AUT prepares students for youth leadership

Wednesday 24 August 2011, 1:39PM
By AUT University - Manukau campus


Being a Year 13 student is tough, but it’s even more so for those tasked with being a role model of youth leadership for their fellow students.

But AUT University’s Prefect Leadership Summit, recently held for the first time in South Auckland, provided insights to local students on how to do just that.

More than 300 student leaders from across the Auckland region, came together at the summit on Friday to learn from business and sporting leaders.

Rebecca Davis, AUT University Director of Community Engagement, says “The Leadership Summit is a key part of our prefect training programme. It allows us to really engage with the students and give them tools that enable them to provide sound leadership to their schools and for their own personal success.”

The summit was of particular relevance to South Auckland students, as it had a Manukau focus, due to the growing youth population in the region, and importance of having models of youth leadership. The summit was held at the Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre, and was supported by AUT University’s new Manukau campus on Great South Road, which is earmarked to meet much of the region’s need for university qualified graduates.

Counties Manukau is the fastest growing region in New Zealand, and it is expected that by 2014 it will be home to more than half a million people. In particular, it has an increasing youth population (40% are under 25 years old) and by 2014, 42% of the population aged 15-24 will be Maori or Pasifika.

One of the highlights of the event for many of the students was hearing from Rugby League great Graham Lowe, who shared experiences of team and individual success. “Graham spoke a lot about success on the sports field, but the principles were relevant to everyday life as well, and really resonated with the students,” says Davis.

The students were also treated to a presentation from local Manukau resident, barrister and business owner, Ronji Tanielu, who spoke with humour and humility on achieving personal goals while maintaining spiritual faith. Wade Jackson, creator of the Improv Bandit and a successful Life Coach, used improv comedy to display different perspectives on achieving successful outcomes.

About the AUT Prefect Training Programme:

The Prefect Training Programme (PTP) provides professional development training for secondary schools leaders and prefects. It was first delivered to five schools in 2004 and has grown to 35 schools participating in “PTP Mainstream” in 2011.

Through PTP, AUT engages with schools, families and communities from January to December every year, both on AUT campuses and within their respective schools. The activities and events are designed to meet the schools’ and prefects’ needs at particular times of the year to ensure that the programme continues to be relevant, engaging and transformative.

Initiatives include: professional development workshops, in-school workshops, PTP Māori Leaders Summit and PTP Leaders Summit (PTP Mainstream), financial literacy workshops, Legacy magazine (into homes and schools), and prize-giving events.