Making a Difference Summit

Article by Jackie Barron
Radio NZ / 04 October 2017


This week in Dunedin, 34 girls from 13 schools across New Zealand gathered to skill up to make a difference in their world at the annual Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia’s Making a Difference: Girls for Change Leadership Summit at St Hilda’s Collegiate.

The Making a Difference (MAD) event is a unique opportunity for Year 10-12 students (Year 9-11 in Australia) to connect with incredible entrepreneurs and social change makers; uncover creative leadership and entrepreneurial skills; to explore effective advocacy, and to develop the communication skills needed to effect change.

St Hilda’s Principal and Alliance of Girls’ Schools Executive Member, Jackie Barron, said the summit aims to give girls the grit, motivation and self-belief to take on leadership roles and make change happen.

Listen to Principal Jackie Barron’s interview on Radio NZ

‘In our incredibly connected world, today’s students are already global citizens and have an increasing desire to make a difference to both their local community as well as communities far and wide,’ said Jackie.

‘The Alliance brings these like-minded girls together to equip them with the analytical skills and decision-making abilities to become young leaders’, she said.

The dynamic sessions and workshops take the girls on a learning journey through to a practical project that they can implement once they leave the summit.

This year girls will hear from some of Dunedin’s leading entrepreneurs. Speakers and organisations are Veronica Stevenson, filmmaker, science commentator and entrepreneur; Kendall Flutey, co-founder and CEO of EdTech start-up Banqer which aids financial literacy in the classroom; Pledge Me, a New Zealand specific crowdfunding platform; and Generation Zero, a climate-change movement for young kiwis aimed at cutting carbon pollution.

Filmmaker, entrepreneur and St Hilda’s Collegiate alumna, Veronica Stevenson, said it was a special thing to be addressing tomorrow’s young change makers.

‘I hope to amplify the vision and passion I know they feel with stories and practical tools they can use to effect change they want to see,’ said Veronica