Graeme sims regional governance advisor nzsta
Re Leigh Kennedy FUSE Strategy
New Zealand School Trustees Association’s (NZSTA’s) mission is to lead and strengthen school
governance in New Zealand. To support the achievement of this mission NZSTA contracts
professional development providers to upskill school boards and school board presiding members
(board chairs) in their understanding and practice of governance and leadership.
Since 2019 in my role as a Regional Governance Adviser for NZSTA I have contracted Leigh Kennedy
FUSE Strategy to provide one-to-one mentoring and leadership development for school board
presiding members in a wide range of schools across Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and the West
The outcome expected of Leigh’s work is that the presiding member has improved skills and
knowledge that will enable them to confidently carry out their role. Leigh has proved that she can
adapt her mentoring to meet the different starting point and needs of each presiding member. Leigh
has also been able to effectively deliver mentoring and leadership development both face to face
and via video technology. She approaches each engagement with a lovely warm and professional
Examples of the content Leigh covers during presiding member mentoring are:
• Identifying the difference between governance and management,
• Recognising the roles and responsibilities of the board,
• How to preside over effective board meetings including monitoring progress against an
annual work plan,
• Establishing and maintaining an effective working relationship with the school principal.
To be successful as a mentor Leigh has needed to be able to quickly build and then over time
maintain relationships with board presiding members. Presiding members that Leigh has mentored
have provided feedback that she is able to do this and that the outcomes expected of the mentoring
have been achieved. I have seen evidence that the presiding members have a better knowledge of
school governance and board leadership, and have more confidence as they undertake their role.
Leigh ensures she fulfils project briefs, and her communication is always responsive and positive.
I highly recommend Leigh Kennedy FUSE Strategy as an experienced, enthusiastic and effective
facilitator and provider of mentoring and leadership development.
NZSTA Regional Governance Adviser
New Zealand School Trustees Association
27 February 2020
RE: Leigh Kennedy
To whom it may concern,
I am the National Advocate for Male Survivors Aotearoa (MSA), and have been working with and supporting male victim/survivors of childhood sexual abuse for 23 years. It is important that everyone who works with us is passionate about our cause, and as a not for profit agency where every dollar count’s, it is equally important we get value from our consultants and I can highly recommend Leigh Kennedy on both counts.
I have worked with Leigh, FUSE Strategy since 2016, when our main body of work was preparation for our highly successful International Conference 3rd SSI (South-South Institute on Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys) with international speakers and delegates from over 15 countries.
We worked closely with key industry partners to present a fantastic conference, ACC, MSD, TPK and Te Putahitanga, Leigh was a key part of this multi-agency collaboration.
During the SSI she led two sessions with our international and national experts, and survivors. One to gather comprehensive recommendations on what they considered to be critical factors moving our work forward, to develop strategies and initiatives to reduce the incidences of abuse, and to improve service provision. I remember there being significant time pressure to have this collated before her second presentation but she did so, and clearly presented the findings back to delegates. This work continues to provide ongoing direction to improve service provision and has ensured government funding for the next five years.
Leigh is solution focused, collaborative and refreshingly positive,
I really value our continued regular meetings where she checks in with our progress, reminds me of how far we have come, celebrates our wins, and reminds me of the areas we still need to work on. She consistently does this keeping our biggest priority-our survivors-at the forefront. She is clearly committed to our mission, ensuring everything we do is providing the very best service to them.
I recommend Leigh to any business or organisation that wishes to clarify their direction, their strategy and to be highly effective accountability partner moving forward.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if further information is needed.
Ken Clearwater ONZM
Male Survivors Aotearoa
5 March 2020
To whomever it may concern,
At the start of 2019 the Shirley Primary School Board of Trustees engaged Leigh Kennedy from FUSE Strategy to assist us in redeveloping our strategic plan.
Leigh facilitated a series of workshops with the board of trustees and senior leadership team. These workshops included helping our board of trustees and senior leadership team understand the requirements of a strategic plan and what the correct process was that we needed to follow.
The workshops were hands on, practical and our staff found them to be highly engaging and informative. Leigh also ensured that as part of our planning that we engaged specifically and effectively with our school community to help identify their needs and priorities ensuring they were engaged and active participants of our journey.
As a result of these workshops we have been able to develop a clear and future focused strategic plan which we are confident reflects the unique character and values of Shirley Primary community. Having a clear and future focused strategic plan also made my job of developing our annual plan a relatively straightforward process.
I would recommend Leigh for any school who are in the process of looking at their strategic plan or who have board of trustees members who are new to the strategic planning process.
Principal - Tumuaki
Robbie Williams NZ Travel Brokers
I was lucky enough to work with the lovely Leigh (FUSE Strategy) on Strategic Planning for my Travel Brokering business.
I thought this process might be confronting and brain draining but Leigh made it an easy positive and enjoyable experience.
My focus was re-aligned and my forward planning made clear. My business strengths were identified and any weaknesses addressed with practical, realistic actions put in place. After just one session with Leigh, I came away feeling rejuvenated and excited about the future of my business and with further sessions, was clear about where my business was heading and how to steer it in that direction.
I would absolutely recommend Leigh (FUSE Strategy) to any company wishing to move their company forward, re-discover their passion, and put success orientated strategies in place to reach their goals.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS - NZ TRAVEL BROKERS
Leigh Kennedy of FUSE Strategy began working with us in 2015.
We have developed a professional, friendly and trusted relationship.
With her direction and guidance, we have successfully worked through the following:
Vision and mission statement formulation
Strategic planning and execution
Successful sale of business – on time
Advice with Human Resource planning
Advice with job advertisements
Leigh was a proactive advisor, coming up with useful resources, suggestions and solutions. At all times, she has acted with our best interests at heart. She is especially good with people, using humour when needed, but also able to facilitate difficult topics, while maintaining a non -threatening atmosphere.
I fully recommend Leigh to any business which is looking for clarity around their future direction, guidance on their strategic planning, and / or strategies for their success.