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University of Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellowship

2017 Fellowship Applications Open

Alumni of the University of Auckland who want to build their leadership capabilities are invited to apply for the 2017 University of Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellowship, which is jointly offered by the New Zealand Leadership Institute (NZLI) and the Alumni Relations Office.

The fellowship secures a place on the Leadership Mindset Programme which combines the latest in leadership thinking with a non-traditional development experience. It is designed for mid-career professionals and managers leading teams, projects or working across networks, and those ready for a step-change in their career pathways.

Applications open 1 June and close 7 July 2017

To find out if you're eligible to apply please view the criteria.

We invite you to apply for the Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellowship via this online form.

Previous fellowship recipients are L-R Nathaniel Wilson (2014), Esther Harrop (2016) and Phil Light (2015).


2016 Fellow Lieutenant Colonel Esther Harrop 

The 2016 recipient Lieutenant Colonel Esther Harrop (pictured) joined the Army after graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce. Esther has been in many roles during her 22 years in service and applied for the alumni fellowship “to develop a different leadership paradigm – learning from those who have leadership experience outside of a military organisation.”

Esther is one of the New Zealand Army’s senior women, and currently deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, where she is currently working with New Zealander David Shearer, who runs the 15,000 strong mission as the Special Representative of the Secretary General.

Esther says “my experience in UNMISS for the past 6 months has definitely been enhanced by the Leadership Mindset Programme and is really testing me in the ‘work of leadership’ and ‘leadership from within’ rather than the traditional model of leading from the front. I’m loving it”. The UN mission in South Sudan is helping protect civilians and support humanitarian assistance in the war torn country where thousands have died, and famine has just been declared.


2015 Fellow Phil Light

Framing Leadership Differently

In 2015 Phil Light was awarded the University of Auckland Alumni Leadership Fellowship to participate in the NZLI Leadership Mindset Progamme.

Phil applied for the Fellowship because by undertaking the leadership programme, he could see huge potential for his organisation to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and was determined to make it happen.

“It has opened my eyes and mind to the capacity to learn and grow. The programme framed leadership in a different way; that leadership is a collective capacity and that people from across a team or organisation can contribute” says Phil. The programme “re-energised” his desire to learn and develop.

Phil works as Manager, Tamariki Outcomes Initiatives, National Hauora Coalition. He and his team of clinicians and health professionals deliver health care services to 24,000 children across 61 schools in South Auckland. He believes the organisation is innovative, highly-skilled and passionate.

“However, I can see that smart people, technical expertise and good ideas don’t necessarily equate to great outcomes. It requires strong leadership to harness collective talent and effort from across a range of key stakeholders – funders, service providers, communities and whanau.”

Phil says that the programme has given him confidence to confront issues and challenges. He now has a different perspective on how to do leadership work: “Leadership is really about changing the status quo. I’m much more attuned to the fact that effecting change and sustaining it is very much a non-linear and discontinuous process. I’m more inclined to view challenges that previously might have felt insurmountable as works in progress.”

One aspect of the programme that he found especially valuable was hearing the perspectives of the other participants, who were from a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds.

“Hearing first-hand about the leadership challenges of these smart and engaging leaders was hugely insightful.”