Sanchia Jacob’s Future Auckland Leaders experience
Kia ora e ngā hoamahi,
It is a privilege to reflect on the journey I’ve had as part of the 2012-2014 Future Auckland Leaders programme.
I knew from day one that this programme was going to challenge me in new and exciting ways when our cohort met for the first noho marae at Ōrākei. It was a great leveller to have to stand in front of the wharenui remove our shoes, share our stories and sleep side by side with a bunch of strangers who were now inextricably linked.
The programme was powerful in that at its centre is the beautiful city of Auckland. It was the most unique experience to see Tāmaki Makaurau through fresh eyes, diving deep into the many layers of the city we all lived in, served and loved.
Not only did many of us create life-long friendships and important professional networks, we also had unparalleled access to chief executives, senior leaders and public figures across the city. These opportunities were always candid, open and sometimes raw. From them I gained insight, and from them I grew.
At the time I participated in the programme I was Manager International Relations at Auckland Council, and during it, I became Head of Global Partnerships and Strategy. Those roles were exciting roles for me, but comfortable because they followed my earlier career as a New Zealand diplomat. During my time with FAL I started to develop a deep interest in the real mechanics of how the city I represented worked. For the first time in my career I started to look inward. An opportunity came up to disrupt my comfort level completely and I took a role as Executive Officer Operations at Auckland Council – it was like diving into the bowels of that organisation.
In 2018 an opportunity arose for me to take up the reigns as Chief Executive at Central Otago District Council, representing another part of New Zealand that I love and where I hail from. And this year I also became the President of Taituarā – Local Government Professionals Aotearoa. I am loving the challenge of being at the centre of conversations that will shape the future of communities in Aotearoa.
No matter how far South I might go, I will always be an enormous advocate for Auckland.
Noho ora mai,