Leadership and Development Conference 2013

By Nicolle Wong
“Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals - Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want”
Marsha Sinetar.

The 2013 conference held in January was where over 40 New Zealand Chinese young adults were given as Marsha Sinetar quoted, a window of opportunity to determine our values and goals. While the LDC (Leadership and Development Conference) does advertise an opportunity to discover ourselves, our identity and outlook on life, I believe I can speak on behalf of the delegates that we don’t think we can describe how much of an impact it had on us. For me personally, I was constantly challenged in thoughts about my future, my relationships with my culture and the opportunities around me. 
The variety of activities we were involved in for the period of 6 days was incredible. From Chinese folk dancing, to project presentations, Chinese Qigong, the mini ‘Amazing Race’ rendition, and forums, we were all lead on a path to discover, learn and create many memories. Not only did we learn a lot, but were also challenged in many aspects, whether it was working together in a project of all different personalities, or discussing ideas such as the breaking the bamboo door.

The conference was filled with listening to the wisdom and knowledge of New Zealand Chinese speakers, team activities, enriched forums and cultural experiences. In my personal opinion, the part of the conference that had the most impact on me was the speakers. The speakers were of all ages, of all backgrounds and of all different professional careers. The range of speakers was amazing but what remained in common between all of them was their inspiration they bequeathed on us. Their stories and paths to success were all so interesting, inspiring and at times heartbreaking. Their stories only deepened our outlook on life, but also into our personal paths and the opportunities available to us, and how we create and approach those opportunities.

Overall, I believe the 2013 LDC was an amazing opportunity given to me, and I am grateful to have been given the chance to be a part of it. The friendships that came out of the conference will be long lasting and I want to thank the people that made the conference so special. The facilitators did a wonderful job on keeping us all on task, and making the conference run so smoothly. A huge thank you to the Otago Southland Chinese Association for funding me to go on this amazing journey. I would definitely recommend it to take you out of your comfort zone, be inspired and meet a whole lot of new people!