If you weren’t in the main lecture theatre at Ko Awatea on 15 December, but you heard the laughter from outside – well, you should have come on in!
There was much more than laughter going on. It was Ko Awatea’s Jigsaw event, and there were funny hats, CTEC graphical wizardry, the wise words and dulcet tones of ‘Prof Hill’, and plenty of scandalous revelations (who’d have guessed that David Galler’s favourite hobby is talking!).
The main purpose of the event was to develop relationships because, as Ko Awatea’s General Manager, Tanya Maloney, explained, ‘It’s only through those relationships that we can improve the system.’
Tanya and Ko Awatea Director, Jonathon Gray, together acknowledged to the packed theatre all the hard work that had gone into a successful, but hectic first six months. So hectic, Tanya confessed, that they still hadn’t met everyone who contributes to Ko Awatea, just as staff in each of the centres hadn’t had the chance to meet or learn about each other. The event directly addressed that need.
Through ten diverse and colourful ‘pecha kucha’ presentations – a fixed format of 20-slide presentations, with each slide automatically timed to display for just 20 seconds – ten teams of ‘Ko Awateans’ strutted their stuff.
Staff photos were compulsory so the 130-odd Ko Awatea staff present all experienced the ‘joy’ of seeing their faces on the big screen. Workplace locations were revealed. Work was showcased. Challenges and opportunities were aired.
Complementing the ten presentations were talks by Jonathon and CMDHB CEO, Geraint Martin, and a fun session with the Ko Awatea senior leaders who generously shared a little about themselves through their hobbies.
Asked of her hopes for the day, Tanya said ‘I hope that people will take away a better understanding of the different pockets of expertise that we have within Ko Awatea, and will have a better understanding of how those different parts can work together to complement the work that they’re doing themselves.’
Judging by the buzzy conversations around the Christmas tree at the end of the day, the seeds of that understanding were successfully sewn.