Graduand Biographies

Class of 2016

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Damon Birchfield
CEO, EcoMatters Environment Trust

I’m interested in collaboration – how we can work across business, community and government, to achieve shared outcomes while addressing the pressing issues of our time. My background in urban planning provided a holistic training in the disciplines of economics, sociology, and ecology. I also relate to Te Ao Maori – the view that sees everything as interconnected, recognising what we do to our planet we ultimately do to ourselves. I believe it’s time for NZ to move beyond its fascination with property prices and shallow and unsatisfying materialism. Conversations with people who see the deeper possibilities of our time and want to be part of an emerging solution are what inspires me.

The Leadership NZ Programme has been of immense personal value to me this year. I came onto the Programme with the hope of creating a new peer network but will be finishing with so much more including a whole slew of new reflective leadership tools, knowledge, and friends. At times it seemed impossible to be able to get away on a three-day retreat, but every time I came back to work with new ideas, energy and things to try. The Programme has also given me confidence in my own leadership approach, and has forced me to be very honest with myself – that’s a good thing! Perhaps most importantly of all under Louise’s careful tutelage, it’s reminded me you don’t always need to push. Sometimes it’s just enough to create the space for something to happen, sit back, and let the magic begin and stop trying to control everything. Being constantly reminded of this for over a year really helps that message penetrate and take effect.

Skills Offered: Facilitation, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, community engagement
Current Community Involvement: Trustee on the board of Environment Hubs Aotearoa, founding trustee He Tohu Aroha.
Location: West Auckland

Darren Lee
Continuous Improvement Manager (Quality), ACC

Having spent most of my career in the public sector – mainly in change leadership roles – I believe strongly in the concept of public value. I have experience in Project / Programme Management and I have successfully led several large legislative and business-driven projects. Over the last decade, I have developed a passion for customer-centric innovation through Design Thinking and Lean/Continuous Improvement approaches. However, what I am most passionate about is developing that capability in others to create a much more customer-focused organisation. In my current role, I not only help lead ACC’s continuous improvement programme, but my primary focus is to create a wider organisational culture shift through coaching and developing teams and leaders to deliver better services to our customers.

Being a career public servant and almost exclusively with Inland Revenue, I was concerned about how insular my world view had become. Leadership NZ hasn’t just broadened my world view; it grabbed me by the collar, ripped me from the comfort of my nicely sheltered bubble and smashed my boundaries into a thousand tiny fragments so that they can never be reconstructed. It has held up a mirror and challenged me to confront my own views, prejudices, judgements and insecurities. It has awoken my social conscience. It has reignited my empathy for others. It has refocused my sense of purpose. This Programme is reflective, disruptive, thought-provoking and at times it has left me transfixed and gasping for air. The authenticity and integrity of the speakers and community leaders we have been exposed to is inspiring. It has been a deeply rich experience and I am humbled to have shared it with such a safe, diverse and talented group of people as the 2016 cohort.

Skills Offered: Process improvement, people development, governance, coaching, change management
Location: Wellington

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David Hall
Infrastructure Reliability Manager, Auckland Airport

I am a proud father of four boys who offer me a leadership challenge every day. I qualified as a Chemical Engineer from Auckland University and joined the dairy industry straight out of university. In the industry, I had roles in both the manufacturing and sales areas and spent time working in the Middle East and China. I have had roles in various other food industry related organizations and joined Auckland Airport in a planning function four years ago. I love the environment as every day is an intellectual challenge and the dynamic nature of the Aeronautical team continues to inspire me.

Leadership NZ has been an amazing journey for me. Each journey is different and mine has fitted well with the theme of ‘mindfulness’. I have a greater knowledge and understanding of myself which has given me internal robustness and external genuineness. The links formed with other members of the 2016 cohort have given opportunities for deep conversations and to explore a wide range of topics. Seeing the world through others eyes has been a great enabler when mixed with my own journey to make me a more mindful leader. The opportunities we have received to listen and enter into conversations with a variety of outstanding New Zealand leaders is something that only few people get and the insights offered have been deeply felt. In addition, my feeling of ‘place’ in New Zealand has been gifted to me by Leadership NZ, something I will be forever indebted for. I thank the 2016 cohort for the friendships developed, the support given and the insights offered.

Skills Offered: Change management, facilitation, strategic planning, mentoring, relationship management
Current Community Involvement: Board Member, EcoMatters
Location: Auckland

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Dayne Farley
Head of Medium Business, Spark

I have been with Spark for ten years. During that time I have worked in a variety of roles, from Sales to Operations. I am currently the Head of the Medium Business segment in Spark Digital. I am in an extremely fortunate position to be able to work for Spark in Auckland for most of the week but spend the rest of my time in my hometown of Tauranga. I was born in Australia but spent most of my formative years in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. In my spare time, I love playing sports and hanging out with my family.

Leadership NZ has given me a fantastic opportunity to give me a far deeper understanding of our country and the issues that we face today. The Programme has opened my eyes to the challenges before us, from the environment and making sure we leave this place in a sustainable state for our children, to education and ensuring all are given the same opportunities. Visiting the Manaiakalani Education Trust was an absolute highlight for me. Spending time on a Marae and learning the Maori worldview was an insightful and inspirational experience and one that will always stay with me. I’ve made deep and lifelong connections with my cohort and it has been fantastic to share my journey with this great bunch of people. We live in a fantastic country and the cool thing is we have the opportunity to make it even better, Leadership NZ has taught me that we can make the difference.

Skills Offered: Sales, leadership, change management, coaching, process improvement
Current Community Involvement: Junior tennis, Rippa rugby
Location: Tauranga

Di Taylor
General Manager Technology, New Zealand Racing Board

I have over 20 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industry, and joined Kiwibank in July 2010 as the Operational Integration Manager in IT. My career to date at Kiwibank has spanned through both technical IT and Business leadership roles to executive leadership positions as the Head of Enterprise Operations, General Manager of IT, and in June 2016 I commenced the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, I was accountable for enabling Kiwibank to continue to deliver its strategic business objectives, which are heavily predicated on technology deliverables – as such the bank’s technology function is now represented at the executive level of the organisation.

I struggle to put into words my experiences other than confronting, exciting, uncomfortable and at times overwhelming. Leadership NZ for me has been a great opportunity to immerse myself in situations far removed from my normal life that challenge my thinking, values and beliefs. I feel honoured and humbled to be part of this learning experience with my fellow participants, they are amazing and generous. I associate well with our theme of ‘mindfulness’ and I feel my soul is full after our retreats, syndicate catch ups and my triad’s sessions. This is a brilliant learning opportunity that I will definitely recommend to many others.

