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Wanted: A Sir Edmund Hillary for the 21st Century

*Media Release/* Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi - Social Services ITO

21 January 2008

*Wanted: A Sir Edmund Hillary for the 21 st Century*

As the nation honours the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary this week, we should also be focusing on the social service values he held and should honestly ask ourselves what it would take to build on the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary in the years ahead, says Rory Truell, Executive Director of Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi, the industry training organisation for social services.

"Reflecting on the integrity of this one man's life there are important lessons in what can be achieved when we dedicate ourselves to practical tasks of service to improving the society we live in, both here and internationally".

"It would be a disservice to the memory of Sir Ed to think of his passing as the end of a chapter. This is a time when we need to consider his passing as the passing of a baton to future generations and as part of our shared whakapapa," says Rory Truell.

"The values epitomised by Sir Ed, particularly his loyalty and service to the people of Nepal demonstrated the integrity of living out a partnership across significant cultural boundaries".

"There is a lesson in Sir Ed's selfless work in Nepal that also provides a model for building bridges between cultures in our own country, based on the same sort of absolute dedication seen in Sir Ed's life, completely without prejudice or intolerance".

"He has left behind two abiding questions that should drive us all in aspiring to reach our own pinnacle in the values we bring to social service and humanitarian work, namely: How far can we venture, and what is there left to climb or build that can be humanly climbed or built?"


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