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Leading Voices 2022

29 Aug, 2022

Leading Voices 2022

We’re proud to congratulate CanTeen Leaders from across Aotearoa and Australia who graduated from the Leading Voices Programme in August.

Leading Voices is a programme specifically for CanTeen Leaders in Aotearoa and Australia who want to move into the advocacy and awareness space for CanTeen. The programme supports them to develop their confidence as they take on leadership opportunities within CanTeen and in their lives, at school or at work.

Supporting rangatahi to take on leadership positions at CanTeen continues a tradition that began at our founding. CanTeen was developed by a group of rangatahi impacted by cancer in 1988. It was set up by rangatahi, for rangatahi, and they continue to guide what we do at every level of the organisation.

The graduates are CanTeen Leaders and were selected for the programme because of their leadership and experience. They’re all incredible rangatahi who have been impacted by cancer and received CanTeen support themselves. Now, they want to share their story to raise awareness and support. We’re looking forward to seeing them shine as they take on opportunities to represent CanTeen Aotearoa in their community.

During the Leading Voices programme, the cohort got to know each other, as well as learn more about being representatives. They also all spent some time learning more about all the different services and support available through CanTeen for rangatahi impacted by cancer.

Nikki Williams, the Canteen Australia Brand and Communications Manager who led the programme says it was wonderful to see so many inspiring CanTeen Leaders coming together.

“It was such a successful program and exciting to have such a large number graduate this year, all keen to give back, especially after a few years of Covid delays. It was also special to be joined by Canteen Aotearoa and we’re looking forward to more collaborations in the future,” she says.

As well as hearing from Canteen executive members and current ambassadors, the group was lucky enough to be joined by external speakers and facilitators. Learning everything from understanding the media to how to plan for interviews and handle difficult questions. They spent time learning about storytelling and creating great content, to help them tell their own cancer story in the most articulate, authentic, and inspiring way possible. They also developed technological skills and were encouraged to think of how to use various platforms, and the way to reach multiple audiences.

As well as help them learn about being representatives for CanTeen, what they learnt during the programme will also be useful throughout their lives and all areas of work and education.

The graduates will now support CanTeen to raise awareness about what we do and how rangatahi between the ages of 13 and 24 who are impacted by cancer can access the support services. By them sharing their own stories, and spreading the message that help is available, it’s hoped other rangatahi impacted by cancer will feel comfortable to reach out, and maybe even one day become CanTeen Leaders themselves.

Congratulations to Janine Searle and Megan Dunlop from Christchurch and Joshua McMillan from Auckland, Aotearoa – and also the Canteen Australia graduates, Emily Genn from the Australian Capital Territory, Taylor Baker from New South Wales, Elliott Cox from Queensland, Jupiter McIntyre, Emily William and Michael Arkalis from Victoria, Natalie Coady and Ryan Essen from Tasmania, Ash Criddle, Belle Borgia and Shannae Carnell from Western Australia.

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