by Sharon Ritchie

Inspiring the Future

We know from international research that young people often have narrow ideas about their future. Inspiring the Future has been created to broaden young people’s horizons, help challenge stereotypes and address unconscious biases that can limit their potential.

This week Year 7 & 8 students were fortunate to hear from five role models in an Inspiring the Future event. During the event students ask role models 20 questions to try and guess what job they do in our community. Role Models can only respond with Yes, No, Maybe. After this, the Role Models leave the room and then come back wearing their work clothes or holding a prop that represents what they do. They reveal their stories - what jobs they do, the pathway they took to get there and any challenges they faced. 

While the Role Models are out of the room, the students use the information they have gathered to guess each Role Models job. Voting on the most likely role from a brain-stormed list. Our students surprised themselves on how close they came to guessing many of the roles through the precise closed question bank they had developed as a group.

This was followed up with small discussion groups in which students ask more in depth questions and learn more about each of the Role Models stories and jobs. 

Our thanks to our Role Models and their employers for giving their time to inspire the future:

Sally Harrison - Mine Engineer, Oceana Gold

Maddy Crawford - Intelligence Support, NZ Police

Rachel Binnie - Design Strategist, Firebrand

Caitlyn Berry-Kilgour - Clinical Research, University of Otago

Claire Gregory - former Probation Officer and current Learning Support, St Hilda's

Inspiring the future needs people from different walks of life to share their stories and I encourage anyone, in any job, to sign-up to be a role model.

Find out more at