Reunited and revitalised: Young Leaders return to shape 2024! 

Latest News

We’re excited to welcome back Abby, Avah, Erina, Amber, and Jack for the 2024 Instep Young Leaders’ Forum, and we’re shaking things up for them. In addition to the annual forum, the returning leaders have wasted no time diving into exciting initiatives. 

Recently they participated in a workshop facilitated by Clare Swallow of Mulberry St to recognise and harness their strengths. Through interactive activities and discussions, the young leaders explored self-discovery, uncovering their unique talents, skills, and attributes using the Clifton Strengths framework, built of the premise that we get far more significant gains by focusing on our strengths compared to our weaknesses. 

The workshop aimed to equip them with the self-awareness and the confidence needed to navigate their final year of secondary school while maximising their participation in the Young Leaders’ Forum programme. By understanding their strengths and how to leverage them effectively, participants identified areas where they could contribute in a meaningful way. With this insight and a sense of purpose, these students are now better prepared to take on leadership responsibilities, collaborate with their peers, and positively impact their communities. 

“I was blown away by the intelligence, passion and ambition of this group of young leaders. I am excited to see what they all do in the future.” Clare Swallow. 

They also attended a special “Under the Stars” event supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Here they heard from keynote speakers Naomi Ballantyne and Gemma McCaw, gaining valuable insights into their careers and personal journeys. 

And most recently, our five returnees took part in the selection process for the incoming 2024 Instep Young Leaders’ Forum alongside Vee de Koster, Instep Manager, Priority One and Jackie Healey, Community Engagement Advisor, BOPRC. With over 55 applicants, choosing the next cohort of young leaders was a fun challenge and offered valuable leadership development and a learning opportunity.  

“It was impressive to see how the young leaders carefully went through each application together, considering all the different qualities and contributions of the applicants. It showed that they were committed to making fair decisions and helping to develop leadership skills.” Vee de Koster. 

Feedback from the experience was overwhelmingly positive. Erina found it to be a really interesting process and was delighted to have been involved. Abby simply described it as “super cool,” Amber echoed this sentiment, describing the day as incredibly cool. Avah, despite not having done anything like this before, ended up thoroughly enjoying the experience. Jack conveyed his appreciation, labeling the day as, “wicked!” 

They were also actively involved in the activities at the Noho, welcoming and connecting with the new 2024 cohort. Additionally, they’ve collaborated with our Instep partners such as Toi Ohomai, The University of Waikato, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council and together, they’ll plan and execute a hosted business breakfast. Watch this space as it’s going to be an activity packed year.