordan’s early achievements includes winning the QUOATA International Student of the Year award, speaking at the United Nations in New York, being appointed a member of the Queen’s Young Leaders program and founding Youth Link Australia, an organisation that connects young people with opportunities both at home and abroad.

For Jordan, merely wanting to succeed is not enough; it’s in serving others that he finds a true sense of purpose. He says that over time, his perception of what it means to be a true leader has evolved.

“In my younger years, I viewed leadership as being about position. Now I see that it’s not so much about leading, it's about caring.”

 

To find the time to get so much done, Jordan admits he is a slave to his diary. “The calendar is really the source of truth for my life,” he laughs. “Going through my calendar for the week and being able to plan and organise the day ahead is one of the most important things – not just for extracurricular activities but for work events and my social life as well.”

If it sounds like Jordan might be the kind of person who’d do well in the halls of Parliament, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. He’s already stood up as a vocal advocate for the ‘Yes’ campaign and, inspired by his heroes Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, has plenty of ideas about how to bring people together.

“At the moment, there's a real disconnect between politicians and the people. There's no real plan or vision for the country ahead,” he offers. “So, yes, politics is probably a pathway to pursue in the future but which side of politics [I choose] is still up in the air. I think we might be ready for a new political party to enter the mix, but we'll see where the future goes.”

Whatever that future holds for Jordan Kerr, what’s certain is that he won’t be sitting back and waiting for it to happen. He’ll be hard at work shaping it for himself.

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