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Canterbury. He encouraged them to “stop sitting around and just go out and do it. Try to change the world for the better.” The conference delegates were also treated to a wide array of keynote and smaller workshops that were delivered by a range of inspiring presenters, each with their own different spin on effective leadership approaches. Among them were University of Canterbury Associate Professor Billy O’Steen, Dr Minette Montieth from the Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital, Movember Ambassador Dan Sharples, Actor/Director Aaron Cortesi, Janine Mackay from the University of Waikato and Sergeant Louis Wihongi of the New Zealand Defence Force. Self-leadership specialist Joel Bouzaid delivered one of the keynote workshops where he underlined the importance of “reframing adversity”. “Sometimes if you want something, you have to grab it,” was Joel’s message. His five points of courageous leadership included owning your style and focusing on achieving your goals. A student panel of Head Students from Christ’s College, St Margaret’s College, Cashmere High School and Hornby High School answered questions about their experiences as student leaders and what they had learnt about stepping up to

be a leader. Black Cap Todd Astle wrapped up the conference in the plenary session, presenting his ideas on the courageous actions required to navigate the twists and turns of life, particularly in the sporting arena. Despite the below average weather on the day, the conference was a big success in terms of thinking about courageous leadership. This could be as a courageous leader, inspirational leader or innovative leader. It might just simply be finding the courage to begin leading in the first place. Courageous leaders are people who are able to push through uncomfortable situations. They are leaders who are willing to make difficult decisions and do not back down when things get too hard.

Sometimes this kind of leadership requires bold action and decisive judgment. That takes courage, too. We need young leaders who can make a difference by having the courage of their convictions to follow something through for the betterment of others. Hopefully, the students who attended were challenged to find ways to take the initiative, be innovative, make a difference in their schools and be courageous by pursuing new ideas to lead in the community. Matt Cortesi Director of Character & Leadership


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