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July 28, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Take Me to Your Leadership

Students voluntarily attended university on a Saturday, taking part in Victoria University’s inaugural Student Leadership Conference.

130 students attended the event held last weekend, which was predominantly organised by students.

Following an opening address by Vice-Chancellor Grant Guildford, the event kicked off with Jimi Hunt (pictured) – a motivational speaker who built the world’s largest waterslide to raise money for his depression charity, the Live More Awesome Foundation.

Though no other speaker had achieved a feat quite as impressive as that, students Salient spoke to enjoyed the day. “It was brilliant. Really inspiring anecdotes and genuinely useful information for effective ethical leadership,” third-year Philosophy, Theatre and Film student Jonathan Hobman said.

“I’ve been to [Victoria International Leadership Programme] events in the past and they’ve all been great; experienced speakers with interesting topics. So a full day of seminars on leadership seemed really beneficial.”

The workshops were a very Victoria affair, with a number of workshops run by academics, staff and students. A VIP panel included Deborah Morris – who at 26 became New Zealand’s youngest-ever Cabinet Minister – and alumni in former VUWSA President Labour MP Chris Hipkins, Anne Molineux who became a Kapiti District Councillor when she was 22, and Jack Yan. Though Yan has twice failed at being elected Wellington Mayor, he had some good advice on the power of persistence.

“It was a chance for students with little leadership experience to ‘dip their toes in the water’, as well as a professional-development opportunity for those students already playing leadership roles on campus,” organising Chair student Taylor Hughson said.

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