MAKING A DIFFERENCE with Cam Calkoen
To call himself a "North Shorian" is one of Cam Calkoen's proudest traits for it is in this environment that he is inspired to make a difference and be the best that he can be. From athletics, through to community service and motivational speaking Cam has locally, nationally and internationally represented our region with pride and built networks into the many subcultures of our North Shore community. He is a monthly contributor to Channel.
When you think of a leader who springs to mind? Many of us can list a host of leaders whether people in our immediate circle of acquaintances or a known personality. What does leadership mean to you?
Well, everyone has a different answer to this question. For young people with disabilities too many haven’t and don’t consider themselves to be leaders but thanks to a partnership between Takapuna based organisation PHAB and Albany’s YES Disability Resource Centre young people with disabilities have been fostered to find a vision and believe. Hard work that has uncovered a new demographic of achievers who have become leaders.
Recently, 15 young people with disabilities became inaugural recipients of PHAB's Voyager programme and were handed a scroll with the word leader beside their name. They are leaders because their actions will inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.
Among these leaders are the Paralympic athlete and techno gadget whiz who are riding the IT wave and together started the company Grind Media. There’s the single leg amputee who is singing her way around the world and the boy originally from Wairoa who has produced half a dozen hip hop albums and sees his record label “Enternal Hustle Ent” in bright lights. From hip-hop to poetry, psychology, animal welfare, international aid, law and being the first person with a disability to swim the Cook Strait, the drive behind these awe-inspiring individuals is to connect others with their dreams.
The Voyager program provides opportunities for these young people to further develop their leadership capacity and capability. Through embracing personal learning styles, goals and processes Voyager will enable access to leadership development plans and regular workshops that enable individuals to move from a receiver of services, to being of service.
In building bridges between individuals and ambition the launch of Voyager was a celebration of what the individual recipients had already achieved. Both Simon Dallow (MC) and motivational North Shore speaker William Pike used this awesome occasion to recite their journeys of personal triumph that gave rational to each recipients hard work. The launch venue, the Vodafone building at Auckland's Viaduct, was filled with guests in black and white and provided an insight to the glamour that can be experienced through demonstrating leadership.
It will be exciting to see and hear of these participants emerging well-equipped to reach their next level of
goals and evolve positive change
– leader by leader.