Thomas Maharaj

From huge personal drive as a Youth MP and a natural calling to sales and marketing, Thomas experienced more than 500 seizures, and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

With his life in question heading into a 9-hour operation with only a chance of survival – a few things fell into perspective. From here on – every day has to count towards something bigger than just himself. After time working in sales and recruitment in Australia and New Zealand he joined the team at Inspiring Stories, where as General Manager he heads up business development and leads a team to bring in much needed resource to support the Trust's programmes to make a difference for young New Zealanders. During his time at Inspiring Stories, he's co-founded a new social enterprise arm called Millennials, a recruitment agency that helps New Zealand's purpose-driven businesses connect up with top young Kiwi talent.

Key steps in the journey

Thomas grew up in Maungaraki in Lower Hutt just out of Wellington. His parents separated when he was young, and Thomas was largely raised by his mum – a nurse. He attended St Bernard’s College, and then on to study a BA in Politics and International Development at Victoria University in Wellington.

During time at High School Thomas instigated various youth projects, and attended Youth Parliament during his time at Uni. In September 2013 his seizures and double vision started. Everything changed, and over the next 18-months he would have more than 500 seizures before having brain surgery early 2015.

Surviving the 9-hour operation, Thomas is driven to make every day count. He's got a real talent for sales and business development, and is leveraging this to make the biggest difference he can to back young New Zealanders.