Skills Offered: Change management, leadership development, strategic planning, people development, organisational development
Current Community Involvement: Local sporting and school organisations
Location: Wellington

Eli Tagi
Owner and Director, WE Accounting and Business

Talofa Lava and Kia Ora, I have worked in the accounting field for over 15 years both in the government sector and in public practice. I am a fully qualified Chartered Accountant of New Zealand (CA) and a Certified Practicing Accountant of Australia (CPA). I co-founded a Chartered Accounting firm with my wife Wyndi Tagi 5 years ago and WE now employ 8 staff. Our firm works with small to medium business entities, working closely with our clients in all aspects of their businesses. I have worked as an Auditor at RSM Prince where I worked for four years and before that I was with Inland Revenue as an Investigator. I am on a number of boards for a number of community organisations and my real passion is working with clients from all walks of life to empower them to achieve their dreams. I love helping people personally and professionally and hope to be able to help you in the near future.

The Leadership NZ Programme has been an eye opener for me and forced me to challenge my thinking with regards to many issues. Mindfulness was our theme for the year and this was practiced continuously throughout our sessions during the course of our journey. I know personally I have tried to use my learnings both in my personal and professional life, but I also understand that this is a lifelong journey and that long after this year I will still be learning. I feel I have grown as a leader with my experiences that I have gained throughout the year and will hope to develop these new skills further. The quality of the speakers has been outstanding throughout the year with Sir Bob Harvey and Pat Snedden being recent memorable contributors to our group’s leadership journey with their stories being one of my personal highlights. The Leadership New Zealand team has also been outstanding with facilitator Louise pushing our leading edges and constantly challenging our thinking and the paradigms that we develop for ourselves. Faafetai Leadership NZ.

El-Shadan Tautolo
Senior Research Fellow / Director of Centre for Pacific Health & Development Research, AUT South

I have been involved in research focussed on the health of Pacific families and communities for almost ten years now. I’m currently a Senior Academic at Auckland University of Technology, and becoming more involved in leadership and shaping the direction of our School of Public Health, and our new AUT South Campus based in Manukau, South Auckland. I’ve loved the challenges presented working with a range of diverse people, and feel privileged to be working towards making a difference in the lives of our Pacific families and communities in NZ.

I came into this year with Leadership NZ not really knowing quite what to expect. I thought perhaps I would learn some new skills to deal with people, and find a better understanding of some of the issues facing New Zealand. Instead, I have experienced a broadening of my views and a privileged glimpse of some of the amazing and inspiring people that are leading our nation and shaping our future. It has been challenging, not only in response to issues but also personally in terms of – What do I stand for? What is my passion? and Where can I lead? I have made lifelong friendships and connections on this Programme, and I am convinced that we have the leadership potential within our nation to make Aotearoa a great society. The challenge will be how we navigate this journey, and harness the diversity of all people, in the creation of this society.

Skills Offered: Academic research and evaluation, strategic planning and community development, project management, mentoring, community engagement
Current Community Involvement: Member of Pacific Health & Welfare Network, Cook Islands Health Network, and involved in various activities with local Glen Innes Seventh Day Adventist Church and local community agencies
Location: Auckland

Hayley Shields
Director Student Experience, Education New Zealand

I direct international business development and marketing for the leading university brand in NZ’s 5th export industry. Leading global recruitment strategy, we attract the largest body of international students, representing 10% of University’s revenue. A global citizen, I have developed my leadership experience in the international education industry in Australia and New Zealand, working throughout China, ASEAN, South Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, building strategic international partnerships for sustainable business development. I lead a team of professionals and direct business across a large and culturally diverse global sales network. A creative thinker and tenacious problem solver, I am known for my ability to get results. As a trained leadership coach, I invest energy in creating a positive and empowering workplace culture. People come first.

Leadership NZ is so much more than the Programme’s content. It invites everyone to be open to uncertainty, new experiences and at times profound discomfort with oneself. It could not have come at a better time in my career, and I always trusted that time, place and people would be just as it should be. More than anything the gold has been in the dynamics of the group and the extraordinary people I have had the opportunity to connect with and learn from. To interact and befriend so many diverse, intelligent and open people has been a real privilege. The learning has been wide and deep across a multitude of cultures, themes and sectors within NZ and I feel empowered by new knowledge and connections. I feel challenged by the big issues of social inequality and innovation necessary for NZ’s future wellbeing but have a strong sense of how my contribution through leadership can make a difference. Mindful leadership must be at the heart.

Skills Offered: Business development, coaching, relationship management, public speaking, leadership development
Current Community Involvement: Fundraiser for Auckland City Mission, YWCA Board sub-committee, youth mentoring
Location: Auckland

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Helen Peters
Tax and Treasury Manager, Tait Communications

I started my professional accounting career in Wellington as a graduate from Victoria University of Wellington. From day one, I knew that an accounting firm was the place for me. Over the past 15 years, I have been very fortunate to work alongside many inspiring leaders and provided tax advice to some incredible New Zealand businesses. In 2013 I was given the opportunity by KPMG to relocate to Christchurch. I absolutely love working in a city that is rebuilding and creating its own future.

I felt incredibly privileged to be invited to join and be part of the 2016 Leadership NZ journey. This journey has been everything and more than I expected. The deep learning about our history and my connection to New Zealand has been empowering and has left me wanting to learn more. The readings, discussions, mindfulness tools and incredibly talented people who have joined me on this journey have all added to the experience. Never before have I focused so deeply on New Zealand’s social and economic environments and felt such an energy and drive to make a positive change and step forward. I am excited about my future and the part I might play in making New Zealand an even better country to work, live and play in.

Skills Offered: Tax compliance and consulting services, accounting, training, mentoring and coaching
Location: Christchurch

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Hillary Palmer
Head of Culture and Leadership, Kiwibank

The past 20 years of my career has been focused on developing and supporting others in the learning and development space. I’ve held many roles from Florist to Contact Centre trainer and most recently Head of Culture and Leadership with Kiwibank, an organisation I’m proud to walk into every day. Every role I’ve had has been to serve others in some way and a lot of my inner energy comes from the satisfaction of seeing others benefit from what I do. This has been enriching, exciting and at times, incredibly challenging trying to strike a life balance of living and working overseas, nurturing a family and understanding my identity – who I am and where I’ve come from and most importantly what my true purpose is.

I’m privileged to be part of Leadership NZ and grateful to Kiwibank for providing me with this opportunity. I’ve relished the chance to step out of my work world and participate in a thought provoking, challenging and stimulating environment with the cohort. An environment which has challenged my perspective, given me space to reflect and question who I am and what I stand for. My world view on self, identity, community, whanau, power, ego, and truth have all been disrupted. Because of this, I feel a sense of awakening and connection to myself and my country. I’ve been inspired by the depth and breadth of speakers we’ve been exposed to, challenging my assumptions and views on the issues we face in New Zealand. The real stories and experiences that Leadership NZ have curated, has been a true gift. At times it’s felt a touch self-indulgent to take this time out but Louise, Nicola and the Leadership NZ crew have made this a fantastic Programme to be part of and I’m very thankful for their guidance, knowledge and reassurance throughout the year.

