The keynote speaker for the event was former All Black Legend, Dion Waller, from BCITO.
There was an inspirational panel of speakers, all from the West Coast, and an interactive format with prizes up for grabs.
Tania Washer, from Productive People, said the event was designed specifically for West Coast students. “We showcase the amazing career opportunities that are available not only on the West Coast but throughout New Zealand and the world with a particular focus on vocational pathways and trades training.
Hannah Wilson, a hair and makeup designer for the TV and film industries, spoke about the vast opportunities in the film world in so many departments, from electricians to builders. She said it was fun coming back to her old high school, Greymouth High, emphasising the importance of remembering one's roots. "Don't let the fact that you come from a small town hold you back in any way. We are tougher than most of those people that grow up in the cities. We have a lot more transferable skills. Just be yourself and keep pushing.”
Anna Liddell, from Liddell Contracting, said: "Don't be worried if you don't know where you want to go. When I left school, I literally had no idea and just gave things a try. You don't know what's out there. So give it a try.”
Pete Jones, known as PJ, was born and raised on the West Coast and transitioned from being a mechanic to a professional hydroplane racer. He encouraged kids to dream big and look beyond their screens.
Elena Hofman, a civil project engineer with Isaac, highlighted the significance of the Great Futures Tour. "It really helps broaden the visibility of the trades to the students.” Her advice echoed the sentiments of the other panellists: "Don't be afraid to try things that interest you, things that might challenge you. You never know what could happen."
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