During the last school holidays 12 amazing young people from five different Colleges and Youth organisations accepted the Challenge to participate in a Challenge Leadership Programme. This year we remember Kiwis landing at Gallipoli. The leadership focus was on service and sacrifice.
Initially as our base was the Home of Compassion we studied Suzanne Aubert and the leadership model she lived as she supported and served the poor, needy and outcasts of our society. We looked at how challenging it must have been for her to come to Aotearoa New Zealand, learn to understand and work in Te Ao Maori and then to create a Congregation and community who would carry on her work.
We focussed on the importance of courage, trust, communication, getting to know others in your team and looked at the individual strengths and areas of development for each of the participants. Each participant presented and discussed their chosen symbols which represented leadership for them.
We had the privilege of a visit and input from the Acting Chief of Defence, Brigadier Peter Kelly. He spoke of his story and how he got to where he is now. For many, this was the highlight of the training event. Brigadier Kelly talked about the times that he didn’t succeed the first time, but because he had a goal he tried again and the second or third time he succeeded. He also talked to us about the sacrifices that he needed to make, missing significant events while away serving New Zealand in other parts of the world. One of the main things that everyone took from what he said was him saying that he is just a normal human being and that this is what makes us all equal – no-one is higher than others and all deserve respect.
We did some service like supporting Challenge and collecting for the Home of Compassion.
Below is some feedback from participants on the programme:
“I have learnt to focus on what I do have, and what I am able to share rather than worry about what I don’t have.”
“ I am really thinking about how I can develop my leadership skills and make a difference not just staying in my comfort zone and doing what I’m happy doing ”.
“Brigadier Kelly was awesome – I am keen to join the army and serve my country if I can. I think it would be a great career”.