Skills Offered: Culture development, mentoring, coaching and leadership development
Location: Wellington

Imogen Parry
Communications Advisor, Be. Accessible

I am a writer, and a co-founder of information design micro-studio The Infographers. I explore wellness, renewal, resilience and wild places at Tiny Sanctuaries. And I am a fully paid-up founding member of Fail Club (#FailClubForever). I spent the bulk of my 20’s in bed, and then came out the other side – on wobbly legs – to a brand-new life and a brand-new business. Now, four years later, I find myself pulled by words. By writing. I have so very many questions about wellbeing. Individual, collective. All of it. I want to know how we might nourish wellness – radical, radiant wellness – in ourselves, in others, in our communities, environments, systems.

Leadership New Zealand has been a gift.
A joy-filled gift. A complex gift.
A gift – the kind with strings.
It has been a rhythmic stepping away. A chance to find a more thoughtful – more meaningful – engine than simply good-lord-I’ve-got-so-much-to-catch-up-on.
It has interrupted the noise.
It has provided the white space to ask: where is it that I wish to direct my attention?
This year I have opened – to new conversations, new ways of being. New friendships.
I have given thanks. For kind words. For ground-shifting wisdom. For being entrusted with others’ lived experiences.
For nights under painted ribs.
For syndicates who always carry snacks.
This year I surfaced what it is that is drawing me. I noticed where I am blinkered. I acknowledged what I am afraid of.
I learned to value my intuition.
And – eventually – my difference.
This year, I ended and began.

Skills Offered: Writing, storytelling, public speaking, event planning and hosting
Current Community Involvement: My role as Fail Club failer and champion is ongoing. I am a Creative Mornings Auckland volunteer. And I am also the founder and host of the Needs A Name Tea-Drinking Goddess Gang – a small group of women who gather monthly to drink tea and talk life. Our conversations explore courage, pain, fear, joy, gratitude, sex, selfcare, and All The Rest. I am drawn to small groups and events that nourish wellbeing and connectedness.
Location: Auckland

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Jen Linney
Strategic Advisor - Operations Group, ACC

I have had a long and fulfilling career with ACC, an organisation in which I strongly believe. Starting as a case manager and working through various operational roles and some time in the Minister’s office, I am now the strategic advisor to the Chief Operating Officer. This time has been punctuated with bursts of time out to travel overseas, to teach and to try out the private sector. Outside of work, you can generally find me enjoying New Zealand’s beautiful outdoors with my partner Caron. I’m an absolute animal nut and don’t spend the time I would like walking dogs for Huha (Helping you help animals). I also do my bit to support the vibrant arts and café culture in Wellington where I have lived for the last four years.

Leadership NZ has taken me to places I never expected to go. At times soaring with the exposure to inspirational speakers and stimulating discussions that left me internally debating social issues, reflecting and wondering what my role could be to make New Zealand a better place. Then there were the times I felt challenged and even terrified. Writing poetry and reading it out loud? You have to be kidding? The theme of mindfulness was timely for me, not something that comes naturally, definitely a work in progress but already helping me feel calmer and more focused. I feel like I have really grown through my Leadership NZ experience. I seldom take the time to reflect on my life ambitions, my way of being and really dissecting the things that are critical for me to be the best leader I can be at work and outside of work. I don’t feel like I have quite worked this out yet but am much clearer in the direction I want to take and what I want to achieve.

Skills Offered: Relationship management, facilitation, integration, strategic planning, governance, people development, organisational review
Location: Wellington

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Justin Maddock
Manager, Commercial Relationships, Ports of Auckland

I come from a technology-based background. I found myself applying for a role with the port seven years ago in the IT service delivery space; from there I was fortunate enough to move into Port operations and haven’t looked back. I recently took on a new role with the commercial team which has given me the opportunity to look behind the curtain of operations to better understand the commercial aspects of service delivery and leadership in our business.

The Programme was something that found me and quite by accident; not really knowing what I was in for was probably a blessing at the time. Phrases like “prepare to be tested” and “it will take you to some uncomfortable places” were not your typical referral headlines. However, I dove in head first and thank goodness. Yes, I have been tested and boy have I been uncomfortable but strangely I have enjoyed every minute of it. After each session, I find myself looking for space from it all, but all too quickly the excitement of the next session arrives and the rollercoaster starts again!

The hum of the conversation so comforting, a friend sits opposite you, 36 friends sit with you. Your Leadership NZ fix well and truly administered. What is it about this cohort that resonates? Truth, honesty, difference, acceptance. We are on a journey together to find out what leadership is.

Location: Auckland

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Kathy Stirrat
Programme Operations Lead, Transformation Programme, ACC

My diverse 30-plus year career has spanned the public, private and Crown entity sectors primarily in health, wealth management and insurance based in Wellington. I’ve held a range of senior management positions and I am a strong people leader. I love generating team spirit and success in direct reports and building strong, sustainable relationships with external parties. I’ve been at ACC for three years and am currently helping lead ACC’s multi-year transformation programme to improve our customer experience and help create an organisation that Kiwis trust and value. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity which I’m relishing. I’m married to Doug and we have two adult children currently having their own adventures living in Auckland. While we miss having our kids around, we’re enjoying our empty nest and the freedom to explore the things we love.

It’s been an amazing year and an incredible journey on the 2016 Programme. I’ve been privileged to travel alongside an inspiring group of people and through them and the carefully crafted Programme have been exposed to and challenged by new experiences, tools, conversations, thinking and opportunities. This has expanded and reshaped my own worldview and at the same time given me a stronger, clearer sense of who I am, what I value and what’s important to me in the future. Our theme of mindfulness has been a constant touch point throughout the packed Programme and the presencing techniques are a gift to continue with into the future. The year has been about connections, centring and challenge and I’m working through what my response – ability will be. I’m excited about where this Programme may lead me and I’m open to a new world of possibilities. I’m immensely grateful to ACC for sponsoring me on this Programme and gifting me this amazing experience. The next step is up to me!

