top of page

The Leader's Lounge

October 2019

Kia ora koutou,

The second half of the year has come up quickly and with it we’ve seen some great outcomes for our rangatahi, especially in our LSV Graduate Programmes where most of our young people are consistently gaining sustainable employment.

In the Youth Leadership area, we’ve had so much interest in the Advanced Student Leaders Course run overseas that we’ve created a dedicated Pacific Student Leaders Programme!

Needless to say, things won’t be slowing down and we’re excited to share more with you at the end of the year.

Nga mihi nui,

Jethro Gilbert

Founder and Chief Instructor

Kia orana! Cook Islands here we come...

After fantastic feedback, increasing interest, and lots of tweaks and additions along the way, what started out as our usual Advanced Student Leaders Course hosted overseas has grown into a dedicated programme in its own right - now called the Pacific Student Leaders Programme

We aim to run it at least three times per year in different locations across the Pacific Islands, with our next being held in the Cook Islands during the school holidays in October. Applications opened back in June and we had an overwhelming response, with over 50 young people from across New Zealand applying.

Of the many high-quality applications we saw, 29 will be travelling with our team to meet up with another 18 local Cook Islands students. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you would have met some of these aspiring leaders already!

We’re also especially excited to be joined by two students from our previous intake (Fiji in April), Brooke and Bridie, except that this time they’ll be further developing their leadership skills and experiences by helping us run the Programme! You can read more about their experience on the course in the article below. 

Pacific Student Leaders

"It was the best experience of my life"

I loved every single part of the course, and every part played an important role in my development as a young leader.

- Brooke, Advanced Student Leaders Course, Fiji A2019


We caught up with two students from our Fiji course in April, Brooke (below, right) and Bridie (below left) to hear how they found the programme and how it's helped them since.

What leadership skills or techniques did you gain or improve on during the programme?

Bridie: The main ones I improved on were ones required when leading a team, like keeping calm, making quick decisions and communicating clearly.

Brooke: Yeah I learnt it’s important to check in on your team make sure they understand the common goal and also the part they play in it, and scan the room for questions to make sure there's no confusion and everyone knows what their role is.

How has the programme made you a better leader?

Bridie: I’ve started asking opinions from every single person, not just those who’re extroverted and confident talking in a group. I think I’d also feel a lot more confident leading a group in an emergency now as well, because I’d be calmer and more able to give clear instructions under pressure.

Brooke: For me, being able to work alongside or with a diverse group is a skill that’ll be helpful throughout life. Also, learning how to utilize individuals' strengths to maximize the positive outcome is an amazing skill to put into practice.


How has the programme benefitted you since?

Bridie: I’m more confident in class discussions and when doing group work. Also talking to strangers and making friends more easily, and fitting in with other cultures. Like we took in an exchange student from Tonga and my Fijian friends from the course have helped me make him feel more at home. I’m also hoping the skills I learnt will come in handy when it comes to leadership opportunities at my school next year.

Brooke: I’m a Student Representative at my school, which is year 1-13, and I most commonly chose to lead the younger students because the age gap made me feel comfortable and I believed it gave me authority.

But now I’m less likely to avoid leading students my age, because the positive experience leading my peers during the Future Leaders course gave me the confidence. Also Jethro has been an ongoing supporter – he’s made it known he’s always there to support us with future endeavours and he even helped me with my application to a polytech I’m wanting to attend in 2020.

Tell us more about how you ended up on the upcoming programme?

Brooke: Yeah Bridie and I have the amazing opportunity to come on the next one this weekend in Rarotonga, but this time we’ll be student alumni instructors! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to meet more eager young leaders and support them on their journey to become the best leader they can be.

We kept in contact with Jethro and also helped with planning for future trips and next we knew it we were offered to come on the trip, so it just shows if you work hard and show leadership and make use of the opportunities given, more opportunities will arise.

Sum up your experience in 5 words or less.

Bridie: Once in a lifetime experience

Brooke: Best experience of my life

Where are they now?

