Jethro Gardiner traveled a week with impactmania's founder, Paksy Plackis-Cheng, and international participants of the Women of Impact network. Jethro shares his experience, the learning he will bring to his work at the U.S. Consulate and how to represent a diverse voice at the conference table.
We thank the U.S. Consulate in New Zealand for supporting impactmania's Women of Impact program. Paksy interviewed 12+ impact makers in New Zealand. A number of women from the global network flew out to New Zealand for an intense week of personal and professional work and development.
impactmania's Women of Impact was awarded the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Grant (2019). The U.S. Consulate supported 12 interviews and a week-long events in New Zealand.
When the British came, they brought a treaty with them and we signed it because we liked what it said. It said we were going to remain who we were. We were going to be able to hold our customs and our language. It was all lies.
Nowadays there are a lot of people using words like co-design. I remember when I did my first co-design master class. It was a three-day workshop, and I sort of slipped away. I had to find another Pacific person saying, “Isn’t this just what we do normally, or?” “That's what it is?” I was like, okay! I'm doing okay.
My first tour overseas as a diplomat, I went back to the very same embassy, standing on the other side of the windows. I knew exactly what applicants went through to get to that window, because my family and I have gone through the same steps. To me, it speaks volumes about a country where we actually believe that America is no longer a white veil.
So before my baby’s 21st, I wanted to learn how to weave what Māori called a korowai, which is a traditional figured cloak. They are worn these days in special moments, for instance, graduation from university or a 21st birthday.