Skills Offered: Relationship management, strategic and systems thinking, organisational change management, communicating, leadership and people management, governance
Current Community Involvement: I have been taking a break after decades of community and church involvement but am ready to play my part again and am currently exploring options for future community involvement.
Location: Wellington

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Kelly Bewley
Project Manager - Exhibitions, Auckland Museum

Downtown Auckland 1960s – Joyce from Nuhaka meets William from Cumbria. My parents fell in love, had three children, and settled in provincial Taranaki. I grew up immersed in rugby league, surfing, punk music and the local art scene. These interests and pursuits have served me for life; I’m an obsessive guitarist and instrument builder, love the outdoors and the rugged west coast. Tamaki Makaurau 1999 – Cybele from Colville meets Kelly from Taranaki. We are happily married and have three children. I’m an exhibitions project manager at Auckland Museum where I have worked for the past 12 years. I love working with a wide range of people which sparks my creative side. 

You don’t get to feel this way a lot! I mean you don’t get to feel so broken to pieces and inverted, then reformed for action. That’s how I have felt about every Leadership NZ retreat. Mildly anxious as they approached, incredibly inspired and stimulated as they concluded. Leadership NZ has inspired me to challenge my status quo - to be courageous, radical and authentic. To traverse my journey to mindful leadership, using the creativity and passion that only I can muster. My eyes have been opened to national and global issues that impact upon communities, societies, humanity, and the systems which sustain them. I can’t stop thinking; what part can I play? What am I deeply drawn to? What’s at stake if I don’t take action! All I have experienced and learnt through Leadership NZ will be a source of inspiration going forward, a rich milestone in my life. I’m deeply grateful to all who have shared their life’s experiences, perspectives, values, mission, humour and heart throughout the year. They are incredibly passionate, present, and generous people - what amazing leaders!

Skills Offered: Project Management
Location: Tamaki Makaurau - Auckland

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Kelly Bleakley
Leadership Programme Director, Sir Peter Blake Trust

My career started in advertising, yet with a passion for youth development, this soon changed as I re-trained as a secondary school teacher and then taught at Avondale College in Auckland. This led to being an education sector liaison and advisor for Fonterra as they launched and rolled out the new national initiative, Fonterra Milk for Schools, from 2013. At the same time I became the senior volunteer of National Commissioner for SCOUTS New Zealand, including a member of their board. In my current role I am the Leadership Programme Director at the Sir Peter Blake Trust, leading a team that delivers New Zealand’s annual Leadership Week, and develops leadership programmes and initiatives for all New Zealanders to keep Sir Peter’s legacy alive, particularly for young Kiwis. In September 2016 I became a mum for the first time, my biggest leadership endeavour to date!

The Leadership NZ experience is unlike any other leadership course I’ve ever done - and there have been many! The highlight for me was the connection to such a diverse range of amazing New Zealanders who were on the Programme with me, as gaining their insights and wisdom has been a very rich experience. In addition, the guest speakers, topics explored, material discussed, and venues visited have broadened my knowledge of New Zealand as a country, its people, its heritage, and its future. Finally, the facilitation has provided me with numerous tools and frameworks that I can use for years to come that will enhance my personal leadership for myself, my family and my colleagues.

Skills Offered: Education, youth leadership, communications, organisational development, community engagement, public speaking, relationship management, people development
Current Community Involvement: I have made a commitment throughout my life to contribute to the community through volunteering, primarily as a leader and national team member with SCOUTS New Zealand, and also in community theatre as a performer and choreographer for both youth and adult productions.
Location: Auckland

Keren Ross
Lead Advisor - Official Correspondence, Regulatory Services, The Department of Internal Affairs

I have worked for the New Zealand Defence Force as a civilian for the past five years, having previously spent my time studying and working as a nanny. I am currently the Executive Officer within Army General Staff. My roles within Army have given me a broad experience across the organisation including contract and financial management, research, coordination, Parliamentary business and relationship management. The Defence Force has been a fantastic organisation to work for and I am incredibly appreciative of the Army enabling me to complete the Leadership NZ Programme this year.

The Leadership NZ Programme has given me space and the needed prompts to think and reflect deeply on myself and the world. It has also connected me with a diverse group of amazing people and our conversations have broadened and deepened my understanding and curiosity about the world and myself. The diversity of both the participants and speakers is such a strength of this Programme. I have met so many people I wouldn’t have met anywhere else. I feel I have learnt about myself over the year, and also explored my relationship with others. This year has also made me pause and think about what is most important to me in my life, and to reflect on where I want to direct my focus and what I want to do with my life.

Skills Offered: Relationship management, facilitation, communications, coaching
Location: Wellington

Ketan Panchal
Financial Controller, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi

I came to New Zealand in early 2004. After working for various small to medium size commercial companies in New Zealand, in early 2012 I got an opportunity to work for Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, a Not for Profit organisation. My interest has always been into digital technology, systems improvement, converting financial reporting into “actionable reporting” and creating the self-service environment.

My journey with Leadership New Zealand has been full of excitement. This has given me an opportunity to meet some excellent and diverse people. It is a very well-organised Programme with good learning contents focusing on the core areas of contemporary leadership. Every Leadership NZ session has been thought-provoking and has forced me to dig deeper into my consciousness. The learnings have helped me to stand firm during some of the most challenging times in my working career. They have influenced my leadership style significantly. It has been a privilege to listen to the speakers who have shared their experiences and their journey of leadership with us. I have also gained a deeper understanding of the challenges New Zealand faces. Listening to the “My Life” of my group was a heart-warming experience. I firmly believe that the learnings from Leadership NZ are going to help me throughout my life. I heartily appreciate the efforts of Louise for facilitating sessions with full of energy and providing a solid grounds for robust discussions with our groups. It has been a genuinely fun, transformational and challenging journey for me – and an experience of a lifetime that I am going to cherish for a very long time.

Skills Offered: Change management, financial, organisational development, project management and strategic planning
Current Community Involvement: I continue to develop interest in the employees of my organisation and its subsidiaries in self-financial management.
Location: Kaikohe, Far North

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Maraea Rakuraku
Founder, Native Agency

He uri ahau no Te Urewera, Ngati Kahungunu hoki. Ko Maraea Rakuraku toku ingoa. E hoki ki o maunga. Kia purea koe e nga hau a Tawhiri-matea. Return to your mountains. That you may be cleansed. Knowing who I am and where I come from is critical to where I am pointed, what I wish to do with my time, where I expend my energy and the contribution I continue to make to the building of a nation. New Zealand today, is such a different country to what I grew up in. Many resources were poured into my education by my whanau, to grasp the tools of the Pakeha and use them for the benefit of my people, as espoused by Apirana Ngata. Yet, it took living within my kainga tuuturu, Te Waimana Kaaku for me to make sense of it all. That theory demanded action, that ‘Te Mana Motuhake’ isn’t some response to tino rangatiratanga and that, becoming politicised and conscious is a daily act of decolonisation.

