Beginning Principals National hui 2021 key note speakers


Leading with purpose - Te kai a te rangatira

Sir Ian TaylorSir_Ian_Taylor

Bugger the boxing - pour the concrete anyway

In 2008, Ian Taylor was on the verge of bankruptcy. A world leader in high-tech computer graphics for two decades, he arrived at his Dunedin office to tell his team that the company would have to close. As he walked past, his receptionist showed him the front page of that morning’s newspaper announcing the closure of a local factory with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

He could still remember her saying, ‘God, how awful would that be", and he thought, ‘Well, I can’t do it today.”

Two years on, Ian was awarded the North & South Magazine’s New Zealander of the Year Award profiling him as a man whose maverick style and ability to inspire the passion of those around him saw him claw back from the brink, to rebuild his company exporting Kiwi ingenuity to the world.

Over a decade on, Ian was named 2019 Kiwi Bank Innovator of the Year and in 2021, Sir Ian was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, recognised for his services to broadcasting, business and the community. 

Alexia Hilbertidou

Generation Z - Movers, Shakers, Action Takers

Alexia Hilbertidou_1

Alexia is the CEO of GirlBoss NZ - the school project which has grown to become NZ's largest organisation for young women. Founded when Alexia was just 16, GirlBoss now has 13,500 members.

Alexia’s mission is to get women to the table - the boardroom table that is, and she believes the decisions made while young are crucial in paving the way.

Alexia has received over 30 awards for her work including being named the 2020 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award Winner, Semi-Finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year, the Most Influential NZ Woman under 25 at the Westpac Women of Influence Award, 2021 Commonwealth Covid-19 Hero, Forbes 30 under 30 2021, and Finalist for World Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020

Alexia was also awarded a Queen's Young Leader Award for Services to the Commonwealth by Her Majesty, The Queen, at Buckingham Palace. She was selected from over 20,000 nominations and is the youngest Commonwealth Citizen to hold this honour.

Perry Rush

Big picture for Education and leadershipPerry_Rush_photo

  • Tail winds
  • Cross winds
  • Head winds

Perry is the National President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation. In his usual job he is Principal at Hastings Intermediate. Before that Perry was Principal at Island Bay School in Wellington and was foundation Director at the innovative Discovery 1 School in Christchurch. He launched Tawa School City Site, a satellite campus in Wellington’s CBD and was the spokesperson of BTAC-the Boards Taking Action Coalition, a powerful movement to oppose National Education Standards. Perry is a passionate advocate of student-centred learning and practice-based approaches. He is dad to two teenagers and enjoys dining out, travel, indie rock and coffee!

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