Pacific Island Leaders of Tomorrow – P.I.L.O.T Day

On Thursday 6th April, 6 Year 13 students of Pacific heritage attended P.I.L.O.T. (Pacific Island Leaders of Tomorrow) which was a phenomenal opportunity to help enrich, empower, and inspire them to be more resilient leaders for the future.

The overarching theme was “Our ancestors were once navigators” and this was the focal point for the full-on day that was to follow.

P.I.L.O.T. opened with a prayer, with a heart-touching and impactful speech being shared by the keynote speaker. A well-known figure amongst our Pasifika youth – is Pasifika journalist Mariner Fagaiava-Muller. Our wahine had the opportunity to hear first-hand his life journey and the way he had to overcome hardships, and his experiences of discrimination. His vulnerability and storytelling have helped us to learn of the obstacles that we might face in the workforce as individuals from minority communities. A truly validating and new experience for us all.

Two facilitated workshops followed, focusing on the important quality of – Resilience, finding the strength to move forward and persevere through challenges. By first recognising the immense strength and resilience shown by those who have gone before us. The sacrifices of our ancestors and our parents. A safe space to reflect, digress and prepare as the Pasifika of the next generation, with ways we can help strengthen ourselves and others in times of possible hardships.

The Leadership workshop was the last workshop that helped us identify our various leadership styles according to our approaches to tasks and personal qualities, based on the 4 natural elements “Earth, Fire, Water and Wind”. We were divvied into groups where we were instructed to work collaboratively to suggest solutions. A humorous experience, especially once done alongside peers of similar qualities and approaches to leadership.

Representatives from various tertiary institutions were also present, allowing us an opportunity to seek more clarification on life after high school from the University of Auckland, Media Design School, Otago University, amongst others.

Written by Dora Kolose.