On Tuesday 26 April a powhiri was held to welcome Joe Wilson to the Waikato Wellbeing Project as our Lead Social Innovator.
The powhiri was held at ZEAL in Hamilton and was an amazing gathering of many of the people connected to and supportive of the Kaupapa of the WWP. The event also showed the depth of connection and care that Joe brings to the project, which we are so humbled to have on board. A big mihi to Tony O’Rourke from ZEAL for hosting us, Norm Hill for leading the powhiri and Jami Dickson and Te Wananga O Aotearoa for sharing Joe with us.
Joe has come to us from Te Wananga O Aotearoa where he was an Education to Employment Broker. Prior to that he was a Youth Development Advisor for the Waikato District Council. Joe spent five years travelling the world, using his talent as a singer-songwriter to connect with people from a wide variety of lived experiences, deepening his understanding of the power of finding common ground to unite and communicate with people through empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives. This journey led Joe to study for a Master’s in Human Rights and Social Development, at the University of Sussex, where he explored the SDGs as a framework for revitalising the education system. Joe is also an experienced schoolteacher and sports coach.
Joe describes himself as a big picture thinker, a creative, a dreamer with endless optimism but with a realists’ pragmatism, experience and understanding of the world. His ambition is to connect people, sectors and industries, working together to build a better world for our future generations.
Joe will bring an enormous amount of talent, energy and aroha to the WWP. His first area of focus will be to support and co-lead the next steps for our Rangatahi Opportunity Project. Joe will further deepen the project’s connections with youth leaders across the Waikato, building on the insights we have developed so far, and connecting these with existing and new innovations to improve rangatahi wellbeing.
But that is just the start! - with his passion, energy and experience, except to see Joe popping up in many places across the region as we grow the wellbeing movement.