Leadership Conference Recap
It’s now been nearly three months since we gathered all our leaders, from Invercargill to Kaitaia, in Auckland for our 2017 Leadership Conference. Held each year, our leadership conference is an opportunity for our leaders to network, learn, and celebrate and this year was no different.
Our conferences are always opened by our long-standing CEO and founder Wayne Wright. This year Wayne had exciting news to share about BestStart’s upcoming change to a full charity which was naturally well received and we are now officially a not for profit organisation. The other important update was sharing the details of our new Strategic Plan that the senior leaders have been hard finalising. It sets some exciting direction with a focus on research, further development of our Infant education and care and formalising our career pathways within BestStart.
We then enjoyed two days of presentations from renowned ECE researchers, the Education Council, Ministry of Education and our own high performing teams sharing their journeys and processes that have led them to be so successful. It was inspiring to see our centres success being celebrated by their peers and inspiring them to go back to their own centres and implement some new idea’s or directions.
Our Friday night was an opportunity to relax and enjoy some great company while celebrating our 21st Birthday. We enjoyed hearing from the original owner of the first BestStart centre all those years ago and the story of how BestStart has come to the organisation that it is today. Our founders Wayne and Chloe Wright gave thanks to all of our people, present and past – it’s our people who make our organisation so special and are key to our success for the next 21 years.
Saturday morning had two very memorable talks which moved and inspired. We kicked off revelling in the high energy of Cam Calkoen. He encouraged us to remember our own awesomeness. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm in the room as he gathered us all in for the biggest selfie in BestStart history. This was followed by an equally inspiring and moving presentation from Vic and Heather at First Steps Matau in Alexander. They shared how their own personal experiences and drive to meet the needs of their very diverse learners lead them on a pathway to excellence, shaping their philosophy around the famous Dr Suess quote “a persons a person no matter how small”. There was not a dry eye in the room and we all stood for a collective show of pride and thanks to this amazing team.
Our conferences always finishes with the awarding of our Living the Values awards to four special people from our team who truly and authentically live our values in their work. You’ll hear more about them soon, but it is always such a fantastic high note to end our time together celebrating some truly amazing team members. With our buckets full to the brim with inspiration, pride and a renewed focus on always striving for the very best for our tamariki we went home to our families and centres to spread the word and positivity.