The annual TupuToa Noho Marae is an opportunity for interns and TupuToa team to collaborate and connect in a culturally and Mana enhancing environment; an overnight stay at a Marae. Integrating cultural practices across our programme increases intern’ cultural capital and provides a familiar framework to facilitate wider learning. This is our point of difference and where we can deliver the most value for our interns. TupuToa interns participate in development workshops facilitated by experts across their field. Topics include: leadership, cultural intelligence, digital footprint, your ‘why’, human rights, interview/CV skills and building resilience. This year, 11 guest speakers addressed the interns as part of our objective to engage, equip and empower our interns to succeed in corporate New Zealand. Mana whenua from Ngāti Whatua opened the noho with a powhiri and karakia. It was a sight to behold - 111 rangatahi singing the words of a Māori himene and waiata in their response. Our first guest, Nigel King, from Corporate Headshots spoke to the students about ‘Personal Branding’. Nigel was on site for half the day to take a professional portrait of every intern in attendance; his gift to our kaupapa. You can view his work here. The speakers on Day 1 included: Dr Monique Faleafa: Activating Your Culture, Sina Wendt: Leadership 101, Honorable Peeni shared a segment on his work in governance,Tuiloma Lina-Jodi Samu: ‘Know Your Rights’ and Dr Staverton Kautoke: Building Resilience. Day 2 speakers included: Michael Moka: My Wairua My Mauri, Rebecca Grover: Digital Footprint, Andrew Melville: Embedding Values and Actions that Embrace Diversity, Jess Ah Kuoi: Insight into Interviews and CV Preparation and Rhys Faleafa: Business Readiness Workshop. We received the following feedback from our interns: “So much more excited to get into the professional sector. I thought it was something it wasn’t” “Overall, the noho marae was both a valuable and rewarding experience. I am truly grateful and appreciative of the sphere of inspiration, wisdom and mana (power) of our Maori and Pacific leaders and leaders-to-be in the corporate workplace. It is a rare occurrence to be amongst a supportive and cohesive space of like-minded individuals who share the same goals and stories. So I am truly thankful for this once-in-a-life-time experience!” “The noho marae was an invaluable experience that was different from every other workshop/conference that I have ever attended. What stood out for me was the integrity of each speaker. You can tell that everyone was there for a purpose. They all want us to succeed, and they are all passionate about sharing their experiences.” We believe the event was an immense success and anticipate the next opportunity to grow and challenge our interns.