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FROM THE DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


JUNE HAS been a whirlwind month in many respects, marking the halfway point of the year - an important milestone for those running projects or clubs. For myself, June was a constant blur of action, which saw me sit four university exams in five days before setting off on an 11-day whistle-stop Residential Week in the United Kingdom as New Zealand's Queen's Young Leader. 
I called on various organisations and met some incredibly talented groups and individuals, all of whom I will look to draw inspiration from as I progress in my own leadership journey. Throughout the week I was exposed to different views on leadership and there were some core messages that came through clearly during all sessions: that storytelling is critical to communicating your achievements; that everyone has different skills sets, and finally that no matter the obstacles, through dogged determination and innovation any challenge can be overcome.
 
This trip taught me a lot about how effective leaders operate to create the best outcomes. Having worked in youth development for the past five years, I am constantly amazed by the work of young people in critical areas such as mental health, youth employment, LGBTIQA+ issues and bullying.
 
Leaders have a passion and a will to create change to better the lives of others, with the determination to see their goals through regardless of what obstacles get in their way. Central though to quality leadership is the ability to recognise that leading people does not mean telling people what to do. Quality leadership is where leaders work with and for others to create change; the phrase nothing about us without us is a crucial feature of this. Leaders also have responsibility to pay it forward and impart the knowledge and skills they have to others, increasing opportunities for others to unlock their potential.
 
Applications for the 2017 Queen’s Young Leader Award
are open now
 - I encourage you to apply and make your stories of leadership heard throughout the Commonwealth. Personally, I am a massive supporter of youth development, and with Leadership Week occurring this week (1 - 8 July - in which CYN'Z's Executive Director, Aaron Hape, is presenting as a part of the Governor-General's Dream Team), we’d love to hear from you, our members, about ideas you have around leadership, or any help that we can provide to ensure you can make a real difference in your communities. 

BRAD OLSEN
Deputy Executive Director 
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand
BREXIT AND THE
COMMONWEALTH CONNECTION
BREXIT IS now all but confirmed. We take a look at what the UK's decision to leave the European Union might mean for the Commonwealth. Will it mean result in a surge in interest in the Commonwealth? Our Executive Director thinks not.
LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: IS UNIVERSITY RIGHT FOR YOU?
FEELING OVERWHELMED about the seemingly endless choices you need to make before Year 13 ends for you? Don't think you're cut out for university? National Student CHOGM alumna, Lydia Burgham, has five great pieces of advice for those facing life after high school.
CLOSER TIES WITH
CARIBBEAN COUNCIL
ON JUNE 30, at the kind invitation of the Caribbean Council, our Executive Director presented the findings and report of the Commonwealth Observer Group mission to the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago election. Find out more about the work the Commonwealth does to support democracy and good governance.
THE SEARCH IS ON FOR THE 2017 QUEEN'S YOUNG LEADERS
WITH THE 2016 winners now having completed their residential week in the United Kingdom and receiving their medal from The Queen, the search is on for the 2017 intake of Queen's Young Leaders. Think you've got what it takes? Check out the criteria and apply now!
2016 WELLINGTON AIRPORT REGIONAL COMMUNITY AWARDS
WE ARE very proud to share some exciting news - we've been named as a finalist for the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards! This nomination wouldn't be possible without the help and support of our awesome volunteers. Winners will be announced at a gala event at Te Papa on 1 August.
COMMONWEALTH CLIMATE CHANGE NETWORK APPOINTED 
YOUNG LEADERS of the newly established Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN) were appointed following a public call for applications in May. The announcement was made on the occasion of World Oceans Day, celebrated today across the world, under the theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”.
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