Submitted by Melanie Burdett, ACC

The Island Coaches Collective was started as an initiative in 2015 by professional coaches who live or work on Waiheke Island. Our mission is to offer professional development for ourselves as coaches and personal development to the entire Waiheke Community. While we have been offering face-to-face workshops since the beginning of our Collective, starting in 2020 when COVID arrived, we continued to provide our support to the community via Zoom workshops focusing on resilience. It was evident that social connection and support is even more important than before.

The overarching topic for 2021 is “Creating Ease and Space” in people’s lives. Every event fosters an interactive, engaging, and thought-provoking conversation that develops trust, insight and a sense of belonging among the community members. We usually offer these 2 1/2 hour workshops on the 2nd Sunday of each month between April and October. We reach 20-35 people during these events, and 140 people through our newsletter.

We have a dedicated group of people who are choosing to attend for their own personal development. Through feedback they learned how appreciative our participants are and how much more prepared they feel to deal with the challenges they are facing, particularly during COVID. Although New Zealand has been so successful in dealing with COVID, its people are still feeling the negative economic impact on the Island team of 9,000 and national team of five million.