LSV Graduate Programme

Wellington Highlights

Jobfest 1 edit.png

Great outcome for Grads at MSD JobFest


Last month our latest intake of LSV Graduates attended the MSD JobFest, where they met potential employers and applied for open roles, with our Mentors on hand for guidance and support.

Five Graduates were able to gain interviews for roles at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (hospitality), Village at the Park (respite care) and the MSD Call Centre (admin) – proof of the hard mahi they put in during our work preparation module!

One of the Graduates who was successful in securing a position is twenty-one year old Serafina (pictured), from our July intake.

Serafina started work at Village at the Park two weeks ago in a full-time Laundry and House Keeping role. Serafina’s long-term goal is to move up through the business, with training in Elderly Care being the next step.

It's encouraging to see Serafina take the first step towards sustainable employment, and we're thankful to the team at MSD who hosted the JobFest and helped source job opportunities for our young people. Our Mentors will continue to support Serafina and our other Graduates as they settle into their new routines, and work with their employers to ensure long-term success.

Wellington Highlights

Whatever life throws at you - including

rugby balls!


Building authentic, meaningful relationships with our rangatahi is at the core of what we do at Future Leaders. We want them to succeed in whatever life throws at them – including rugby balls!

So a huge shout out goes to the Captain of the Trentham Titans (and our fantastic team member!) JP “Turanginator” Taute. As part of his mentoring, JP encouraged two of our LSV Graduates to join his rugby league team and they played in the grand final against the Wainuiomata Lions earlier this month.

Trentham Titans edit.png

The lads played well but it was a tough game, and unfortunately they weren’t able to walk away with a victory. On the plus side, the experience taught them resilience and illustrated the value of maintaining a regular fitness routine, which is an integral part of both LSV and a healthy lifestyle. Fingers crossed for next season!

IMG 2_edited.jpg

Success Story - Jaelyn

Jaelyn (far left) graduated from the LSV Course in Burnham last year and joined our Wellington LSV Graduate Programme in November 2018. Twenty-one year old Jaelyn has been employed full-time with Taylor Preston, a local meat-processing plant, since December, shortly after she completed our work preparation module – a reflection of her hard work and dedication!

Recently Jaelyn visited our Wellington Centre to share her experience at Taylor Preston with our July intake of Graduates.

She was joined by the Recruitment Manager, Barry Walsh (far right), who shared more about the business and entry-level roles on offer. Since then, four of the Graduates who met with Jaelyn and Barry have gone on to gain positions at Taylor Preston.

While Jaelyn was able to secure a full-time, permanent role last year, the current roles available for the other Graduates are 6 month fixed-term. This is just one example of why the ongoing support of our Mentors is so important – they’ll continue to work with these Graduates over the next 6 months to ensure they have a long-term plan, either to study or apply for other roles before the busy season ends in March/April next year. We look forward to seeing what they go on to do!

Wellington Success Story

Waikato Highlights

Minister Visit.jpg

Visit from Minister of Social Development


We were honoured to welcome the Minister of Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, on a tour of our new facility in Hamilton. Having met one of our Wellington Mentors and Graduates the previous week, it was great to introduce her to the Waikato team, share more about the work Future Leaders does, and explain the transitional support we provide for young people after LSV.

The Graduates also had an open floor discussion with the Minister where they spoke about the positive changes they’d experienced during both the LSV Course and our Graduate Programme, with a few sharing their success in having secured full time roles already.

We farewelled Minister Sepuloni with a mau rakau demonstration, parting words in te reo form our resident Kaiako, and our LSV haka.

Learning Mau Rākau and Mau Taiaha


Recently our Waikato LSV Graduates had a great time learning Mau Rākau and Mau Taiaha (basic Māori weaponry) with Instructor and Mentor, Jeremy Murray. Held out on the field next to the beautiful Hamilton Lake, the session was aimed at developing more cultural awareness around the significance of its use in instilling discipline, teamwork and respect, all of which are values we aim to teach our Graduates as a key part of their future success.

They also learnt about the history, different parts of the taiaha, related ture (rules) and basic movements including strikes and blocks. The lesson ended with a karakia and hongi. Want to see it in action? Check out our Facebook page.

Mau Rakau.jpg
Waikato Highlights
LSV Uniform Congratulations.jpg

LSV graduation ceremony at YDU North


Our Waikato staff were excited to attend the inaugural LSV Course graduation ceremony at the new facility in Whenuapai. The team had previously met the Youth Development Unit staff and 16 young people earlier during the LSV Course, but this was a great chance to meet their families and celebrate together.

We welcomed the group to our Waikato LSV Graduate Programme on Monday 19th August.

Meet and greet with the Hamilton Mayor


Following his recent visit to our new Waikato facility, Mayor Andrew King invited our Graduates to afternoon tea and a tour of the Hamilton City Council Chambers. The Mayor spoke about his life journey, which some of the Graduates could relate to, as well as his business ventures and the varied responsibilities of his role. The Graduates also asked a lot of questions and gained a better understanding of how the city is run.

Mayor of Hamilton 1_edited.jpg
Axton 3_edited.jpg

Success Story - Axton

Meet Axton, who joined LSV to build confidence and increase his motivation, both in terms of gaining employment and losing weight – goals which he's since achieved!


Our Mentors helped him identify his strengths and the industry he was best suited to, and he worked hard during our work preparation module to develop the skills and attitude which enabled him to beat out other candidates for a role at New World.

As Axton’s role is part of the Mana in Mahi (Strength in Work) programme, he’ll be able to gain a Service Industry qualification.

This has helped Axton realise his role in customer service can be more than ‘just a job’, it can be a career. He now has aspirations to develop his leadership skills in order to progress into a management position within the industry, and he’s already on his way – feedback from his Manager to our mentors is that “Axton is awesome and doing exceptionally well”. Keep up the great work Axton! Over the next 6 months our Mentors will continue to support Axton to ensure he reaches his goals.

Waikato Success Story

The facilities are just the hardware that we see. What is really important with our LSV training is the development of our people, of our future leaders.

- Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence

Welcoming LSV back to Trentham

Last month we attended a hui to welcome the LSV Course and new Youth Development Unit (YDU) back to Trentham Military Base after a few years hiatus.

It was a good opportunity for the team to check out the new facilities and meet other key stakeholders from MSD and NZDF. The addition of this new LSV Course is exciting, as it means up to 360 more young people each year working towards a positive future.

The first intake marched in on Monday 19th August, graduated last week, and we welcomed  them onto our Wellington LSV Graduate Programme yesterday.

Leadership Workshops

Tumeke Enterprise Youth Summit

In July we had the pleasure of hosting a mentor training workshop at the Tumeke Enterprise Youth Summit. The three-day event brought together 100 rangatahi from across the smaller regions of New Zealand, along with supporting youth-workers, mentors and educators. 

Two of our staff, Team Leader Jay Berwick and Mentor Jeremy Murray, ran the workshop to inspire and upskill the latter group. The focus was on teaching the skills and techniques needed to engage with our rangatahi, and the worskhop utilised practical exercises, video presentations and group discussion.

Tokoroa 1_edited.jpg
Welcoming LSV back to Trentham
Leadership Workshops

Want to develop your leadership skills?

Whether you're in a corporate environment, education institute, or community organisation, we'll create a tailored leadership workshop that meets your needs.

Out and about

See what else our busy team have been up to....

NZ Supply Chain Industry Symposium

Our Team Leader, Jay Berwick (below left), represented Future Leaders at this event, run by Andrew Stone (below middle) and The Forklift Association. The Symposium helped build our employer network, but most importantly, gave us valuable insight into the industry and how we as a youth organisation can better support these major employers and their young workers.

Supply chain.jpg

South Waikato Forestry Symposium

Jay also represented our team at this industry event run by the South Waikato District Council in Tokoroa. Another great employer networking opportunity, Jay gave a presentation and was part of the panel discussion, where he answered questions and spread the word about our programmes and the motivated young people we work with.

Forklift 2.jpg
Out and About

What's Coming Up

Tuesday 12 November -  Corporate Leadership Workshop for Spark, Wellington

Sunday 6th October  -  Pacific Student Leaders Programme goes to Cook Islands!

What's Coming Up
bottom of page