Career Development Association of New Zealand


Te Mōhiotanga

CATE Conference 2019

By: Ronica Sami

Date: 03 Dec 2018

Category: Article reviews

Tags: cate, education, 2018, inspiration, innovation

CATE Conference 2019

CDANZ National Executive Committee member Ronica Sami shares her experience of the 2018 CATE Conference: Inspiration to Innovation. 

From Tuesday 13 November to Thursday 15 November I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 CATE conference at the Sky City Conference Centre, Auckland.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Inspiration to Innovation”. The 10 keynote speakers were charged with providing us with insight into the “innovative and exciting developments that are happening among businesses and educators to make the most of the radically changing world that we share with our students”.

The 35 smaller workshops focused on tools and best practice for career development, transitions from secondary school, research and leading developments in our industry, the world of work and leadership and strategic thinking in career development. Workshop presenters included CDANZ members Heather Lowery-Kappes, Lee Brodie, Wendy Keir, Margaret McNie, Dr Val O’Reilly, Russell Booth, Cherie Perrow and more.

Major highlights from the three days included:

  • Mike King’s ongoing observations, discussions, questions and the warmth and enthusiasm he brought as the Master of Ceremonies.
  • The speech from Prithi Ambani, the Director of Innovation at Tech Futures Lab was extremely enlightening. Although Prithi’s insights into the future of work, business and society was really informative, it was the emphasis on relationships, collaborative work and the importance of preparing ourselves and our young people for a life of uncertainty that motivated me to think about how this was relevant in career development
  • The workshop on Culturally Responsive Career Development in Aotearoa, delivered by Sarah Proctor-Thompson and Nicole Akuhata from NMIT was extremely thought provoking. They presented the concepts of cultural competency, cultural responsiveness and cultural humility, and the importance of these in our career practice. Sarah and Nicole asked the audience questions around the “privilege” we came from and how that has shaped us.
  • Kathryn Berkett’s session, which made sense of the human neurobiological reactions to stress in our environment, has made me mindful of my own (and other people’s) responses to stressors (sandpapers) and how I respond to these stressors in my work and in my life.
  • The topic of young, teenage brains in relation to making timely career decisions delivered by Russell Booth was extremely fascinating. Russell discussed the physical and neurological changes that occur during our teenage years and into our twenties. He talked about the impact of these changes on thinking and decision making and then gave the audience some useful strategies about ways to help young people make better decisions about their futures.
  • Other speakers I found inspiring were Sonia Tiatia – Founder of DINE Academy, Lisa King- Founder of Eat My Lunch and Alexia Hilbertidou- Founder of GirlBoss NZ. They are all amazing New Zealand women who use their skills and abilities to make a difference in so many lives.

Overall, I found the 2018 conference of great value and I believe that the organisers stayed true to the theme of “Inspiration to Innovation”. I returned home with renewed curiosity and a real desire do more reading and research on several topics, such as the emerging disruptive technologies and their impact on society, how I can work towards more culturally responsive career practice, neuroscience and brain development of young people, and interpersonal neurobiology.

CATE – Career and Transition Education Association NZ Inc. is an organisation dedicated to career education of youth and their transition from school into the wider world of employment, training and/or further education. CATE members include school career advisers, transition teachers, Gateway coordinators, STAR coordinators and Vocational Pathways leaders, as well as those in associated areas such as private practice, tertiaryeducation, the Tertiary Education Commission, and Industry Training Organisations. CATE is an affiliate organisation to CDANZ and we share many members in the education sector.

Ronica Sami

“I have been a career development practitioner for over fourteen years, and I am so fortunate to be in a career I love and am passionate about.

I have extensive experience working with a wide range of clients, from helping secondary school students beginning their career thought processes, to migrants and refugees find employment, through to older workers dealing with redundancy.

The networks I have formed within my community are extensive, as I believe strongly in career development playing a key role in supporting building a successful society as well as building an individual’s capability.

I am continually learning and reflecting on my practice to ensure that I provide a professional and ethical service to all the people I work with.”

Ronica is currently in private practice and working as Youth Transitions Co-ordinator at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). Ronica has been an active member of CDANZ Manawatu and joined the CDANZ National Executive in October 2018 at our AGM in Wellington.