“Your contribution to democracy is enormous; you have more support for all you have done than you might ever read about.”
– Nelson Mandela about Tony Leon in 2007
Tony Leon has joined Symphonia for South Africa as a patron for the Partners for Possibility Programme (www.qe4sa.org). This well-known politician and parliamentarian has made an invaluable contribution to democracy in South Africa. He served as a Member of Parliament for almost twenty years.
Tony is an internationally recognised speaker and author. His autobiography, On the Contrary, was published in 2008. The book was favourably received, and in 2009 it won the Recht Malan Prize in the Via Afrika Book Awards for best work of non-fiction. In recent years, he has served as an ambassador for South Africa (August 2009 to October 2012), on the recommendation of President Jacob Zuma. He is now a business consultant to South America and South Africa and his third book, The Accidental Ambassador – From Parliament to Patagonia, was published in April 2013.
The Partners for Possibility (PfP) initiative was founded by Dr Louise van Rhyn in 2010. The programme facilitates partnerships between business leaders and school principals. Each PfP encourages a co-learning and co-action symbiosis between partners, developing the leadership skills of both and providing the principal with the practical support needed to lead change at their school and, eventually, their community. The PfP Programme has to date yielded positive results in 133 partnerships nationwide.
Of his patronage of the PfP Programme, Tony had the following to say:
“I am delighted to be a Patron of Partners for Possibility and making a small and positive difference in the battle to achieve good educational outcomes, one school at a time. Partners for Possibility brings together leaders from South Africa’s high performing private sector and matches them with school principals in challenging environments. We all know, and research around the world proves, that the health of a school depends on empowered principals and good teachers. Our country spends more on education than practically every developing country in the world and yet we have dismal results. These partnerships can, in a meaningful way, change that trajectory and transform our country.”