Leadership NZ has both challenged and strengthened my position on what and who we are as a nation and, my role within that as a conscious, politicised wahine Maori, and as rangatira. It has reinforced that knowing yourself deeply, truthfully and authentically, is so vital to how you engage with others and whether you have the ability, compassion, empathy, humility and insight to truly accept difference and, work respectfully with those outside of yourself and what you hold to be true. It’s also shown me there is much work to be done before Aotearoa becomes a nation that cares for all its citizens and the whenua upon which we live.

Skills Offered: Creative writing, media, broadcasting, research and evaluation, theatre, performance poetry, playwriting, Kaupapa Maori, restorative justice, justice advocate, communication, mentoring
Current Community Involvement: Reviewer for online review site theatreview, involvement in theatre and writing, lifetime hapu and iwi obligations and responsibilities.
Location: Wellington/Bay of Plenty/Te Urewera

Marion Schrama
Leadership Capability Manager, NZ Post

My career path has seen me work in a huge range of industries in roles covering sales, marcomms, operations and logistics. It’s fair to say I love the variety and new challenges! I am currently running Customer Service Delivery at New Zealand Post for the greater Wellington area. I’m also in the privileged position of leading the Area Management Model project where we are trialing a practical method of ‘standing up’ a site within Service Delivery in order to test and understand what is required to build the new way of operating. This is the part of my job I love the most – working with people to try new ways of working and develop leadership capability along the way. When I’m not working you’ll find me at either Yoga, CrossFit or in my kitchen cooking up a storm for my three ravenous teenage sons.

The Leadership NZ Programme has given me a much deeper understanding of the big issues impacting New Zealand and the speakers have been amazing, inspirational and have renewed my faith in the future of New Zealand. They’ve broadened my perspective, challenged my own beliefs around diversity and forced me to think about the role I play in contributing towards a better New Zealand – within my own community and on a national level. I now see New Zealand through a very different lens. I’ve loved having the opportunity to meet leaders from different sectors and hearing their stories. They’re an amazing bunch of people and I treasure the friendships I have formed. I feel very lucky to be part of the 2016 Leadership NZ Alumni.

Skills Offered: Change management, communications, sales, people development, process improvement, coaching
Current Community Involvement: I am currently a reader/writer for NCEA as well as a contributor for BellyFull.
Location: Wellington

Mary Camp
Business Development Manager, Education New Zealand

One way or another, most of my life has been in education. I’ve been a teacher (in NZ and in England), a consultant, and I’ve worked for the Ministry of Education. When I was a kid I wanted to explore exotic faraway places, and I’ve done quite a bit of that – mostly solo. These days I work for Education New Zealand, the government agency for international education. International education brings many benefits to NZ – economic, social and cultural. NZ has a great education ‘product’ to offer. It’s something I believe in. I’m also a Mum to George and Elizabeth. My husband Toby is a student and does most of the childcare. His support is a key factor in everything I do.

What an amazing year! I thought the Leadership NZ Programme would be great, but I didn’t realise how profoundly it would impact my life. Leadership NZ has supported us to delve deep, examine who we really are and how we can use our leadership to benefit New Zealand. Along the way, we have had opportunities to learn from inspirational leaders. And we’ve had a lot of fun! I have been impressed with the calibre of the guest speakers – not to mention the other participants on the Programme, who have inspired and amazed me with their capability and openness. Mindfulness has been an inspiring and, for me, deeply useful focus for our work. I feel very grateful – to my manager (and Leadership NZ Alumnus) Clive Jones who suggested I should apply and has supported my participation, to the 2016 cohort of inspiring humans, to my husband for doing the hard yards on the home front while I’ve been away with Leadership NZ, and to Louise for the life-changing wisdom she has shared.

Skills Offered: Stakeholder engagement, facilitation, training, writing, relationship management, project management
Location: Wellington

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Mat Stone

I’m a Pakeha kiwi, raised in North Canterbury and living in Wellington with my wife and three children. For 20 years we have lived in Newtown, a culturally diverse inner-city suburb, engaging in school, sports, voluntary sector and social communities. In that time I have worked in public service for MPI, but I’m now moving to Paris to work for the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). My professional purpose is safe and sustainable food production systems. I’m committed to engagement and collaboration between rule-makers, producers and consumers to co-design and implement best practice considering both the science and the ethics, honouring the social contract and responsibility that goes with food, farming, caring for animals and our environment.

This journey with Leadership NZ means a lot to me. I feel I have been given a profound insight into how to be human, an authentic and compassionate citizen, and a leader. I know myself better, and my purpose. I feel empowered and optimistic. I know I make a difference through my actions, for the people in my life and, through them, the world today and in the future. As a late-comer to Te Ao Maori, I have found a connection with my own beliefs which gives me the confidence to be a New Zealander in the world. Our stories show that partnerships based on open hearts and minds and approaching life with a constant appreciation for the past and the future will change the world. I will hold and nurture this feeling of connection to all other beings in this world, before, during and after our own time here. And I will carry in my heart my friends from Leadership NZ 2016 and everything we shared. E noho ra, et a la prochaine.

Skills Offered: Enjoys people and problems. Establishes purposeful connections and trust. Manages situations for the bestall round outcome. Good in a crisis. Loves systems. Moderately strong work ethic but excellent loyalty.
Current Community Involvement: Currently making new connections in Paris, France, after 20 years in Newtown, Wellington.
Location: Paris

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Megan Hurnard
Director - Performance, NZTE

Born in Wellington, I was fortunate to spend part of my childhood living in Swaziland and the United States. This exposed me to some very different experiences and made me realise that there was a big wide world out there quite different to New Zealand. It also sparked an interest in global connections and New Zealand’s international advantages (and challenges), which has continued through my career – first working at the New Zealand Translation Centre and, for the last 12 years, at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Recently I have also discovered a passion for process/service improvement and using data and analysis to drive better decisions. When not at work, or spending time with my wonderful husband and very mischievous toddler, I spend time singing as a member of the New Zealand Chamber Choir and The Tudor Consort.

This year has been a bit of a roller-coaster – emotionally and intellectually. Anytime you talk to someone that has been through Leadership NZ they say it was not what they expected, but it was life changing. I’m no exception. For me, the last seven months on Leadership NZ has enabled me to understand so much more about myself and what drives me. It has also helped me to gain some clarity about the purpose I want for my life, and while I still feel I have a long way to go, I now feel like I know the direction of travel. But perhaps even more valuable, the speakers and my fellow participants have helped me break down some preconceptions and gain greater insight into others’ experiences and points of view. As the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. To them, I say a very big thank you.

