On the 23rd of May, 2011, the Black Hats (Senior Leaders of our school) went to the National Young Leaders Day in Wellington. It was a day that many different schools attended as we listened to many different inspirational speakers about their achievements. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to view a National Young Leaders Day Movie.
The following are the people who spoke to us:
- Alison Shanks
- Andrea Deely
- Pat Buckly
- Jamie Fitzgerald
- Dave Atkinson

Alison Shanks:
I found Alison Shanks extremely interesting as she talked all about how it is really important to follow your dreams. We learnt that everyday counts and that perseverance is a huge part of reaching your dreams.
Alison started off her career as a professional netballer. She said that she enjoyed it very much, but although she was putting in heaps of effort and practice, she still found she was sitting on the bench at most games.
She persevered and started a new career as a cyclist, where she has been very successful at competing and has done New Zealand proud.
Her main quotes were "Pace yourself, distribute all your power", "Dare to dream" and "One training day doesn't make you best".
Altogether I was very inspired by Alison and I really admire her.
You can find out more about Alison's career by clicking here.

Andrea Deely:
I didn't find Andrea Deely as inspirational or as interesting as the other speakers, although it was interesting to hear about her website Mini Monos where children are able to make their own Monkey Avatar. On the Mino Monos site, you can play different games about the environment and looking after it. Mini Monos members are also able to collaborate together, and work together to achieve different goals in games and activities on the site. The Mini Monos site also teaches you how to be a leader and keeping yourself safe online.
Andrea's main quotes were "Being the best at something doesn't make you a leader" and "Leadership is choosing to follow your calling".
You can go to the Mini Monos website by clicking here.

Pat Buckly:
I thought that Pat Buckly was absolutely amazing. He gave us a neat presentation about his past, peer pressure, choices and consequences and lots more. He was so inspiring and I know a lot of the Black Hats really look up to him. Pat and his wife Karen are the found members of the organisation 'Amped4Life Trust' that focuses on educating people to make good choices and live a healthy life.
Pat's father was an alcoholic and Pat had a challenging childhood. Pat said he made so many bad choices as he hung out with the wrong people and took drugs and smoked. He said he got into lots of trouble, and was also a drug addict. It wasn't until he was in his twenties until he asked for help.
Pat's main quotes were "Don't be afraid to ask for help", "Enjoy being a kid", "Stop and think", "A wise man makes mistakes, it's ok if you make mistakes as long as you learn from them" and "LEARN TO LAUGH - Stuff happens, be brave, you aren't alone".
A thought Pat Buckly was absolutely amazing and I think very highly of him. I also think he taught us that even if your life is practically nothing, you can come back and amaze yourself.
You can go to the Amped4Life Website by clicking here.

Jamie Fitzgerald:
I found Jamie Fitzgerald was very interesting. He and a friend were the first people to ever walk across the South Pole unsupported in New Zealand.
He was phenomenal, as he taught us that he had achieved his goals and worked hard to do so.
Jamie said that it was a real challenge and it took a lot of effort! It was also FREEZING!
The following quotes from Jamie I found very interesting "The secret of success is not predicting the future but creating leaders who can live in an unpredictable world", "Sometimes when you think you are making the least progress, you are making the most" and "Put effort into achieving your goals".
Click here to find out more about Jamie.

Dave Atkinson:
Dave Atkinson was another very inspirational speaker. He was extremely funny and he seemed like a big kid. He told us what he thought were the main aspects of leadership:
- Being Friendly - SMILE :)
- Say a good word to someone - Find something you like about them
- Be yourself - Never compare yourself to anyone
Dave's main quotes were "Impress yourself, be PROUD" and "Great leaders know how to talk to others".
I found Dave funny and inspirational. According to him, he also has very small ears!

Overall, the National Young Leaders Day was absolutely amazing and thoroughly worthwhile. I enjoyed every moment of it and I hope the Year Sevens from my school get the opportunity to attend this wonderful event next year.

Below is a movie that Livvy, Ella and I put together to show you what the amazing day was like.