Inspiring the leaders of the future

All Black and Highlanders rugby player Brad Thorn (left) speaks about his life with National Young Leaders Day hosts Gemma Knight and Dave Atkinson at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday.
All Black and Highlanders rugby player Brad Thorn (left) speaks about his life with National Young Leaders Day hosts Gemma Knight and Dave Atkinson at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday.
In a world where leaders seem to be switching off or burning out regularly, the decisions made by those who will lead in the near future have never been more important.

It is a situation organisers of the National Young Leaders Day are increasingly aware of; and in Dunedin yesterday, they worked hard to provide the right conditions for producing a new generation of leaders.

Event manager Annette Fale said leaders day aimed to inspire pupils to begin a life-long journey of leading themselves and others according to good leadership values.

The event was created because the organisation believed in the potential of all pupils and wanted to challenge them to achieve their goals and make a positive contribution to their communities and the world.

''Creating the next generation of great leaders is a challenging, yet rewarding occupation.

''What we do is a small part of that process for many schools, but one we are proud to be involved with.''

She said the best she could hope for was that the event was a ''good beginning or continuation'' of an important conversation about what it meant to lead yourself and others well.

''Today is far from the end of good leadership learning at school.''

Photos by Craig Baxter.
Photos by Craig Baxter.
About 1200 primary and intermediate-aged pupils from Timaru to Invercargill attended the event at the Dunedin Town Hall yesterday, and they were challenged by guest speakers athlete and Carabiner Mentoring Programme founder Cam Calkoen, All Black and Highlanders rugby player Brad Thorn, Christchurch musician Nakita Turner, fashion designer and television presenter Tamsin Cooper, entrepreneur Emily Mabin Sutton and Attitude programme presenter Christian Gallen to live a 3-D life.

Just like a 3-D movie bursting off the screen, a 3-D life was so much better than a dull, flat one, Mrs Fale said.

''Dream what your life could be, then chase that dream, dare to do the scary brave things that make life an adventure, and develop your strengths - there is more in you waiting to be discovered.

''No-one gets a brilliant life without guts, vision and work,'' she said.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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