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Be. Leadership 2012

27 February 2012

Be. Leadership 2012

A film director, an artist and a team leader for accessibility awareness represent the broad spectrum of talent that feature on the ground-breaking 2012 Be. Leadership programme, which was launched at the first residential retreat at Vaughan Park in Auckland on Friday 24th February.

Be. Leadership was launched last year as an initiative of the Be. Institute as the first national programme targeting leadership development among disabled New Zealanders. The Be. Institute was also established last year by the founder and CEO, Minnie Baragwanath, as a social enterprise that promotes accessibility in New Zealand.

The leadership programme is unique in that all the participants identify as having access needs that currently limit their inclusion in society. Over the 21 programme days, spaced throughout the year the participants will immerse themselves in discussion with established New Zealand leaders about the role of leadership in their lives and in society.

Brent Macpherson - Cambridge

Founder of the New Zealand Deaf Film Society and director of his own film company, Stretch Productions, Brent Macpherson, is hoping his involvement in Be. Leadership programme will strengthen his skills to lobby for the Deaf community. “I have been involved in Deaf politics for over twenty five years and on completion of the course I will use what I’ve learnt to continue to lobby for our community.” Based in Cambridge, Brent wants to improve access for the Deaf community and lead by example, demonstrating proactive leadership qualities.

Kim Eruera - Wellington

As an artist and Buddies Support Co-ordinator, Kim Eruera of Wellington, is interested in community programmes that provide creative outlets for people as a form of self expression. “Everyone has a voice and I believe that it is a huge vehicle in the move toward social change, toward a better more inclusive society.” Kim hopes to gain new skills from the intensive leadership programme that will make her advocacy more effective.

Neelusha Memon - Christchurch

Team leader for CCS Disability Action and Christchurch resident, Neelusha Memon, is looking forward to the innovation that will emerge from her city’s re-build as an accessible, inclusive and universally designed new city. “As more people access the city, the fear that society has about people with disabilities will decrease and they will be seen and catered for as valuable members of the community.” Neelusha hopes her year of reflection on leadership will provide even deeper insights to effect change in the infra-structure at a local and national level.

Be. Leadership co-director, Philip Patston, says “This year we have focused the mix of the group to reflect direct leadership, either in employment or self employment so they can take the learning to apply it to their roles.” A strength of this year’s programme is involving the alumni from 2011, some of whom were present at the opening retreat to pass on some advice from their own experience on the programme.


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