AUT has formed a partnership with the McCall MacBain Foundation to provide a leadership and mentoring programme to support AUT’s top emerging young leaders.
Receiving generous support from the Foundation, the initiative aims to offer exceptional second and third-year undergraduate students opportunities to reach their leadership potential and excellence.
Founded by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the McCall MacBain Foundation has committed over $400 million dollars towards education, climate change and health initiatives worldwide.
The Village Meets Leadership & Mentor Programme will support the delivery of an academic and engagement programme designed to retain students from economically deprived areas.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Damon Salesa says some of New Zealand’s greatest leaders come from these communities.
"We’ve seen Prime Ministers, great sportspeople, Olympians, and some of the country's great thinkers emerge from economically deprived areas. We cannot miss the opportunity to see these leaders and scholars reach their full potential,” he says.
Leaders will receive targeted support, scholarships, partnership, and academic opportunities, including help with career planning.
Village Meets was first piloted in 2022 to retain students leaving study due to increased financial pressures and opportunities in a booming employment market.
“We understand the pressures, but we must also recognise the transformational power of emergent, educated leaders and what that means for our communities,” says Damon.
John McCall MacBain visited Auckland at the end of 2022 and met with several young leaders from the 2022 programme.
Damon says the gift propels AUT’s leadership aspirations and programme forward, where individual leaders are both transformed and transformational.
“The aim is to support the growth of leadership that is authentic to the settings of students, socially and culturally, but in ways that also facilitate the development of a cadre of leadership and academic excellence that leads the way for others”.