By Brad Olsen, CYNZ Deputy Executive Director and 2016 Queen’s Young Leader for New Zealand
2016 is speeding by, with June heralding a number of events for both myself and others throughout New Zealand. On 6 June we will observe and congratulate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th Birthday, with a commemorative service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington on 8 June for dignitaries and other guests to formally mark the occasion.
Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday provides an opportune time for New Zealanders to remember the Queen’s service over the last 60 years as our Head of State, and her service to the Commonwealth, building it into an institution for change in a rapidly moving world.
Much closer to home for myself will be my impending departure to the United Kingdom on 15 June for the start of the Queen’s Young Leader Award Residential Week. This 11-day trip will be a non-stop leadership and networking event where 60 of the Commonwealth’s most inspirational young leaders will gather to take their work to the next level, while also having their past work acknowledged at the highest levels.
I’m incredibly excited for the opportunities and experiences I’ll be exposed to, with the Residential Week including a raft of exceptional opportunities like media masterclasses with the Media Trust so that we can effectively communicate our messages out to our followers, visits to Social Action trips to observe amazing charitable work across London, and a chance to delve deeper into how we can best bring about change in our communities.
The trip also features a number of incredible visits including a trip to Twitter UK for a social media masterclass, a visit to the BBC to hear about the BBC World Service and traditional media online, on TV and over the airwaves, before we speak to PricewaterhouseCoopers and AMV BBDO on planning our operations.
Perhaps the most captivating visits during my trip to the United Kingdom are the Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty the Queen will present me with a Queen’s Young Leader Award medal, with the formal Awards Dinner then being held at Australia House, alongside our afternoon meeting at 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister and other leading politicians.
I’m really looking forward to this one-in-a-lifetime trip, and will be sharing as much of it as possible on my various social media channels – follow me on Twitter (@BradOlsen9) to hear all about it!