Global ambassadors on board in Ashburton

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Global Ambassadors (from left) Marc Juntilla, Mary Bernarte, Mayor Neil Brown, Fylgia Romero and Jade Kruger. Absent: Jasaiah Claydon-Wade.

The Ashburton District Council has announced the names of five young people who have been appointed to its new Global Ambassadors Programme.

Mary Bernarte, Jasaiah Claydon-Wade, Marc Juntilla, Jade Kruger and Fylgia Romero are the district’s new Global Ambassadors who will be working with council to support Ashburton’s international partnerships.

The group will have the chance to gain practical experience and make valuable connections to kick-start their future in international relations.

Mayor Neil Brown said the group had an exciting year ahead and would be taking part in workshops and training.

‘‘I’m sure they’ll do very well representing our district to the international community here and beyond, and I wish them all the very best for a great year of professional development.’’

The Global Ambassadors’ first assignment will be to assist the Welcoming Communities programme in its support of the upcoming Holi Festival of Colours, hosted by the Ashburton Indian Multicultural Charitable Trust on February 15.

Another important project the ambassadors will get to be involved in is the upcoming national Sister Cities Conference in Ashburton in April this year. The theme for the conference is Growing Cultural Diversity in the Regions.

Throughout the year, the ambassadors will attend workshops on topics such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te reo Maori, cultural competence, international relations and communications. They will also be connected with people in politics and will get to participate in planned activities for five hours a month.

At the end of the 12-month programme, each ambassador will receive a certificate of completion.

Mr Brown said the Global Ambassadors will have the chance to make a significant contribution to the community.

‘‘Economic development doesn’t just depend on gross domestic product growth. Diversity and prosperity are equally important factors in the community’s wellbeing and the Global Ambassadors Programme will help to share our district’s story locally and around the world.’’

One Global Ambassador position is still available, and council is accepting applications for this role. It is open to young people aged 18-24.