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key Malcolm Bell - Silververve Partner

"You have a great deal of experience and it is good to know that you are channelling that experience for the benefit of others. We all age and it is admirable that you have seen that age, in itself, is no barrier to making an ongoing contribution."

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or at eighty." Henry Ford

Malcolm Bell is a practiced, accomplished facilitator and leader, sought after for his innate ability to put everybody at ease and help people find innovative solutions to challenges and opportunities. He is a truly collaborative leader who strongly believes that organisations have answers to their challenges and opportunities already within their own ranks. His expertise is bringing these answers out and moving an organisation on. His friendly disposition coupled with a keen, self-deprecating sense of humour, creates a positive, can-do atmosphere and prevents tension getting in the way of progress.

A 48 year career in education and politics has prepared Malcolm well for the role as a Facilitator with Silververve.

Malcolm developed strong education and training connections through his early career in secondary schools and with his regional and national professional association. While still teaching full-time, Malcolm was elected to national executive of his professional association (at the time the youngest executive member elected to such a position). After three years he retired from that executive position and, while still full-time teaching, became a regional advisor in the former Department of Education, facilitating in-service training for teachers.

Joining the former Department of Education full-time in 1987, Malcolm held a senior position working on teacher recruitment and selection, and teacher pay and conditions of service. He was a key member of a team that negotiated national secondary school teacher employment contracts.

In 1989, when the Department of Education was abolished, Malcolm won the role of the new Ministry of Education's Public Relations Manager. In 1993, realising his skills as a facilitator and his ability to bring often disparate groups of people together to achieve a common goal, Malcolm was asked to lead a national public consultation exercise setting education goals for the 21st Century. Over four months, Malcolm and his panel travelled from Invercargill in Southland to Waimate North in Northland, holding public meetings to refine and gain acceptance of the goals amongst communities.

As a result of this successful national exercise, late in 1993 Malcolm was persuaded to join the then Minister of Education's office, at first for three months, and then for a year. He stayed in the Beehive for 15 years! He was a senior advisor to 7 successive ministers of education from both sides of politics. His negotiation and facilitation skills led to him having a role negotiating the formation of the first MMP coalition government. He was in the Beehive when that coalition broke down, and again worked through a change of Government in 1999/2000. He became legendary for his friendly "let's fix this" positive way of operating; he earned the respect and confidence of MPs, ministers and prime ministers from all parts of the political spectrum.

Fifteen years of Beehive work was enough, and Malcolm's more recent roles have been with the Canterbury Earthquake Authority (CERA) and the Ministry of Education's Youth Guarantee/Vocational Pathways work. In his two years with CERA, Malcolm project managed The Amazing Place series of competitions for the young people of Christchurch to give them a real say in the rebuilding of their city, post-earthquakes. One of the manifestations of his work is the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in central Christchurch.

For the two years before he retired at the beginning of 2017, Malcolm worked with employers and local bodies to facilitate pathways for young people to ensure they stayed in education longer, gained higher qualifications and successfully transitioned to further education, training or employment.

Throughout his career Malcolm has been trusted as the 'go-to" person for advice on getting things done, solving problems in a pragmatic way, improving the lives of those around him and facilitating helpful results from his work.

Let's Get S..t Done! Malc's motto.


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