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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.

London, Rome, North Shore…

“What a wonderful world” Lewis Armstrong sure hit the nail on the head when he wrote this song as the world is indeed one wonderful place. A symphony of sights, sounds, tastes and people awaiting to be discovered. On a recent trip to the U.K and around Europe I was fortunate enough to experience many sights and align them to names that had regularly been referred to during my growing up on the North Shore. Buckingham Palace (London), the Colosseum (Rome), the Louve (Paris), leaning tower of Pisa and Van Gough’s museum (Amsterdam) are sights even more awesome than the tokenistic postcard leads you to believe.

Cam CalkoenThe five-week trip was an opportunity of a lifetime, a part of life’s journey, but equally a reminder of the lifestyle we must not neglect or take for granted here on the North Shore. We live in one of the worlds finest gems, a gem that reflects a golden coast that is as admirable as the beaches of Greece, public kitchens that bring us the tastes of the world, and songs of birds that are not drowned out by endless traffic or chased away by mass pouring of concrete. This is our place, our home and our responsibility to look after.

As the supper city dawns and fellow members of our community step forward to represent us within the greater Auckland region we must remember the quality of our schools, the potential of our businesses and the beauty of our environment. With the upcoming election on October 9 we have the opportunity to ensure our voices are continued to be heard so that our gem is protected and continues to shine brightly.

Elections may not generate the excitement of travel but this is where we return, in order to come back to the home we love can we encourage one another (young and old) to make a vote, have a say and ensure the Shore continues to be the home we know.

Cam Calkoen is a Motivational Speaker, Ambassador for the YES Disability Resource Centre, Ambassador for 0800WHATSUP, Paul Harris Fellow - Rotary.

by Cam Calkoen