Skills Offered: Event management, strategic planning, performance measurement, process improvement
Current Community Involvement: I am the committee chair for The Tudor Consort, a Wellington choir.
Location: Wellington

Megan Tyler
Planning Manager, Central & Islands, Auckland Council

I am a proud ‘westie’ Aucklander, born and bred. I discovered planning as a profession in my last year of high school and went on to study it at the University of Auckland. After 18 months as a graduate in a private consultancy, I entered local government and have remained there ever since. I have had a variety of technical and management roles, including helping to set up and service the Local Boards at Auckland amalgamation in 2010. My personal values align well to the public sector and it has provided me with amazing leadership and growth opportunities. My current role at Auckland Council sees me working alongside the Chief of Strategy on the complex challenges of a growing Auckland. 

I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of the 2016 Leadership NZ cohort. It is rare to have the opportunity to move out of the day-to-day pressures and focus entirely on personal development and new ideas. I have been challenged to think differently, to consider what mindfulness means in the leadership context, to debate world views and to learn from the experiences of others. While this has been challenging in some areas, it has also strengthened my confidence and self-belief in other areas. Thank you to the 2016 cohort and Leadership NZ team for being such inspiring, down-to-earth and fun people who have made this journey so safe and rewarding.

Skills Offered: Strategic planning, policy development, mentoring, governance
Current Community Involvement: Chair of Finance and Property Board, Massey Community Church
Location: Auckland


Mini Prasad
Business Development and Social Enterprise Strategist, ConnectSR

I graduated from the University of Auckland majoring in Accounting, Commercial Law and Taxation. Quickly absorbed into the big four environment, I learnt the skill of International Business Advisory and the art of building meaningful and rich relationships. I had the good fortune to partner with a North American Transfer Pricing and Valuations firm Ceteris - Duff & Phelps and worked alongside a small team developing the Australasian Ceteris - Duff & Phelps practice. Having participated in growing the Ceteris practice, I then sought to diversify my skill set, starting my own business that caters to the health conscious and time poor. In parallel, I now work for Connect Supporting Recovery where my role interfaces between corporates and society. I lead and activate social enterprise initiatives that add value to corporations and society, the profits of which then go back into social good.

The Leadership NZ Programme has been less of a journey about the practical and more about the soul. The gentle facilitation of reflection, self-discovery and growth. With the backdrop of New Zealand, our history, people, cultures and ideologies, initially lulled into the impression that I would be walking chest forward ready ‘in my leadership’ to advocate for all I could do to make New Zealand better than it already is. A wonderful ruse, as while we’ve walked this path, we have been discovering the true New Zealand within ourselves. What makes us and breaks us? What drives our motivations? We confront our shadows and ask ourselves deeper questions about our own projections and authenticity. It doesn’t end here, the certificate doesn’t complete the course. Now in the midsts of a deep dive analysis of me, my leadership, the value I bring, I use the learning from sessions like nuggets of gold but the treasure lies in the bonds, the cohort which is now family. This experience certainly has precipitated one of the most fruitful chapters of my life.

Skills Offered: Strategic planning, financial, business development, international business advisory, community engagement
Current Community Involvement: I work in creating Social Enterprises that add value to corporations and give back to society. I also am a qualified fitness instructor and I teach nutritional health and wellbeing practices.
Location: Auckland

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Nazli Effendi
Director & Director of Studies, NZ Academic and Learning Institute

I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1966, and have degrees from the University of Warwick (UK), the University of Durban-Westville (South Africa) and the University of Western Cape (South Africa). My lifelong career has been in education, including roles as a university lecturer, school principal, international marketing manager, academic director, operations manager, business manager, education consultant, and director of studies. I run full and half marathons and am generally a bit of a fitness freak. I speak Afrikaans, German and basic conversational Chinese Mandarin. I immigrated to New Zealand and now live in Auckland.

As a result of the Leadership NZ Programme I have gained a greater awareness of the importance of self-knowledge and self-awareness in leadership. I now know that it is when I am in flow in my life, that I can be a capable and effective leader.

Skills Offered: Training and development, programme development, curriculum design, strategic planning, language acquisition training and development
Current Community Involvement: Member of PACIFICA; Board Member, Ruapotaka Marae
Location: Auckland

Neil Swailes
Deputy Crew Chief, Auckland Airport

I was born in Leeds, England. My parents emigrated to New Zealand before I was a year old. My father worked at the steel mill, my mother later working as a radiographer for Kingseat Hospital. I attended St Mary’s Primary in Papakura before moving onto Rosehill College. Without clear direction I left high school at the end of my seventh form year and laboured for a year before chancing upon an advertisement for Auckland Airport’s Emergency Response Team, where I have now worked for 19 years. Currently holding the rank of Deputy Crew Chief and enjoying the myriad of challenges each day brings.

Moving into Leadership NZ 2016 I thought I was going to be in a good position. I had faced some adversity in leadership in my position and had a very strong sense of who I was and what I stood for. Day one shattered that illusion for me. Leadership NZ is taking me on a journey of self-discovery at levels I had not considered in significant depth before. All the time you are buoyed by the fantastic and inspiring collection of people around you who are all taking their own journey, and sharing it completely selflessly and with great passion. The diversity of people and backgrounds in the group, combined with the mutual aspiration to being better leaders and people, opens new doors of challenges, and yet acceptance. It truly is a wonderful experience and I am loving this journey.

Skills Offered: Change management, training, coaching, risk management, emergency management
Location: Auckland

Owen Thomas
Community Services Manager, Whangarei District Council

I have been fortunate to work with communities in ‘provincial’ New Zealand for the last 15 years. This started with a community development project in the central North Island. A couple of highlights for me during this time were: working on and chairing the Wellington Regional Youth Worker Trust and being a trustee at the Taihape Youth Centre. For the last 9.5 years, I have been working with the Whangarei District Council and have managed our Community Services Department for the last 5 years. I have really enjoyed the move north and the team at Whangarei District Council are great. Key highlights for me over the last five years have been: establishing and fostering a youth advisory group, the success of our Community Safety programme and the development of our community funding profile.

In many ways, I realise how naive I was coming into the Programme; how naive I was about how my ‘whole-self ’ is influenced by my ‘work-self ’ and relationship with my ‘personal-self ’. At times, through the Programme, I have cringed at the use of the words ‘yin and yang’ and yet reading through my journal notes it is this concept that I so often find myself coming back to – being and doing, wisdom and action, order and chaos, how design thinking is ordered chaos… The value-added relationship that can exist between two opposing concepts can only be described as synergy. Synergy is defined as the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. For me, the synergy from this year has come from the group formed by ‘teachers’ and ‘students’. The bringing together of the Leadership NZ staff / Programme and the diverse range of people that is Leadership NZ 2016 has created a lasting experience for me.

