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Youth Governance Workshop: Online - September 2023

The Social Change Collective hosted another free online workshop, delivered across two evenings that served as a crash course for young people looking to better understand the world of governance. and kickstart their governance journeys.

In the first session, SCC's Lauren Holloway and Brock Stobbs were joined by Rose Hiha-Agnew from Community Governance Aotearoa to explore the world of governance and discover why it's the cornerstone of effective decision-making. We learned what governance is, what young people have to offer, some of the basics and building blocks to help get you started, and how SCC and Community Governance Aotearoa can help to connect people with potential positions and the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in them. We discussed the variety of board types that prospective board members may experience, some of the responsibilities of board members, and the emerging issues facing governance that are important for you to be across.

In the second session of the workshop, we were joined by panellists Sophie Handford, Councillor at Kāpiti Coast District Council; Te Pūoho Katene, experienced governor and Executive Director of Tapuwae Roa; Devon Murphy-Davids, CEO at Inspiring Stories; and facilitator Sakhr Munassar, Founder of Nas and hala, and Community Lead at Hui E! Community Aotearoa. They shared their experiences of governance role at community, local government and national levels.

The panel covered a lot of different topics and issues. Some of the key takeaways were:

  • They all stressed the importance of always keeping you mind to learning what it means to be in the governance space and taking time to learn how you can best serve in those roles and bring value to the table. This includes reflecting on what skills and experiences you can bring to the table and learning how to sell them.

  • A common theme was being connected to your why. Many reflections shared by the panel centered on the fact that some people in governance, particularly older people, seem disconnected from why they are there and not understanding who they are representing or what gives them the mandate to be in their governance roles.

  • All panelists touched on the importance of diversity within governance spaces, particularly as a driver for change. There is a need for there to be alternative viewpoints and narratives within governance to help drive change and develop a principled approach that is relevant for the people they are serving.

  • A lot of people struggle with imposter syndrome or not feeling like you belong at the governance table but you are enough to sit at the table and you need to continue to grow to do your best in that space. Put yourself in the context of the people you want to serve and give yourself permission to be their voice. Focus on doing that in a way that is comfortable to you and eventually it will become a lot more easier and natural.


Social Change Collective has collated a range of useful resources for those who wish to continue to grow their youth governance skills and knowledge. Download the resources here.


Missed the workshop? Check out the session recordings below!

Session 1: Workshop

Session 2: Panel


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