The Class of 2023 Graduates: Back from the left: Cam Corkill (BNZ), Steven Robertson (WEL), Tom Jackson (Prolife), 2nd Row: Joanne Turner (Hamilton Christian Night Shelter), Tania Pointon (SEED), Kate Shaw (ConneXu), Denise Gemmell (Community Living), Heidi Gleeson (True Colours), Carmen Jacobson (NZ Police), Anna King (Braemar), Mary Ngaronga (St Vincent de Paul), Tamsin Webb (Hamilton City Council) Megan Austin (Golden Homes), Will Loughrin (NZ Police) Front from the left: Greg Carstens (Hamilton City Council), Jenni Falconer (Emergency Consult), Hugo Parcell (Power Farming), Johann Roozenburg (APL) Toby Cunliffe- Steel (Ride NZ), Avon Polo (Surf Life Saving NZ)
Celebrating Waikato Leadership
The Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) celebrated the graduation of the 8th Elevate Leadership Programme cohort on Friday, November 3, 2023.
The Class of 2023, comprising 21 outstanding individuals, brings the total number of CELF Alumni, affectionately known as "CELFies," to over 150 active alumni in the Waikato community.
Class of 2023 Reflections
During the graduation, Will Loughrin (NZ Police) and Anna King (Braemar) expressed their gratitude for the transformative experience and acknowledged the valuable support from sponsors, hosts, facilitators, and presenters.
Reflecting on their personal growth, Anna and Will shared insights and learnings of their CELF journey.
Will said, "The programme encouraged self-reflection and the courage to ask challenging questions, ultimately leading to profound personal growth, accelerating their learning in ways they never thought possible.
He said, “the Class of 2023 and CELF as a whole represent a remarkable group of individuals poised to make a significant impact on the future of Waikato.”
The Ripple Effect
Anna spoke of the encounters with Waikato leaders who embody humility, and exemplify qualities such as hard work, a commitment to te ao Māori, and a deep sense of social and environmental responsibility.
Anna described CELF as the "gold standard leadership programme” as she reflected on how it had shaped them. She said, “graduates spoke of the connections, networks, and the encouragement to consider the wider community and giving back. Some learned about scientific research and its application in leadership, while others gained tools and knowledge essential for their leadership journeys. The programme instilled confidence and self-belief, enabling graduates to refine their purpose.”
In closing, King said “The ripple effect of this purpose-driven leadership will be felt in workplaces, boardrooms, sports fields, communities and most importantly, in our homes, by the next generation of leaders.