Who is Esther Hone-Moore? She is one of kind, the type of person that once you meet, you will always warmly say hello to the next time. The sort of person that makes you feel included, part of a family and most importantly, listened to. These people are rare and Esther is a wonderful gift of a woman.
Esther is the AUSTSWIM Programme Coordinator at AUSTSWIM Aotearoa and Programme Coordinator at Water Safety New Zealand. I met Esther a couple of years ago, but really got to know her at this year’s AUSTSWIM Aotearoa conference in Auckland, last month. I have to say this before I go on – I love New Zealand and I love Kiwis!!
I have travelled to NZ many times, so my perception has not come from a one off visit but instead, many personal interactions. There is this humbleness, humorous and thoughtful way about Kiwis and Esther is all of that and more. As a leader of two organisations, she clearly leads from an inclusive and engaging point of view and I was aware of how often I heard other people say, ‘let’s do this for Esther so she doesn’t have to it’. It was like her kindness infected other people, which in turn was passed on from one person to another. To be involved in this culture at a conference was really amazing. Even though Esther was super busy running an event, I noticed that she had time for people, including me. I never felt like that she needed to be somewhere else and that I was taking up her valuable time. ‘Kind’ doesn’t seem like a big enough word to use, ‘benevolent’, ‘generous’ and ‘compassionate’ seem more fitting.
And why does all this matter? A leader can affect the way people act and react and interact with each other. It’s almost like you don’t want to let them down by acting differently from they way do. Like most people, I have worked in many different environments, some healthy, some unhealthy and some I was ambivalent about (as the leaders in those organisations were detached and ambivalent to their teams). So when you meet a leader that displays all the words that are often lip serviced by others, you sit up, you take notice and you admire. Esther is someone I admire and certainly respect. Thank you Esther for being not just a role model, but actually influencing and inspiring others to do the same, in their own unique way.