Skills Offered: Youth leadership development, community engagement, strategic planning, governance, mentoring
Current Community Involvement: My role requires me to be engaged in a large number of community activities and groups across my district. As well as this I am also a Recovery Manager for Civil Defence in Whangarei.
Location: Whangarei

Pania Schwenke
Immediate Past President, PACIFICA and Flight Attendant Manager, Qantas

From the deep roots of the Navigator Islands in the Pacific, engrained with the Fa’aSamoa and taught that family and Christianity matters the most, my core values remain strong, despite the different and colorful walks of my life. I have worked twenty-five years in the corporate world, in fast-paced, geographically dispersed and multi-cultural, complex organizations. I spent thirteen years in the manufacturing industry in the USA then returned to the aviation industry where I managed a team of 380 cabin crew. In the last two months I changed roles and am now responsible for effective resource utilization, operational efficiencies and ensuring that planes are safe to fly, trained crew are onboard and flight services are on time. I continue to actively engage our PACIFICA women in acknowledging our identity, bridging the integrational gap and realizing our potential as Pacific women. 

I was told that the Leadership NZ Programme was a ‘different’ Programme and that it was ‘life changing’. The Programme has been a personal journey of self-reflection, challenging my ‘learning edge’, constant self-questioning and self-discovery. Humbled to be among extraordinary leaders with diverse backgrounds and careers who shared a circle of trust stripping our backgrounds, values and beliefs to engage and connect with each other. Extremely privileged to listen to amazing iconic NZ leaders who opened my eyes to NZ history, Maori culture, creating awareness of the broader issues impacting NZ and how we can make a difference as leaders. 2016 is a year of significant milestones for me – 10 years living in NZ and working for Qantas, I changed roles, I was blessed to have my ‘malu’ and celebrating fifty years of age. Completing the Leadership NZ Programme has given me a sense of clarity of my purpose, my leadership attributes, areas for growth and expansion and to connect with my inner power… YES, it has been life changing!

Skills Offered: Supply chain, people management, mentoring, process improvement, recruitment, facilitation
Current Community Involvement: P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. Executive member, Professional Mentoring for Pacific Health Students under the “Working & Achieving Together” Program
Location: Auckland

Pauline Hanna
Executive Project Director, Counties Manukau Health

I had a slow start to my career, being older than many contemporaries to finish my undergraduate degree and MBA following an amazing, very long “overseas experience” of seven years. Since that time I have been in the public health system and enjoyed a number of roles as operational manager, strategic planner, general manager, director planning and performance. For the last 20 years I have been with Counties Manukau Health, an organisation of many dedicated and smart people who readily give of their time and skills to our population and their needs. Currently I am Executive Project Director, Counties Manukau, a role I relish as it has plentiful scope and opportunity which I have further crystalized during my last year with Leadership New Zealand.

The word “Rollercoaster” comes to mind as I reflect on our year! We had adventure of thought, turmoil of emotions, exasperation directed at our human failings and impact of those. At times we felt exposed and we felt daunted. But it was exciting, fun, engaging, forgiving and revealing. Mindful Leadership, taught me about myself and how I can free
myself to concentrate on what is important and be creative. It helped me observe the whirlwind of balancing career with “life” and all the distractions. The Programme made me pause, but it has also given me frameworks to work with, showed me what resilience looks like and with it, what is actually possible. It has given me a new level of courage. Through our debates among ourselves and in discussion with our speakers it has connected me with what I can contribute to a more civil, diverse society. I have also added some incredibly special friends to my network which I will tap into as I endeavour to change my part of the world through my own unique Leadership.

Skills Offered: Project management, process/continuous improvement and implementation, change management
Current Community Involvement: I am involved in several community Trusts however building on what I have gained this year, I am investigating how I can turn involvement into a much more significant contribution.
Location: Auckland

Phil Brewster

I am a humanitarian leader (this Programme has helped me say that and feel it) who has spent the last 15 years’ responding to natural disasters, civil conflict and the effects of climate change. My work has taken me to Timor-Leste, Philippines, Nepal, Chile and the North Pacific and includes roles with the UN, Governments and NGOs. A highlight was being adviser to the Minister of Social Solidarity on the response and recovery to the 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste which had caused the displacement of over 100,000 people. I currently manage the New Zealand Red Cross International Programme and am back in Wellington after 35 years away. I live in Hataitai with my wife and two young children and am looking forward to a new chapter unfolding as we move to Myanmar in 2017.

The year is almost done but the journey only just begun. What kind of man will I be for the second half of my life? Leadership New Zealand has given me the courage, insight and confidence to ask better questions about who I am, what has shaped me so far and where I can go. The journey started out as a year dedicated to me. It sometimes felt indulgent, but I now see the transformational power of retreating into ourselves, connecting deeply with our people and confronting the issues that define our place in this country. In my career so far, I have been good at conforming to existing cultures and systems. Leadership NZ has helped me realise that just as we can change our own neural pathways, we can also reinvent the basic assumptions of how we relate to each other. I want to spend the second half of my life more proactively shaping the environments I inhabit.

Skills Offered: International development, disaster risk management, facilitation, humanitarian training
Current Community Involvement: Civil defence, refugee resettlement
Location: Yangon

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Rebecca Sinclair
Director - Academic, College of Creative Arts, Massey University

I come from a line of intelligent, creative and open-hearted women and my four young daughters are my greatest teachers. I am relentlessly optimistic, endlessly curious and think that aroha really is the answer. My job title says I’m the Director Academic at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts in Wellington. But really I’m someone who loves ideas, big picture thinking and asking ‘why?’. In my role I have the overview of our academic programmes, creating the best environment to grow the next generation of creative thinkers, makers and doers who will make positive change for people and for the planet. A commitment to empathy and creative process in the cultural context of Aotearoa underpins everything I do, and nothing (not even university bureaucracy!) puts me off that vision. He toi whakairo, he mana tangata.

Words. Not always the best way to convey experience. Especially the kind of experience that takes you well outside the usual privileging of intellect and action and asks you to reach into yourself and draw on your heart and explore your being. Mindful leadership. Doing and being. With a group of fellow travellers who are like you but unlike you, supporting and challenging, united yet so diverse. Walking their path too. And intimate encounters with wonderful and inspirational Leaders-with-a-capital-L; such a privilege to hear their stories and breathe the same air in the hope that maybe some of their ‘L’ will rub off on you. Grappling with what’s wrong and what’s right with Aotearoa and the world and trying to figure out where you fit in all of that. But most of all searching for your truth, your self, your turangawaewae, and weaving that together with the raw and unconditional human-ness of those around you. Attraction and discomfort. A profound adventure. Words. Aren’t. Enough.

