Committee for Auckland is an organisation which contributes to making Auckland one of the world's great places to live and work. Annually they run a Future Auckland Leaders Programme, where participants are encouraged to create ideas and projects to this end. It was here that the initial idea for OMEGA began.
The Future Auckland Leaders ‘Skills for Auckland’ project mentored skilled immigrants, and included formal workshops as well as one-to-one mentoring support. The experiment proved successful, with the majority of participants securing jobs in their chosen fields. The group were particularly delighted when one participant who had been a taxi driver in New Zealand for five years, found a job as a GIS practitioner after just three days!
In June 2007, Committee for Auckland members attended a learning exchange in Toronto (Canada) hosted by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Founded in 2003, and funded by the Maytree Foundation, TRIEC is internationally recognised for its efforts to help skilled immigrants gain the cultural skills and networks they need to excel in the work force of their new country.
Ideas quickly turned to action, and the Committee for Auckland took on the role of incubating the idea, whilst the Tindall Foundation was inspired to give it their financial backing and ongoing encouragement to see it become something tangible.
In early 2008 a Programme Director was appointed full-time, and the project was officially launched in March. The first Auckland businesses to give the OMEGA project support were members of Committee for Auckland who'd 'caught the vision'. It was out of this group that mentors were sourced, and an OMEGA establishment board was set up, with Rob Fisher as Chair.
Two staff , several contractors and enthusiastic volunteers added to the OMEGA team in mid 2009, whilst Committee for Auckland continued to provide leadership and strategic guidance. Six well-respected New Zealand businesses committed to OMEGA as funding partners and it transitioned into an independent not-for-profit organisation. A new Board was established with Pauline Winter as Chair to the lead the organisation, and to work with the OMEGA Trust, whose members comprise the funding partners and others.
Sincere appreciation is extended to those who have joined with OMEGA and played a part in helping to keep the promise to all New Zealanders, the next generation, new immigrants, and our founders.