PSAY Leaders Hui – “Best hui ever!”
The first ever PSA Youth (PSAY) Leaders Hui took place in scenic Huntly in the Waikato in August.
Unlike previous national gatherings of our younger members, the Leaders Hui was a chance for members who had already been active in the PSA Youth network to gather together, discuss and plan the future of young PSA members’ activity in their workplaces and in our union.
PSAY is the largest of our networks, with over 10,000 PSA members aged under the 35 year old cut off point. 43 members attended the hui, with significantly more interest than places available.
Attendees took charge of their own conference, with 13 participant-led workshops on a wide variety of topics. Two members of parliament came to visit - Iain Lees-Galloway from Labour and Denise Roche from the Greens. Flipping the script, the MPs sat in the audience and asked the PSAY members questions, rather than the other way around.
One of the conference aims was to set the network up to build on its strength for the next two years. A new team of 7 convenors was elected from across the country. All positions were contested, showing the depth of young activists that PSAY has helped to build up in recent times.
Our youth network plays a vital role in helping to build future leaders for our union – every PSAY conference and training sees a number of members step up to become delegates shortly after, and delegates step up to more senior roles like being on the bargaining team, on a sector committee or as a delegate convenor.
Already, in the first weeks after the hui, participants are taking their enthusiasm and energy and putting it to great use. Events have been organised in workplaces, project working groups have been established and regional gatherings have taken place.
The last word should go to the attendees. One said “I feel so much more connected to other youth in New Zealand facing similar issues in similar workplaces. As a newly elected convenor, I now feel empowered to tackle some of these issues in my region while developing new skills.” With passion like that, the future of our union is in strong hands.