Canteen Leaders Finn (Wellington), Josh (Auckland), and Teri (Dunedin) were selected to attend the 2022 Aspiring Leaders Forum Te Wānanga Rangatira Tūmanako, alongside two Canteen Youth Workers, Emma (Auckland) and Abi (Wellington) held in Wellington.
The Aspiring Leaders Forum is a four-day programme held annually, guided by facilitators and esteemed leaders from around Aotearoa and included a range of activities and opportunities to inform and develop participants’ leadership skills. Including spending a day at Parliament House, a diverse group of keynote speakers, small group discussions with MPs, and a community service project.
Youth Worker Abi, who was also a facilitator on the Forum, believes that it helps “drill into your way of leadership, your values, and what guides your decisions.”
Abi also found the Forum’s focus on ‘servant leadership’ (before you can lead you must serve first) inspiring and “in alignment with Canteen’s organisational focus.”
The teams worked on a planting project as part of their community service.
“It was peaceful, being in nature and working together towards a collective goal.” Said Youth Worker Emma.
The Forum brings together a diverse range of rangatahi from the ages of 18-24 and aims to inspire the next generation. Finn’s highlight from the Forum was the small group discussions, “just being around people from all walks of life, and we all clicked well.”
The leaders are part of the Canteen Leadership Programme and were nominated to attend.
“I wouldn’t label myself a leader, but others have probably seen something in me. It’s cool.” Said Josh, of being part of Leadership and attending the Forum.
The key inspirational takeaway of the Forum for Josh was that everyone has leadership qualities and can make an impact.
“You don’t have to be at the top to be a leader – no matter where you are, you can do something.”