Our fourth and final Speaker and Networking event of 2023 took place last Thursday, the 16th of November, at KPMG Wellington, where we heard from the new Chief Children’s Commissioner, Dr. Claire Achmad.
Dr. Claire Achmad currently serves as the Chief Children’s Commissioner at Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission. Claire is a recognised advocate for children in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. Her extensive experience spans various areas related to children’s rights, encompassing legal, policy, and practice perspectives. With a doctorate in international children’s rights law from Leiden University, the Netherlands, Claire has published internationally on a range of children’s rights issues. She also holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Auckland and is a University of Auckland 40 Under 40 Honoree.
The fireside chat was moderated by Multiethnic Young Leaders Member, Shahin Najak. Shahin is an Indian-Kiwi born in the UK, raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, and currently based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She is currently a graduate policy advisor with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment in the Trade and International team. Shahin joined MYLN in April 2021 and is part of the MYLN Membership Committee and Executive Board.
During the fireside chat, Claire shared insights into her leadership journey, starting with her first role as a ‘banking monitor’ in primary school and her experiences raising money for charitable organisations as a young person. She inspired the audience with her optimism, passion, and commitment to service. Claire emphasised the importance of nurturing relationships, building a support network, asking for help when needed, and being open-minded to new opportunities. She also stressed the significance of self-awareness, self-trust, and resilience in advocacy work, noting that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Finally, she reminded us of the importance of creating space for others and lifting those around us up with us, reinforcing the idea that “We are the systems change.”
The 2023 Speaker and Networking series, brought to you by Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ, is made possible through the generous support of KPMG New Zealand. The series aims to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of ethnically diverse leaders in Aotearoa, normalise and increase the visibility of leaders from diverse communities in positions of influence, further the discourse on diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership and the workplace, and foster a more socially cohesive Aotearoa.