Learn­ing to lead


Wanaka woman Emily Wil­son de­scribes the Ro­tary Youth Lead­er­ship Awards as an ‘‘em­pow­er­ing’’ ex­pe­ri­ence.

The 26-year-old is one of 24 young peo­ple tak­ing part in the awards ex­pe­ri­ence run by the Alexan­dra Ro­tary Club.

The mix of 18 to 26-year-olds from South Can­ter­bury, Otago and South­land stayed at the Dun­stan High School hos­tel from Mon­day to Fri­day last week.

The group ex­pe­ri­enced a range of phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tional chal­lenges all aimed at in­spir­ing them to be­come bet­ter lead­ers.

They vis­ited lo­cal busi­nesses, lis­tened to var­i­ous guest speak­ers, in­clud­ing Cen­tral Otago Mayor Tim Cado­gan, and par­tic­i­pated in a va­ri­ety of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Wil­son, who works in sev­eral ca­pac­i­ties with Wanaka chil­dren, said the ex­pe­ri­ence had pos­i­tively im­pacted her com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and her con­fi­dence.

She hoped to use those skills to ben­e­fit her com­mu­nity.

Ro­tary Club of Alexan­dra co­or­di­na­tor Barry Bem­rose said Ro­tary was for­tu­nate to be able spon­sor and fund the ini­tia­tive.

It was an in­cred­i­ble amount of work to or­gan­ise but was ‘‘a mar­vel­lous thing’’ to see young peo­ple ben­e­fit from it. ‘‘The idea is to see suc­cess­ful peo­ple and to see how they suc­ceeded in life.’’

He said this year’s group of young peo­ple were ‘‘just phe­nom­e­nal’’ and for­tu­nate to par­tic­i­pate in a once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence.


A view over the Quartz Reef Vine­yard at Bendigo near Cromwell.

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