Hosted on the campus’ of Aspire2 International, NZAL held its first regional event in Christchurch on August 31, 2017. Attended by 60 diverse leaders, the session showcased NZAL’s commitment to engage and capture the stories of New Zealand’s diverse population in the regions throughout New Zealand.
With a keynote speech from Councillor Jimmy Chen, facilitated by NZAL Deputy Chair, Sameer Handa, the audience heard from a panel of five exceptional local business and community leaders.
Councillor Jimmy Chen spoke about diversity in Christchurch and on establishing Christchurch’s Multicultural Strategy – Our Future Together. Elaborating on Christchurch’s diverse population, Councillor Jimmy explained the strategy and its importance to the 370,000 residents of Christchurch who are from various backgrounds and ethnicities.
The panel included NZAL Emerging leader, Jessie Chan-Dorman who focused on Rural-Urban Connectivity, and how that contributes to diversity in business, and diversity within the greater Christchurch region. Jessie was followed by Alfie Alojado Jr, Director of i-sigNZ Ltd and Founding Chairman for Aotearoa Filipino Business Club (AFBC) who spoke about the importance of diversity in business.
Representing the millennial was Erica Austin-Knopp, an Experience Awesomist at the Ministry of Awesome who spoke about the importance of diverse voices when working in the “in-between” space to help bridge conversations between industries. Raising the tough questions, Gaurav Sharma, Editor at the Migrant Times presented another view of diversity and said that it was still a “work in progress”. This was followed by a hands-on view of the diverse New Zealand education industry by Bharat Chawla, International Marketing Director, Aspire2 International.