Armed with tertiary education and a desire to make a positive contribution, these young people are eager to learn to lead their community. Supported by their elders, the next generation holds a unique position straddling two cultures. In the forging ground of familiar language and culture they are gaining the skills and confidence to engage in the wider community. With many of them having lived most of their lives here, they are fluent bi-lingually and bi-culturally and bring a tremendous richness.
These are 'third-culture kids' - learning to blend the best of both cultures. They are painfully aware of the negative stereotypes that are portrayed of their community. Caught between two cultures can be a challenging place at times. It's the few who fall through the cracks, marginalised by not meeting the cultural values, behaviours and expectations of either culture, which most often make the headlines. Sadly, it's fuel for the anti-immigration lobby.
What does it take to belong? When does a person stop being a migrant or refugee? How much conforming do we need or expect? And anyway - whose version are we to conform to? A strong, dynamic society encourages us to bring all of our differences and grows from that diversity.
So look out for these bright, positive young people, they are bringing their enthusiasm, talents and contributions to a community near you.
- What does it really mean to be a New Zealander?
- Who do you know that should really be making the headlines?
- Find the good news stories and spread them far and wide!
Building diverse, inclusive workplaces