Skills Offered: Facilitation, education, public speaking, creative and design thinking, creative governance
Current Community Involvement: Miramar North School Board of Trustees
Location: Wellington

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Rob Kerr
General Manager - Residential Red Zone, Regenerate Christchurch

I am a Charted Civil and Environmental Engineer, with a background in project management, land development, resource management, infrastructure, stormwater: specialising in the delivery of complex projects. I have recently joined Regenerate Christchurch as the General Manager - Residential Red Zone, responsible for leading the process to decide the future use of the residential land that has been purchased by the Crown after the 2011 earthquakes. I moved from the role of Development Director - Anchor Projects for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (now Otakaro Ltd) where I was responsible for the Crown funded public realm and residential projects in the rebuild of Christchurch central city, including the National Memorial. Prior to this I worked for Councils, consultants and my own firm before committing my professional life to earthquake recovery since September 2010, first in Kaiapoi and then in Christchurch.

Since the start of the Canterbury Earthquake sequence, I have seen the importance of leadership from close quarters, and been unexpectedly thrust into providing some of it as well. I learnt that it becomes more difficult and nuanced and this is where an individual’s depth, values and personal awareness determine if they can provide the leadership that is needed. I have seen many both fail and succeed in meeting what has to be a very high threshold in providing quality leadership, and one of the things I have learnt through this Programme is that my ability to meet this threshold depends on my inner life, my values and self-awareness. It has kept forcing me to look more closely at myself as well as the issues and leaders around me. I heard early on in the year that only good people make good leaders, and I have seen the truth of this. There is a fabulous group that make up the 2016 cohort and I have been lucky to have been taught by them over this year what good people look like.

Skills Offered: Project Management, civil and environmental engineering, community engagement
Current Community Involvement: I am currently fully committed to earthquake recovery
Location: Christchurch

Sanjoy Nand
Service Manager, Pharmacy and Medication Safety, Counties Manukau Health

Born in Fiji, I moved to New Zealand many years ago to attend University and adopted this beautiful country as my new home. My Pacific heritage and humble beginning have had a large influence on how I see and understand the world around me. It is also what defines me. I am passionate about equality. I am energised by people and creativity. My professional career to date has been in the health sector, initially as a clinician and over the last 10 years in leadership roles. I have worked in a variety of settings during this time including private and public and with some amazing leaders. I see myself as an emerging leader, passionate about diversity and empowering others to bring their experiences to the table.

The Leadership NZ Programme has been an extraordinary adventure for me. I am grateful for the Diversity scholarship and the support from Counties Manukau Health for enabling me to participate in this brilliant learning opportunity. The Programme has stretched and challenged my thinking on a variety of issues and helped me find a deeper connection between my leadership journey and me. The experiences and knowledge shared by those facilitating the Programme, the many highly accomplished speakers and the fellow participants have enriched my worldview of the challenges we face as a country, as global citizens and as leaders. Together with the many tools, insights and connections that I have gained over the last nine months, I feel inspired and ready to make the plunge into having those meaningful conversations and taking action so that we can truly transform the world that we live in. My hashtags for the Programme: #connectedness, #Te Ao Maori, #diversity, #mind-expanding, #selfreflection, #findingmypurpose, #newfriendships, #LNZyourock

Skills Offered: Change management, process improvement, organisational culture development, mentoring, relationship management, ideation, co-creation, health sector knowledge, leadership
Location: South Auckland

Sarah Graham
Producer, Q Theatre

My working career has traversed the performing arts in varying roles, starting out in Stage Management, going on to train as an actor at Unitec’s Performing and Screen Arts, Theatre Manager for Duffy Books in Homes running their Theatre in Education programme. My first major leadership role came with co-founding Auckland-based ensemble The Outfit Theatre Company in 2007 in the role of Co-Artistic Director, a role which over the next 7 years allowed me the opportunity to turn nothing into something and appreciate the importance of camaraderie. Since 2015 I’ve had the privilege of working for Q Theatre as a Producer, a position that allows me the opportunity to work with national arts organisations, supporting them to present work that pushes the boundaries of New Zealand storytelling.

The Programme has offered me the opportunity to connect to a wider community than my own, gain new perspectives, and deepen my engagement and understanding of the potential impact I can create in my direct community, the city I live in and the country I was born in. Leadership seemed a zen-like concept, unreachable. Leadership NZ slowly breaks down those preconceptions, asking us to look into ourselves, checking where we’re coming from, what are we trying to ignore and we’re projecting. I’ve gone from observing the world to taking a bigger stake in the game. This Programme has allowed me to pause, check in with where I’m at in my career, look into the decisions I’ve made and to discover and explore my purpose and values. My cohort has been an inspiration, questioning and challenging, they are my idols as they bravely jump into hardcore conversations leaving no stone unturned, allowing me to do the same. Leadership NZ has been a life-changing experience, it’s given me a chance to reinvest in myself and my career, believe in the future and find ways to be the best version of me.

Skills Offered: Event planning, relationship management, curation, community engagement
Location: Auckland

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Shaun Greaves
Head of Learning and Delivery, ScoutsNZ

I was born and raised in Manukau where I developed a strong sense of responsibility and awareness of others around me, including the richness of being immersed in diverse communities. As a result, my life focus and passion are for building resilient people and communities. I have spent my career working in the not-for-profit sector most notably with St John, then with SCOUTS New Zealand. I genuinely believe our future will be brighter if we grow and develop our rangatahi (young people) and whanau. Providing leadership for community and youth development in Aotearoa is a key driver for me personally, and I enjoy working at an organizational level to enable this, as well as coaching and working alongside individuals to make their personal mark on our country.

It has been an honour and privilege to journey on this waka. Through this year’s talented cohort, coupled with an incredible array of speakers and experiences, we have been exposed to a melting pot of diversity in every sense of the word. From the diversity of being, perspective, industry, beliefs, cultures, life journey… it is this richness that makes the Programme so powerful. The Programme stretches and shapes us in ways we don’t expect. It confronts the critical issues facing Aotearoa and challenges us as to whether our personal espoused values are the same as those we live. It is catalytic in changing the face of leadership in Aotearoa where we as leaders will collaboratively create positive and real change. The shared wisdom of our group is powerful. I wholeheartedly thank Leadership NZ for adding significant value to my leadership journey. In particular, I wish to sincerely thank the 2015 cohort who so generously gifted the Tuku Mihi scholarship, enabling my participation in the Programme. I am eternally grateful.

Skills Offered: Not-for-profit management, organisational development, youth development, people and leadership development, community engagement, event planning, coaching
Current Community Involvement: SCOUTS New Zealand, St John, Ara Taiohi, Camp America, Pride Awards Trust, coaching new leaders in other organizations. In 2017 I am taking up a new governance opportunity enabled through Leadership NZ connections.
Location: Wellington

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