Foundation inducts 43 young leaders to Leadership Network

The Asia New Zealand Foundation welcomed 43 talented young New Zealanders into its Leadership Network at an induction day in Wellington on 15-16 July.

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Watch a slideshow of images from the induction

The day provided the new members with a chance to get to know each other and learn a bit more about what being part of the network means.

The Leadership Network is an established global network of young professionals committed to building New Zealand-Asia relations. The new members come from diverse backgrounds and will join more than 350 existing members.

“Our Leadership Network members are emerging leaders in their respective fields who recognise that a strong understanding of Asia will be vital to their future careers,” says the Foundation’s executive director, Simon Draper.

“We offer them a range of professional development and leadership activities in New Zealand and Asia to further equip them with the knowledge, skills, and connections to strengthen understanding between New Zealand and Asia.”

For 2017, the Foundation received 107 applications to the Network. Applicants went through a rigorous screening process and 43 were chosen by a selection panel.

“We were impressed by the calibre of applicants. The diversity of the new group is notable, with successful applicants working across a range of sectors and industries including education, the arts, engineering, business, media, government, and NGOs,” says the Foundation’s deputy executive director Adele Mason.

Among the new Leadership Network members accepted in the 2017 is Ben Dowdle (Auckland), a consultant with Ernst & Young. Ben is the only New Zealand recipient of a prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship, which will take him to Beijing later this year to begin a Masters of Global Affairs at Tsinghua University.

Another new inductee is dancer and performer Lucy Marinkovich (Wellington). Last year, supported by a Foundation arts grant, Lucy attended INSTINC Gallery’s artist-in-residence programme in Singapore where she created and performed her immersive and interactive performance experience Good, Good Fortune. Most recently, she has been working on the show Tane Mahuta. Lucy is the only dance artist ever to receive both the Eileen May Norris Dance Scholarship and the Tup Lang Choreographic Award.

“It is great to see strong interest in Asia from such a range of professionals”, Ms Mason says.

“These young leaders are an important investment in the future of New Zealand as they move into higher level leadership roles.

“They have helped build intercultural and international networks, supported each other in career development, and acted as role models for other New Zealanders engaging with Asia.”

Recent Leadership Network events include an offshore Forum in South Korea, and a ‘Rethinking Leadership Hui’ in Gisborne. This month, members will be attending a ‘Media Training Hui’ in Wellington.

Asia New Zealand Foundation is the leading non-government organisation on New Zealand-Asia relations. Founded in 1994, the Foundation works in five main areas – business, arts and culture, education, media, and research. It runs the Leadership Network and takes a lead role in Track II (informal diplomacy) bilateral and multilateral dialogues in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the Leadership Network, contact: Masina Taulapapa.

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25 July 2017