FIFTH-YEAR medical student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Tivana Chellan is a finalist in the Global Outstanding Leadership Awards contest being held in Brisbane, Australia, next month.
The awards recognise individuals who epitomise the courageous, kind and inclusive leadership of Leadership Headquarters – an Australian-based organisation that provides global leadership development programmes.
Chellan, who completed her matric at Tongaat Secondary School, has proudly represented her alma mater in several leadership roles, including as director of the Rotary Interact Club which is part of the international Rotarian body for community upliftment and service above self.
Said Chellan: “I am honoured to be a finalist for this international award at the relatively young age of 23 and to be competing with renowned global leaders.
“My aim is to inspire the youth and as such I am dedicated to lead by example. I have focused on inspiring women to achieve anything that they dream of.
“I am also an active advocate for mental wellbeing and feel that health care providers need to actively invest in their own wellbeing in order to provide the highest level of care for their patients.”
Chellan is a student representative of the UKZN Mental Health sub-committee.
She has also represented her country at the Model United Nations, an international format of debate that allows young, ambitious individuals to take part in simulations of the United Nations by representing countries in different committees that debate a range of relevant issues.
Chellan benefitted in terms of coaching and mentorship from having worked with human rights activist, Ms Ela Gandhi, and the Consul General of India at the Indian Embassy in Durban.
She has served in many leadership roles as a Medical student, including as President of the South African Medical Students Association (UKZN Chapter) and is currently Vice-Chair of the Dean’s Clinical Medicine research team, a peer wellness mentor.
In 2020 she formed a COVID-19 response team to tackle misinformation and with the team created the I-Care pledge to encourage adherence to lockdown regulations.
Chellen worked with public health leaders to create a Tippy-Tap community empowerment handwashing video and many more impactful interventions.
She also launched a provincial gender-based violence social media activism campaign to encourage individuals to break the silence and to encourage more male role models to play an active role in bringing about change.
Chellan, who represented Africa at the United Nations Media and Information Literacy week in 2020, has worked with ambassadors from China, Brazil, France, Malawi, Jamaica, and several other nations in eradicating misinformation and empowering people in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
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Yibanathi Nhlakanipho has 6 years experience writing and curating verified entry-level jobs, internships, bursaries and career resources for South African youth. Every month, her articles on Scholarly Africa reach at least 1 million job-seekers.