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Air New Zealand gets jammed

Air New Zealand gets jammed

Air New Zealand's top international managers will be treated to a memorable performance at their leadership conference in Auckland today.

Talented young people with disabilities ("jammers") from Project StarJam will sing and perform dance pieces for an audience of 150 of the airline's managers from around the world.

Earlier this year Air New Zealand sponsored return trips to Los Angeles for jammers Redmond Nicholson and Daniel Gourlay to interview Hollywood stars Dick Van Dyke and Danny DeVito. The interviews were screened at StarJam's major production in August.

Today’s conference at the Sky City convention centre is a strategy and leadership day for Air New Zealand. During the lunchtime show, nine jammers will sing and dance with internationally acclaimed singer Angela Ayers. Redmond Nicholson will also interview Ralph Norris, CEO of Air New Zealand. Redmond's previous interviewees include John Campbell and Oscar Kightley.

Julie Bartlett, general manager and founder of StarJam, says the performance is another way in which the talents and gifts of the young people can be shared with others in the community, helping to change attitudes towards disability.

"Young people experience being fully integrated in their communities and what it is like to be givers, and audiences experience a type of gift they may not have received before," she says.

StarJam is thought to be the only organisation of its type worldwide. Since its launch two years ago, StarJam has staged four productions involving over 70 young people with disabilities and over 40 celebrities, both national and international.

"Through StarJam, the world gets to see what these young people have to give. They become role models providing the community with confidence, compassion and inspiration," Julie Bartlett says.

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