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Fostering Young Leaders To Make A Difference

Young Leaders Foundation

29 April 2002

Students aged between 5 to 18 years heard the success secrets of what motivates New Zealand's current leaders in business, sport, community service, politics and the arts. Around 700 students from primary and secondary schools gathered in Wellington and were told to strive for their dreams and aspirations.

Among the speakers were:

* Sportspersons, Melissa Moon (NZ Sportswoman of 2002), Irene Van Dyke (Silver Ferns Goal Shoot) and Wellington Saints Basketball Team

* Dame Silvia Cartwright (Governor General) and Barry Maister (Secretary General of the Olympic Committee)

* Mai Chen (Lawyer) and Dr Mary English (Community Doctor)

* Prime Minister Helen Clark, Hon Bill English (leader of the Opposition), Hon Laila Harre (Minister of Youth Affairs and leader of the Alliance party) and Peter Dunne (leader of the United Future party)

Primary and intermediate school students also took part following the success of last year's inaugural event for high school students. Students young and old got to hear about the highs and lows of leading and leadership. The conference for secondary students took place today and primary students will meet tomorrow at the Wellington Town Hall Auditorium.

Annette Johnson, National Director of the Young Leaders Foundation in New Zealand said, "This is a great forum to motivate and inspire young people".

"The biggest result is that it changes their lives. They are inspired to be better leaders in school and in the community. In a room of 700 you don't know who's likely to be the next prime minister, but the message that comes from the event is that you can do it.

"The wide range of speakers talked about their experiences in leading and gave them confidence - that's the key to growing leaders."

The National Young Leaders' Days held in association with Reader's Digest and Auckland University of Technology are designed to develop student leadership in schools and motivate students into making a positive contribution to their school, family and community. Students learn practical skills including motivating others, managing commitments and stress management.

Ends

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