Virginia Innes-Jones

For life coach Virginia Innes-Jones (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Kāti Huirapa) and her business and life partner Darin Dance (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki) life coaching is a great career, enabling them to inspire in others the desire they have for a rich and fulfilling life.

Back in the day coaching happened with a sports team, trying to get the best out of the players, and inspiring them to achieve their potential.  This still holds true for sports but coaching has long since spread to other aspects of life.

For life coach Virginia Innes-Jones (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Kāti Huirapa) and her business and life partner Darin Dance (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki) life coaching is a great career, enabling them to inspire in others the desire they have for a rich and fulfilling life.

From her early days Virginia has been excited about life and expressing herself to the full. “Drama and role playing which started for me back at school, still help me today when working with officials and bosses, and when teaching speech, drama and communication studies. While I didn’t do so well at science and maths my passion for drama helped me do well in English, Drama and French and set me up for success at university.

For her own inspiration Virginia looks at the efforts of her great grandfather Tom Ellison, All Black captain and creator of the silver fern logo.  “He didn’t mean a lot to me when I was little, however in life there are many pathways one can travel, and in my 30’s I started taking a great interest in my whakapapa so I could work out why I am the way I am – passionate and creative combined with a desire to help people find and stay true to their own pathway”

After reading about Tom, Virginia has taken several trips down to Otakou where Tom is buried, has researched his life, and written a few articles on him including one published in Te Karaka. “Yes I am very proud of Tom and what he achieved especially coming up with the original All Blacks uniform in the 1890s. He was also one of the first Maori Lawyers, and worked on land rights back in the early 1900s. His extensive range of achievements really deserve to be better known, and his ‘pioneering spirit that resulted in untold successes need to be celebrated and this is what I enjoy about coaching, making a difference and celebrating people’s successes.”

Getting older Virginia finds it is easier to be herself and follow her own path. “I now know what’s right for me and my own internal “GPS tells me pretty quickly when I am veering off my pathway.  My different qualifications from hospitality management, through to journalism and teaching have all enabled me to work in a variety of industries and work with different people in different countries. With so many rich experiences behind me I have for the last 12 years been following the life path of giving back. Coaching 1-1 and facilitating workplace programmes where I make a REAL difference to people’s lives. I am into teaching people to have courageous conversations, to be clear about what they want and support them to assert themselves in a positive way.”

Virginia also has some free coaching tips for whānau especially the younger ones.  “Everyone needs help and advice. You need to be articulate and confident enough to know how to ask for things, to have the determination to keep going each time you hit a brick wall, and to have support and someone to turn to when the going gets tough. I am talking with bosses, teachers, lecturers, family members, government departments, all the time and I know opportunities to ask for what you want can be few.  That’s why you need to make the most of every opportunity.”

Virginia sees Whai Rawa as providing inspiration for whānau as well as practical help enabling whānau to save for further education. “The earlier we start thinking about and planning towards future opportunities the better off we are.  It’s not about deciding on a particular career but about being aware of the range of things each of us is capable of and to work towards being able to choose between various options when we reach adulthood.”

For herself Virginia’s plans are three-fold, with one published book behind her she is in the early stages of planning a second one, project managing a new grand design and researching her whakapapa and take advantage of a writer’s retreat so she can collate her findings. She loves travelling, however, for now she will continue to concentrate on growing her Whai Rawa savings so she can stay focussed on home developments and researching and writing for her next book.