SHG Future Leaders Graduation Ceremony

A graduation ceremony to celebrate the first cohort of the SHG Future Leaders Programme took place at the St Helena Community College on Thursday, 17 October 2019.

Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, welcomed invited guests and said:

“The Future Leaders Programme is an internal SHG programme designed to give a group of motivated and ambitious young professionals the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, gain a wider exposure to SHG, gain the necessary skills to assist them in progressing within SHG and develop them as potential SHG leaders of the future.”

HE Governor, Dr Philip Rushbrook, then presented the Future Leaders – Belinda Piek, Nicole Hercules, Nikita Crowie and Sasha Bargo – with their certificates.

Organisational Development Manager and Programme lead, Laura Stroud, added:

“The desire to lead is the most necessary pre-condition to becoming a leader. Once you decide you want to lead, you don’t have to wait for anyone else to come along and appoint you leader. You just have to go out there and accept the leadership challenge. This is not to say that desire alone is enough to convert you into a leader. You need to develop and enhance specific skills (which is what opportunities like the Future Leaders programme is here for), and you’ll also need a lot of discipline and focus. It is not easy. However, if you want it badly enough and are prepared to work hard, you can become a highly effective leader. Leadership is a decision, not a position.”

Since joining the two-year Programme, each member of staff has taken on additional leadership roles within the organisation:

Belinda, who is currently the Judicial Services Officer, was twice seconded to a senior management role as Temporary Head of News within the SHG Press Office while the substantive Head of News was on overseas leave.

At the time of joining the Future Leaders Programme, Nicole was the Supervisor of the Children’s Residential Home and has now progressed to Team Manager (Designate) for Adult Services, managing Barn View.

Nikita, currently the Legal Officer within the Attorney General’s Chambers, is due to take up the role of Deputy Head of Property within the Infrastructure & Transport Directorate in the New Year.

Sasha joined the Programme when she worked for the Landscape Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP). Since then Sasha has worked on an Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Project and has progressed to the role of Terrestrial Conservation Officer, managing eight staff working on Diana’s Peak.

Future Leader, Nicole Hercules, commented:

“This has been the best training I have participated in throughout my working life and I am certainly trying hard at putting into practice the concepts of the programme.

“I think that one of the most important things that I have got out of this course is that I need to become more self-aware in order to lead others. This causes me to examine myself more in terms of motivation and attitude which in turn will help me to better lead others.

“We all took an enormous learning out of the programme, as you say the challenge is to work hard, to optimise the value of the learnings. Again thanks to Susan O’Bey, Laura Hedley and Laura Stroud for the excellent manner in which they ran the programme; it was stimulating, challenging but above all a real learning opportunity and a huge thank you to SHG for your investment in my future.”

Susan concluded:

“As with programmes of this nature, a lot of people have been involved at various points either in terms of developing the programme, delivering elements of the programme or mentoring and supporting the Future Leaders.

“I would like to say thank you in particular to Elected Members and Directors for their support in developing the competencies which underpin the Programme, the HR team, particularly Bronwen Yon, for designing and facilitating the recruitment and selection process, the Occupational Psychology Centre, particularly Laura Hedley, for designing the Programme and providing support thereafter, Directors and their teams for hosting the Future Leaders Programme at various stages, to the line managers and colleagues of each of the Future Leaders, to all who acted as mentors, guest speakers, and the families of the Future Leaders. Finally, I would like to say thank you to Laura Stroud who saw the programme through to completion.”

#StHelena #SHG #FutureLeaders


21 October 2019


St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470