Waikato University Leadership Academy

September 11, 2023

Over the last six months we were given the opportunity to take part in the Waikato University Leadership Academy. Here we worked alongside other school groups from the Waikato, Tauranga and Bay of Plenty region, collaborating on the Introduction to Leadership paper.

Throughout the course of the paper we developed a deeper understanding of leadership and positive qualities associated with leading a team. Not only has this opportunity equipped us with knowledge we can apply to our lives today but it has prepared us for future. With the
help of university mentors, we were guided through the five principles of leadership; Inspire a Shared Vision, Model the Way, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart. We then applied these principles to our projects. One exciting and memorable project involved making a change in our communities. Working alongside members from Melville High School we decided to visit a local rural primary school andspend the day exposing kids to the new curriculum. The first half of the day was dedicated to fun science experiments with take home DIY lava lamps, self inflating balloons and Magic Milk. This allowed us to explain simple concepts such as density changes and chemicalreactions. With the support of Rukuhia School’s Principal Mr Drury, we were able to provide Milo and biscuits during a chilly winter lunchtime. The second half of the day consisted of Multi-sports and drama games. We knew some of the challenges the school faced due tolimited staff and resource so we hoped that our visit would highlight the issue in the community and lessen the burden; even if it was just for day. After filming, editing and submitting our process in a short video, our project was chosen as the top three. 

Overall, the Waikato Managements School’s Leadership Academy provided a supportive and inclusive  environment where we could embrace new perspectives, and build lasting connections with fellow students. This experience not only equipped us with invaluableleadership tools but also instilled confidence to take on real-world challenges and make a meaningful impact. We are grateful for the opportunity and will continue to apply our learnings in real life.

Alisha Prasad, Lihini Witharana Gamage, Yuna Lee-Kusumoto and Charlotte Dexter