Dilworth 2021 Head Prefect: Josiah Seleni

In typical 2020 fashion, the Head Prefect for 2021 Josiah Seleni was admitted into the hospital the night before he was going to be presented with his Head Prefect badge in front of the whole campus last year. However, despite the less than ideal start to assuming his new leadership role, the Year 13 student is looking forward to the year ahead.

Born and raised in Ōtāhuhu, Josiah moved to Australia with his family when he was just 5 years old. When his grandfather became unwell, the family moved back to New Zealand where they have lived ever since.

Josiah’s father Sauni Seleni said, “The move back to New Zealand was hard for Josiah because he already fostered good friendships at school and he started to enjoy life in Australia. Josiah’s classmates were very sad to hear that we were moving back to New Zealand and wrote letters to Josiah telling him they’d hope he would return one day. Josiah still has those letters”.

His family describes him as a quiet, observant and spiritual young man who is reluctant to leave any problem unsolved.

“Josiah is very spiritual and it’s at the heart of everything we do at home. Growing up, we taught Josiah and his sister the importance of knowing we are God’s children on earth and the need to express our heartfelt appreciation to God for everything we have, including the challenges we face. We need to always trust and have faith that God will always do the best for his children,” said Mr Seleni.

Dilworth Headmaster, Dan Reddiex describes Josiah as a young man who exhibits the values that Dilworth School is founded upon and stands for.

“He is a respectful young man who demonstrates integrity in his choices and conduct and applies himself completely in all his pursuits across his wide array of interests and responsibilities. He is highly regarded by his peers and staff.”

Mr Reddiex believes Josiah will be a great leader for the school for 2021 and will gain valuable skills and experience across the course of the year as Head Prefect.

“Josiah will lead from the front through his character and example and I am certain he will inspire others to be the best version of themselves. Josiah will certainly gain first-hand experience about time management and prioritisation while also facing the challenges and joys of leadership. He is well equipped to excel in this role. He has our complete confidence and support.”

Head of the Senior Campus, Neil Ritchie said that Josiah is a fine example of all the qualities expected from a Dilworth boy.

“He is well respected by his peers and staff for his responsible and mature approach to all aspects of school life and he is an excellent role model for younger boys.”

Josiah’s family are incredibly proud of his achievements to date, particularly his new role as Head Prefect.

“When we were told about Josiah’s appointment as Head Prefect for 2021, I thanked God for the child he had gifted to us. I observed that Josiah’s mother was just as proud and had the same feelings as I had. I wasn’t expecting it, though I knew Josiah had leadership qualities that would benefit any organisation he involves himself with,” said Mr Seleni.

We spoke to Josiah about what it means to him to be selected as the Head Prefect, what he hopes to achieve in the role and what he thinks it takes to be a good leader.

Josiah (7th from the left) with the 2021 Prefect team.

What does it mean to you to be selected as Head Prefect?

For me, being selected as Head Prefect is an honour but at the same time, I know that it is a challenging role. You need to understand that your actions set an example for other students at the school so you need to make sure you always put your best foot forward.  

How did it feel?

It felt hard to believe that this would be my last year at the school and therefore my last opportunity to lead the students. It was also a great feeling to see the emotion the news brought to my family.

What do you think makes a great leader?

In order to be a great leader, I feel you must be able to have an open mind towards the ideas of those around you and you have to have the drive and motivation to lead the boys in the right direction.

What do you enjoy most about being at Dilworth?

Dilworth is truly a life-changing community. I enjoy the way this school provides opportunities for those who don't have many opportunities in life

What do you plan on doing when you finish school? 

After my final year at Dilworth, I plan on studying Economics at Otago University. I really enjoy P.E and DTC at school so I would like to carry on with this learning. I have some ideas around how I can link these subjects to my university degree.

What would you like to achieve in 2021 in your role as Head Prefect?

As Head Prefect for 2021, I would like to increase or maintain the standards set last year and create an environment where boys can connect on mutual levels through the support of the prefect team.

Both personally and academically, I hope to gain NCEA Level 3 and get a scholarship for my tertiary education. But most importantly, I hope to handover my Head Prefect role at the end of 2021, knowing that I have made a difference.


February 25, 2021