Imogen Talityre

Black and white portrait of Young Leader 2020 Imogen Talityre
Imogen Talityre - The Forest High School Subject Captain

The Forest High School Subject Captain
17 years of age

“Everyone has something to give, something they can add and provide value to society. I think if you judge someone or completely disregard someone based on the mistakes that they’ve made, you’re erasing their ability to make amends for that and be better; ‘cancel culture’ is not something that’ll benefit society, or anyone”

From Imogen:

  • With social media it’s hard to find a balance between being personal and vulnerable, while also remaining distanced enough from the online world.
  • It’s easy to focus on people’s personal lives, rather than the work they’re actually doing. Social media is so instant, and has an immediate way to voice an opinion, which is good - as it gives everyone the same opportunity; however it also provides a grey area where people don’t necessarily think through the consequences of what they’re saying.
  • Social media also poses a lot of interesting questions for leaders around whether to get involved in the online conversation or remain quiet.
  • I think the best leaders are those who don’t really aim to be a leader, they’re just quietly teaching and setting an example for others.
  • As leaders we need to start listening better, rather than trying to one-up each other and hearing each other just to respond back. I think a lot of the time we’re already on the defence as soon as people start voicing their opinion; they switch off and don’t give that
    said opinion the time it deserves. You may not think it right, but you never know where the merit may lie.


Something that stands out about this young leader?

  • Learns instruments quite quickly, has played the trumpet, bassoon, guitar, ukulele and piano.
  • Would like to be an English teacher - inspired by previous English teacher who gave people the willpower to keep going, by affirming what they’re doing is good, and what they’re doing is right, and if they are true to what they believe it’s all you need to keep going and to make an impact with what they’re doing. It’s important to stay passionate about what you believe in.

She’s our future, why is her leadership and influence on society something to talk about?

  • We need to allow people to make mistakes. People aren’t perfect so we need to allow them to grow and evolve and be imperfect
    Things are constantly morphing, I think if you stick to what you believe in and if you don't allow other people to affect your opinion it's impossible to live in a society where we're all content.
  • We need to understand that our values can change. Our opinions can change. I think it's important for them to change in order for everything to be better.
  • I don’t like being the centre of attention, but every day I want to make a little bit of good. When I’m a teacher, I’m looking forward to those moments when you see the ‘penny drop’ and whoever you’re teaching, you know they ‘get it’. That little spark of joy from helping that individual achieve, I really like that.
  • If I could ask our Prime MInister anything - it would be ‘Why don’t I know you as well as previous generations have known their leaders? Naturally I know of him, but himself as a leader does not resonate with me. I’m not far from voting age, and I want to be interested in knowing about our leaders on a deeper level, getting to know the people who are running the world I’m in.

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