Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Platform- Gennazano Retreat, Lake Tinnaroo, QLD 1-8 July 2018- My experience
In July 2018 I had the privilege of participating in the second Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Platform (ONLP). The aim of the course was to develop, inspire and connect a new generation of innovative leaders working in the field of nutrition throughout Oceanic countries. I found the course incredible- the facilitators, content, people and geographic location (not to mention food!) was all top class. The course was run over 7-days in a rural location, which encouraged us to really connect with ourselves, other participants and the facilitators. The workshops consisted of various topics including communication, leadership, team building, influencing policy, industry, public health and social responsibility. I found all of the workshops thought-provoking and I still reflect on the content now.
The best word I can use to describe ONLP’s effect on me is ‘transformative’. The facilitators, support team and other participants at ONLP helped me identify and build on my attributes, and really dig deeper to examine my thoughts, values and how they influence my leadership style and the way I communicate.
One of the profound moments for me was taking the time to consider my ‘why’- something I had never dug deep enough to realize. A direct follow on from this has been a huge sense of energy, pride and direction in values and evidence-based practice, but with a mindful expenditure of personal resource. Through ONLP18 I have gained greater insight as to who I am as a leader and how I can improve to be a more effective leader.
I found being among like-minded people incredibly valuable, particularly coming from a very rural setting with few other professionals to mix with. This was very inspiring and I loved chatting to others about what their roles involve and sharing how my work has evolved in the community.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the New Zealand Nutrition Society for their generosity in assisting me to attend.
My experience from taking part in the Oceania Nutrition Leadership Programme 2018 – ONLP18
I feel privileged for being selected to attend the Oceania Nutrition Leadership Programme 2018 (ONLP18). I thoroughly enjoyed the programme and activities which were run over seven consecutive days, in Lake Tinaroo, Queensland, with 22 participants selected from the different countries in the Oceania region. Since my attendance to the ONLP18 I have had some time to reflect and realised that the learnings and experience I have gained from this opportunity have been life changing for me.
I am a Registered Nutritionist who lives and work in West Auckland. My area of work is in the public health and my role is to identify and support opportunities to effect systems change in the food/nutrition environments where people live, learn, work and play. At the same time that I really love my job, it can be very challenging as food and nutrition issues are complex challenges. By taking part in the ONLP18 I have learned about the different leadership styles, what are my own styles and how they can be acknowledged and applied in my professional and private life. I have learned powerful tools that helped me reflecting on what challenges me as a leader and how to be more self-aware and acknowledge the way these challenges influence my processes. Therefore allowing myself to reflect is something that has become a strong part of my practice as a professional. I now have dedicated time every week to reflect on my leadership journey, reconnect with myself and my values, and to look for areas that need improvement. Most importantly, I have discovered who I am as a leader and my desire to navigate my journey as a leader who can inspire leadership within others in order to achieve collective impact towards food and nutrition security for all.
Another highlight of the ONLP18 is that it provided a space to get inspired as well as to meet and join a network of amazing leaders and change makers who are dedicated to sharing sound knowledge and supporting each other. In addition the ONLP18 invited facilitators and guest speakers who shared about their own inspiring leadership journey and important capacity building topics such as influencing policy, social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and working in collaboration across sectors. The capacity building workshops have made me realise even more so to the importance of cross sector collaboration and how everyone has a role to play on enhancing our food system towards food security for all. Leadership is also about team work and collaboration to work towards a collective goal. Hence, going forward I will do my best to embrace a wide range of perspectives and break the silos moving towards more collaboration with multiple sectors including academia, private sector, government, NGOs, public health, industry as well as communities in order to convene the power for change.
I would like to acknowledge the ONLP Management Committee and the New Zealand Nutrition Society for bringing the Nutrition Leadership Programme opportunity to the Oceania region and for supporting my attendance to the 2018 programme.
Sarah Stevenson BSc – Human Nutrition (Massey Uni), MPH (Uni of Wollongong).
At the beginning of October 2016, I was a part of the inaugural Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Programme 2016 (ONLP16). This is a sister programme to many others internationally, such as the European and African Nutrition Leadership Programmes which have been running for many years.
The course was run over eight consecutive days, in Bundanon, New South Wales with 22 participants selected to attend from the region. The programme was both challenging and inspiring.
Through ONLP16, I have gained greater insight as to who I am as a leader and how to work towards being a better leader. The sessions were interactive and expert led, offering role models and inspiring conversations around food, sustainability, ethics, research and general leadership qualities. One take away insight I would like to share is around the role of the follower, often overlooked, the follower actually holds a lot of power and often has to boldly make the first move in following an innovative leader.
The nutrition field is ripe with political and systematic influences and has a strong link with many of the poor health outcomes we see today. It will take a network of strong leaders in this field to make a difference to health outcomes in the longer term. ONLP16 did not end at the conclusion of the eight days, as alumni, we work together to build a platform that lives on. We have set a strategic vision, have an ongoing wordpress blog site, an active hashtag on twitter - #ONLP16 and a network of professionals that we can draw upon and unify for collective action.
I would encourage any early to mid-career nutritionist to apply to attend ONLP 2018.
In October 2016 I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Oceania Nutrition Leadership Programme (ONLP) alongside 22 other early to mid-career nutritionists. The 10 day training stretched our boundaries, and enabled us to reflect on ourselves as developing nutrition leaders in our organisations, communities and countries.
The course was focused on leadership skills and styles that work best in the Oceania region. Participants practiced leadership and communication skills throughout the programme. This practical experience was important for development of new skills, trying new ways of leading and influencing, and to brainstorm ways to deal with real life situations in our workplaces and communities. Impacts of culture on leadership, influencing global policy, food systems and sustainability, big data, and cross-sector collaboration were other topics of focus.
As a public health nutritionist who works to improve my local food system, I found it valuable being taught by experts with backgrounds in agriculture, horticulture, chemistry and marine systems ecology, rather than learning only from respected nutrition leaders. The variety of fields reflects the need for nutritionists working with the food system to collaborate across all aspects of the food system.
Nutrition leaders must take the responsibility for promoting sustainable food systems. We must adapt our communication to be effective in the current online environment of conflicting and excessive information.
ONLP is structured in a way that supports participants to continue learning from each other throughout their careers, through a professional network. The Oceania Nutrition Leadership Programme will be repeated in 2018, and is currently seeking sponsorship. An investment in ONLP is an investment in the health of the people of Oceania, and I would highly recommend this programme to aspiring nutrition leaders from throughout the region.
I would like to acknowledge the New Zealand Nutrition Society, Healthy Families Rotorua, and the Heart Foundation who sponsored and supported my attendance.
Dr Andrew Reynolds
From 2-10 October 2016 I participated in the inaugural Oceanic Nutrition Leadership Program (ONLP). The aim of the course was to develop, inspire and connect a new generation of innovative leaders working in the field of nutrition throughout Oceanic countries. I found the course brilliant. The content covered was well delivered and thought provoking, and the people participating were very inspirational.
Attending the course was an incredible experience for me as an early career researcher considering what next. The eight days together was dominated by an ongoing discussion of our role as a professional network in the Oceanic region. Being together for this time, and having a limited connection to the outside world allowed this conversation to develop in ways that showed trust, principles, and respect. The eight days produced a network of individuals happy to work together and help each other on issues relevant to the food environment and health of people in our region. I learnt a lot from the experience and believe it will benefit my work throughout my career. My participation in the course would not of happened without the support of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand.