The 2016 Youth Week Awards winners are:

 

Change Maker- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex:

 

Qmunity Youth Group Gisborne is made up of young high school students who have been victims of homophobic bullying. The group aims to bring awareness to the wider community of the challenges of wanting to be accepted and understood by whanau; to support those who are dealing with depression and anxiety of being outcast and labelled as different; and to assist individuals dealing with the effects of cyber bullying and suicidal       tendencies because they don’t feel as though they can be who they are.                           They are currently setting up school LGBT support groups in Secondary                           Schools across Gisborne.

Alex Bramwell (22) has been volunteering at Waikato Queer Youth (WaQuY) for 6 years. WaQuY offers a safe space for youth who may identify with diverse gender, sex or sexuality. Alex started helping out any way she could and now Alex is the Youth Mentor Coordinator. This role entails her to look after all of WaQuY’s volunteers, recruit other young people to volunteer, and provide training and supervision for other youth mentors. For those travelling near or far to attend Hamilton based WaQuY, Alex is said to be “a large contributor to maintaining the group”.

As an active member of the Auckland University Students Association, Tessa Naden (22) has contributed greatly to the LGBTI community across the University. Along with providing outstanding support to youth, Tessa put her heart and soul into finishing renovations of the AUSA Queerspace. The space has seen to have improved relationships and created a better community for LGBTI youth on the Auckland University campus. With her work, Queerspace has become a focal point for the queer community on                         campus. Auckland University now has a thriving LGBTI youth community                         due to Tessa's actions.

Bella Simpson (19) is a tireless advocate for transgender young people. She works with InsideOUT and the wider community to help young people who struggle with their identity or feel unsafe to speak out. There are not very many young transgender people in NZ who speak out about issues affecting them; however Bella regularly volunteers her time to speak publicly, advocates for, and educates people on gender diversity. Bella was also successful in being chosen as one of two people on the organising                          committee for the PROUD ILGA Oceania Human Rights and Health                          conference.

Rachel Brebner (22) has been involved with youth group Rainbow Youth for a number of years. They began as a member of Rainbow Youth and has worked their way up to be the chairperson of the organization. Under Rachel’s leadership, Rainbow Youth has expanded into a new, larger center and has also launched several key education programmes nationwide that are free and easily accessible. Rachel’s ongoing commitment to the community has an immensely positive influence on others at Rainbow Youth, and on young people across New Zealand.

 

Change Maker- Cultural:

 

Te Ariki Te Puni (16) continues to effectively use his leadership skills and position as Head Boy to positively influence young men of Maori descent alongside his school and the wider community. He has made a commitment to spreading the use of Te Reo Maori within the school and to influence Maori students as a positive role model for them to emulate. Te Ariki has been highly successful in a number of speech competitions and leadership programmes within New Zealand. He seeks to inspire others to embody     values such as courage, humility, industry, integrity, pride and respect.

Khan Clement-Watkins (14) has turned his life around to help inspire others. From nearly dropping out of school at age 13, Khan now embodies a positive attitude towards school and also finds time to volunteer on the weekends. Khan has helped to build plant boxes, walkways and a memorial garden for the community. He has also volunteered his time to the Taupiri Youth Group and has also spoken at nearby schools, sharing his story and encouraging young people not to give up if they hit a lowpoint.

 

                         Jenny Wu (17) has contributed positively to her community through her                          voluntary work at the Elizabeth Knox Rest Home. Jenny volunteers her time                          to helping translate for the Chinese elderly and accompanying them. She                          also volunteers at the Totara Hospice Shop and started a website called                          UNISCO which provides a platform for high school students to volunteer                          and be involved in their societies. She was accepted into Youth Parliament                          2016 with the intentions of changing perceptions people may have on the                          Asian Community, and bring awareness to the Asian victims who have been                          subject to violence and bad media portrayal.

Tyson Taikato (24) is a committed community member and volunteer who works alongside kaumatua as an integral part of "Pou o te Haahi Ratana" Rangatahi Ratana movement. He contributes to the development of Maori Tamariki and Rangatahi, empowering them to become responsible for their own self-development, tutors Kapa Haka, and volunteers to Te Kohanga Reo. An outstanding leader as Rangatahi in the Ratana church, his commitment to encouraging children and youth active healthy lifestyles through sport, has had a positive impact in assisting the community with understanding and supporting healthy active lifestyles.

Elijah Pue (22) was awarded Top Maori Student at Ruapehu College in 2012 and then has taken on leadership roles in Ngāi Tauira Maori Students Association, mobilising the student body, encouraging participation in student politics, and in the wider educational arena. He takes leadership seriously, always thinking of new ways to encourage Rangatahi involvement while at the same time showing, by example, how to make a meaningful contribution whether in study, in politics, in the Catholic community. This year at the annual Hui Aranga, Easter gathering of Maori                           Catholics, Elijah played a key role in championing a Rangatahi Choir, a first                           in the 70 years of the Hui Aranga being run.

 

Change Maker- Community Safety:

 

Ashleigh Smith (18) is joint leader of Sticks n Stones, a student led anti-cyber bullying group. Sticks n Stones provides practical support and guidance to young people. Ashleigh’s passion for cyber safety has been recognized across Central Otago as she has helped set up this programme in a number of schools so that students are empowered to be safe online and know how to respond in the face of cyber bullying. As a result of Ashleigh’s support to the cause, she has been chosen to present at the                          World Anti-Cyber Bullying Conference in Ireland.

Youth Search & Rescue Tauranga’s (YSAR) is a non profit organisation which enables teenagers to develop the necessary skills to participate in becoming full active members of LandSAR New Zealand. YSAR saw a need for young people to be trained and encouraged to assist in our volunteer services, and the group helps teach valuable skills such as first aid, bush craft and navigation. Students are able to build on their fitness levels, team work abilities and leadership skills. The bush                             environment and practical nature of the course enables students to find                             something they are good at which enhances self-esteem and confidence.

                           Atawhai Charitable Trust Gisborne is a youth mentoring programme                            aimed at 11-12 year olds that have been identified (by participating                            schools) as being high risk- i.e. high truancy, behavioural problems, or                            lacking the skills to interact in a positive manner. Students are peer                            mentored by Atawhai student leaders and supportive community members                            from the Police, the Army, the Navy, teachers, schools and parents. A                            total of 200 students have successfully graduated from the programme                            since its creation in 2013, and have benefited greatly from the time and                            support provided by the group.

Maral Ghamkhar (17) has been successful with getting her peers, her school and the local Palmerston North Council on board with being sun-smart. Maral has mobilised a group of students who are educating young people on being sun-smart, and has proposed to the Youth Council that her school introduce an optional sun hat for students. The Palmerston North City Councilors were very supportive of the idea and have encouraged the idea to be taken into other secondary schools in the region. She also continues to contribute to the work of the Cancer society and hopes to spread knowledge through a song she wrote about being sun-smart to other                          young people.

For as long as he can remember Billy Turner (17) has wanted to be a firefighter. At the young age of 10, Billy became associated with, and participated in the Tairua volunteer brigade trainings. He has now been a firefighter for the Tairua and Whangamata brigades for almost 2 years. Billy also volunteers his time to the coastguard, and has been a member of the Land Search and Rescue for 3 years. The Coastguard and SAR say “his personal contributions are extensive”. Billy’s contributions extend even further as he has also managed to help set up a programme to install smoke alarms within his community, which is ongoing and successful.

 

Leadership:

 

                           Stephen Jones (17) has developed his leadership skills through the vast                            number of activities he has participated in on both local and national                            levels. He dedicates his spare time to being chairperson of the                            Invercargill City Youth Council, on the New Zealand Flag Consideration                            Panel 2015/2016, part of the UN Aotearoa Youth Declaration and as a                            Relay for Life Youth Ambassador to name a few. Stephen is empathic and                            collaborative, and seeks to support his community and its growth in any                            way he can. These qualities also saw him to lead the Invercargill Youth                            Council in the development of a new smoke-free policy across the city in                            Invercargill.

Simon Thomas (22) has contributed greatly to the provision of educational opportunities for NZ youth through NCEA Campus and The Learning Collaborative (TLC). He volunteers his time to these non-profit organisations to provide group tuition for students of low-income backgrounds. In 2013 NCEA Campus tutored 2,000+ students, and due to Simon’s team this that a significant proportion came from low-decile schools who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford tuition. Simon also led the growth of TLC through academic coaching and providing weekly sessions aimed at strengthening critical thinking, all whilst                              leading as the CEO of the organisation.

Alexia Hilbertidou (17) discovered GirlBossNZ, an organisation created to address issues of gender equality. It develops the leadership of potential young women aged 13-18 years old through online magazines, a Facebook group and event pages. Alexia aims to develop leadership amongst youth through MAP Youth- an online and

face-to-face network of Maori and Pacific people who work with well known NZ leaders to benefit from their expertise and advice. Alexia                                 created this platform alongside KaiShare- an online portal which                                 allows commercial enterprises to log their food waste so that agencies                                 who distribute food aid can be notified.

Keryn Tubbs (17) is a senior member of Sticks n Stones. It is said many of the organisation’s partnerships have grown and developed as a direct result of her contribution. Her leadership and mentoring has also spread across Alexandra and the wider region. Keryn has worked to educate those around her of the seriousness of cyberbullying, and how it can be eradicated. She led the 'Hit Pause, the Post' team working alongside Facebook to redesign one of their online safety guides. Keryn is also the 2016 Youth MP for the Waitaki electorate. In this role she is working with other youth MPs as well as local young people to share their ideas and concerns.

Ronan Fitch (15) has contributed greatly to the community as a volunteer and a leader. For the last 3 years Ronan has volunteered his services to recite poem ‘Not Forgotten’ in Cambridge, Matamata, Walton and Hamilton at ANZAC ceremonies. Doing this on his own accord, Ronan wants to be a voice for youth within his community. He also dedicates his time to entertaining the elderly, helping those in the community by washing cars, weeding gardens and baking for those in need. At home he also started his own garden to donate fruit and vegetables to the Salvation Army foodbank to help those in the community who are less fortunate.

 

Giving Back:

 

Ben Wigley (24) is the co-founder and lead developer of Banqer, the online financial education software for kiwi kids in NZ schools. The website is currently used in over 400 classrooms throughout New Zealand, and is a fun and engaging platform that helps users learn about money. Ben is not only able to improve the financial literacy of thousands of New Zealanders, but also their basic numeracy skills, their digital skills, and their social confidence, as Banqer requires students to engage with one-another as a part of a classroom economy.

Matthew Strawbridge (17) has contributed greatly to the dyslexic community since he was 13 years old. He created a website called Dyslexic Potential which provides videos that inform dyslexic youth on how to get through their first years at school and on how to make the most of having dyslexia. Matthew also created and offers empowerment workshops to dyslexic youth. At his workshop’s Matt motivates, empowers and inspires parents, teachers and youth to take action and embrace their dyslexia. These groups have grown in numbers hugely, with the largest                                     group being over 200 dyslexic youth in Auckland. Matthew was also                                     a finalist in the 2015 Young New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Serena Lim-Strutt (17) noticed that lower decile schools in her area needed help, so approached them for support and created a transformational service called Over the Fence Ministry. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that benefits both the students that are being served and those that are serving. The programme provides role models for younger students and volunteers help in a variety of areas such as helping students to read, in sporting activities, to play, providing meals, supporting staff, and helping to set up groups for dance, drama and Kapa Haka. Serena and her team of over 300 volunteers continue to raise money for the                                    initiative so that the local primary schools can be resourced and served.

Greagh Lee-Anne Love (18) is passionate about helping and supporting parents who have lost a child. To provide practical support she created the Cuddle Cots charity in the hope to raise $10,000 to purchase two cuddle cots to donate to the Rotorua Hospital. She organised events such as sausage sizzles, mystery envelopes, raffle tickets, garage sales and a community walk for infant loss. Greagh’s tireless fundraising means the Rotorua Hospital will receive two more of these                                          cooling systems. These machines will increase the amount of                                          time parents of stillborn babies can have to say their goodbyes.                                          Greagh also set up a support group for mothers who have                                          experienced infant loss.

Jessica Hill (14) is the Food Depot Coordinator for Kiwi Community Assistance, a non-profit organization that acts as a distribution hub for community groups by sourcing food, clothing, footwear, whiteware, household goods and furniture. Jessica has been volunteering with KCA for over a year, and took on the responsibility of running the depot when she was only 13. During her time with KCA, the food operations have almost doubled resulting in some 60 banana boxes of produce are prepared on a Sunday evening for collection on Monday morning by ten or more different agencies.

 

Working for Youth:

 

Eamon Walsh (16) is the leader of the Pause, Prompt, Praise programme, an initiative aimed at increasing the literacy skills of children who have learning difficulties and come from low socio-economic backgrounds. As an active member of the John Paul College community, Eamon also volunteers his time to the school, as a ‘big brother’ figure to younger students, as a tutor, and to the wider Rotorua community. Eamon is currently member of the JPC Youth Environment Team, Rotorua Youth Council and Rotorua Youth Voice where he has been active in promoting the voice of youth in Rotorua. Within these roles he hopes to encourage the youth of today to be interested in environmental issues.

Samantha Denton (22) has been volunteering for over 2 years for the Magic Movers StarJam workshop. The programme provides music and performance opportunities for young people with disabilities. They meet weekly to socialise, learn dances, perform for each other and overall gain confidence and independence whilst in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Samantha supports the teacher with activities whilst helping to encourage the young people to participate and feel included.

 

 

 

Ilene Lei (17) is the co-leader of the Student Council at her school and has dedicated her time to helping fundraise for the Young Achiever’s Fund. This programme seeks year 7-year 13 students who, for financial reasons, need support to pursue a cultural, sporting or college activity related goal. Thanks to the fund and Ilene’s contribution, many students are given financial assistance to go after their ambitions. Ilene is also a co-leader of the Habitat for Humanity Youth Board at her school. The group fundraised towards ‘Helping Hands Build Project’, a                                         programme that is looking to build a house in 2017 for youth in                                         poverty in collaboration with the Newmarket Rotary club.

Vivien Huang (16) is passionate about getting young people actively engaged in the community. Vivien also is a strong advocate for humanitarian causes and youth voice. She is the UNICEF club leader/coordinator at her school. In this role she organised the inaugural Media challenge competition, Rags to Riches Charity Ball, and fundraised for the Syrian Refugee. Due to the success of the charity ball, it is to become an annual event that can attract a wide scope of students across Auckland.                                         In her spare time she also volunteers as a English teacher for                                         refugees and migrants and helps them to integrate into Kiwi                                         culture.

William Wang (17) contribution to his community extends over a range of areas. William plays a large part in the New Zealand Math’s Olympiad Students Association (NZMOSA), a student-led non-profit organisation that seeks to encourage high school students to participate in mathematical Olympiad-style problems. He is also the leader of ‘Steminism’, a group focused on promoting the involvement of women in science, engineering and technology. He is committed to setting up workshops that will help mentor these young women and encourage their participation. William also volunteers his time to Harmonize, an                                         annual music competition tailored to students of low decile                                         schools. He hopes to encourage young people to build on their                                         musical talents despite their backgrounds.

 

Youth with Disability:

 

Hanna Deal’s (21) positive support and contribution to both the deaf, and Christchurch community is extensive. Hanna helped to establish Otago Deaf Youth, a group dedicated to helping young deaf people to participate in activities they may not usually get the chance to do, and to establish support networks within the group. She has also organised a number of camps for the programme and held workshops on topics including leadership, identity and social media. Hanna also had input into 'Accessible Christchurch', attending forums to discuss how the city should be rebuilt to meet the needs of all people, especially deaf. Hanna is said to be a “great role model for the younger generation and to have helped many people to be                                   successful in their life”.

Analise Twemlow (12) lives with Tourette’s syndrome (TS), and has spoken about TS candidly on TV, the radio and in print. At such a young age she has contributed greatly to others who live with TS by inspiring and motivating them, whilst also educating the wider public as to its effects. Analise also volunteers her time to visit schools to speak to classmates and teacher of other children living with TS. As a result of Analise’s strength and honesty, other young people have gained the confidence to take ownership of their disorder and to speak out about it for the first time to friends, classmates and even in public addresses.

Michael Pulman (24) is a journalist, blogger, radio host and public speaker who has been volunteering his time to helping at CCS Disability Action, a national organization that provides frontline support and services, and creates local awareness and education about disability issues. He has his own website and blog ‘The Real Michael Pullman’ that focuses on disability, sports, politics, and video game news. Michael uses events and his website to make a positive contribution to the disability community, to the                                                      youth disability community and to society in general by presenting                                       a positive message of what it means to be a young man affected                                     by disability.

Hayden Scott-Chambers (18) has been an active member of the Invercargill Youth Council since 2013. He has since attended a number of council meetings and even proposed the idea of having a bus card. This idea was happily enforced by the council and Hayden is working with staff to have his card become a multi-use card for other council services such as the local pool. Hayden has worked tirelessly to create positive change for the Invercargill community and continues to dedicate time to helping others.

Alice Dawson (18) has been involved with Rainbow Youth for around 5 years. While legally blind and deaf this has not stopped Alice from volunteering her time. She often acts as an intern/volunteer secretary as she handles day-to-day activities such as answering the phone, greeting people, cleaning, data entry, processing invoices and organising payments. She tends to be the first point of contact for many people who approach Rainbow Youth and she makes them feel very welcome. This is a crucial role to Rainbow Youth and                                            Alice is said to have made an amazing contribution to their                                            community.

 

Youth Group:

 

Te Ara Rangatahi o Ngati Te Ata run numerous events such as the Computers in Homes programme. This initiative enabled some families across the community to receive a free computer, computer skills and get connected to the internet for 12months. The group also supported Learner License Driver programmes, taught families how to catch whitebait, and provided leadership programmes for youth. The                                                               team members are helping to break the norms and are displaying through action that young people can be the catalyst and instigators for change. The impact of this has had a ripple effect on the abilities of other young people and whanau.

Selwyn Youth Council has contributed greatly to their community. The group of 13 young people aged 15-20 established POP Up Café. It is a non-profit organization that trains and employs local youth, then uses proceeds to distribute as youth grants. The group was also part of a project called Meet Your Street. They helped newcomers to the neighbourhood connect by visiting over 34 locations and serving free coffee to over 700 residents providing a fantastic opportunity for neighbours to meet. Because of its success Meet Your Street has been confirmed for next summer. The Youth Council are a passionate group of young people who wish for all young people in Selwyn to feel valued and connected to their communities.

Hurunui Youth Council consists of 13 members aged 14-19 years old who run a number of programmes and initiatives throughout the Hurunui District. They have helped with an anti-bullying programme in the area, and are currently running an initiative called Tech Labs. This project allows people to bring in their electronic devices and young volunteers try to help them learn how to use it. The HYC also oversee the running of the Hurunui Youth Programme which runs recreational, educational and cultural events across the district. They also identify road safety issues and have implemented a sugar-free beverage policy with the Hurunui Council for all events.

The Worthy Film Crew created short film "I am Worth It" which explored issues of identity, bullying and self-esteem. The crew is made up of 6 members aged 15-18. They won the Northland Youth Summit which enabled to them create a further short film "Youth Pride, Youth Passion, Youth Change" which focused on positive initiatives being led by young people for young people. They also organised community events to showcase the film. It was the hope of the group that both films would help to transform negative perceptions of youth and foster an appreciation of the positive contribution made by young people in this region.

Tahuna Pa Boys are a group of 20 or so young boys (aged 15-24) who, despite obstacle with employment and education, have come together to help out their community. The boys built a youth centre for their Marae which included the renovation of another building, cleaning mold and rat remains, and replacing doors, floors, walls and windows. They would begin their day early in the morning and wouldn’t stop until late afternoon/late evening- all with the use of their own tools, car headlights, etc. This space is now used for youth led initiatives, programmes and youth Hui. They simply wanted to contribute to their Iwi and the wider community “out of love."

 

Youth Champion:

 

Jamie Beaton (21) is the co-founder and CEO of Crimson Consulting, an education consultancy supporting young Kiwi’s to apply to learn at top-ranked universities around the world without being bound by their financial standing or geographic location. This year alone, Crimson secured 43 offers to New Zealand students to study at some of the best universities in the world. The organization currently has over 1000 tutors based around the globe to assist this process for students. At the age of 20 Jamie was also named one of the youngest                                           people to be admitted to Stanford Business School, and he is                                           set to graduate from Harvard this year with a degree in                                           Applied Mathematics-Economics and a Masters in Applied                                           Mathematics…two years ahead of schedule.

Devi Malhotra (23) is said to demonstrate great talent in alleviating poverty and contributing wholeheartedly to the community. Devi was co President, and is currently the Board of Director for Auckland Microfinance Initiative (AMI), a student led organization that creates positive social impact by trying to eradicate poverty in New Zealand and global communities through microfinance. The organization previously held 10                                          members and now thanks to Devi’s support it has over 400                                          members. She also has extended her efforts to help AMI                                          establish partnerships both locally and abroad- in New Zealand                                          with Kiwibank and the Auckland Council, and in Tonga, India,                                          Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Michael Bias (21) is a committed sportsman who not only is an Elite BMX rider, but provides assistance, coaching and advice to clubs across New Zealand. Due to the nature of the sport he doesn’t always have competitions, so he utilises this time to help other riders through coaching clinics and track development. His voluntary work has encouraged riders to stay in the sport longer and helped them to further enjoy and improve in the sport. Michael has been awarded Sportsman of the Year for his club in four consecutive years and has recently been selected by Cycling NZ to represent New Zealand at the                                         BMX World Championships in Colombia in May 2016.

Warren Feng (16) is an active member of the Albert Eden Youth Board. He has contributed positively to his society through programmes such as Gyropad, an educational workshop for primary school students across Auckland with the aim to alleviate the pressure of paper wastage. Warren is also the founder and CEO of Capucon, an association that helps secondary school students learn the basics of financial literacy and money management. Warren is a very passionate person who not only cares for primary school students and the environment, but for high schoolers’ ability to thrive.

Sticks n Stones are an organization that provides a platform for young people to have their voices heard, and empowers them to take positive action to stop bullying. With over 120 members aged 11-18, Sticks n Stones provide workshops, presentations and support for young people and their families, schools and community groups. The aims of these projects are to encourage positivity and to reduce online hate and bullying. These volunteers commit an average of 80-100 volunteer hours every year. To heighten their contribution to their community, Sticks n Stones work alongside other youth groups, Police, counsellors, health nurses, Mental Health and Youth Offending Teams to better support and educate people. Together, they create a positive message to youth to take action against bullying- both online and offline.

 

 

The 2015 Youth Week Awards winners are:

 

Youth with Disability:

   Rachel Berry was a Youth Worker Intern for Magnet at Deaf Aotearoa.    She organised a number of Deaf youth camps, running workshops on    leadership, identity, and social media. Rachel has also helped a number    of youth in Auckland transition from their last year in high school to    further study and/or work. Recently Rachel was made President of the    Auckland Deaf Youth Group. She has also been selected to represent    New Zealand at the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section Camp    in Turkey last July.

 

 

   Amber-Lee Lawrie organised a weekly wheelchair basketball    event with the help of the Auckland Wheelbreakers and Halberg New    Zealand. She contributes to raising awareness of disabilities by    speaking in front of the school about the wheelchair basketball event,    and in particular CanTeen. This year she has begun tutoring younger    students to help them with their NCEA exams.

 

 


   At 14 years old, Muskan Devta was already a published author,    radio host and international columnist while living with partial    hemiplegia. She donated the proceeds of her autobiography ‘I    Dream’ to Starship Hospital - $500 was raised through sales.    Muskan has aspirations of building a school in her homeland of    India for young women.






   Leroy Wilson-Sadler is a leader in his school community.    He is a member of the Student Support Centre at James    Hargest College and as such is a role model for all the other    students with Special Needs. As Captain of the Special    Olympics team he looks after a number of other Special    Needs students and he does so with a great deal of    empathy, patience and understanding.



   Emma Paton saw a gap in the support networks for young deaf    people in her area, especially once they had left school, so    helped establish a support group—Otago Deaf Youth. This group    helps young deaf people to participate in activities they might not    usually get the chance to do, and establish support networks.    Emma is bi-laterally profoundly deaf. Emma is talented in sports    and is ranked as the No.5 woman table tennis player in Otago. At    the recent Network Waitaki Sports Awards Emma won the Athlete    with a Disability Award and was a finalist in the Sports Person of    the Year Award.

 

 

ANZAC Youth: 

   Over the last year, Julie Russell has helped a significant number of    small communities around Southland research their war history,    beautify their war memorials, and plan World War I commemorative    celebrations. She is also an advisor to the Southland District Council    International Relations Committee, and she has been influential in    making trans-Tasman connections occur around the Anzac    commemorations.

 

 

 

   Over the past year, students from Alfriston College have re-created the landscape of 1915    Gallipoli in Minecraft, working with Auckland Museum staff. This project involved the    students working to a brief to create an education resource that could be used in schools by    teachers and students and help young people to connect and learn about the events in    Gallipoli.

 

   Over the past year Grace Brebner has written four songs about    World War I and the impact it has at a human level. These songs    have been performed at many locations and have encouraged other    students to write and perform music. Grace has volunteered    several hundred hours composing, rehearsing and performing her    songs to raise awareness of World War I and the ANZACs. As a    result she has been asked to be a Youth Peace Ambassador for The    Peace Foundation NZ.





   The students of the 2015 OneChance Youth Project    (OCYP) created a free event to commemorate the    centennial anniversary of World War I in    remembrance of our fallen soldiers by hosting the    OCYP Anzac Kite Festival on Anzac Day. They    involved other trusts and organisations from Rotorua    to be involved such as Rotorua Youth Voices, the    Intergenerational Project and John Paul College    Musical team.


   Lucy Xie has been instrumental in establishing the MEMRIBOX    Project. This project aims to capture on video the war time    stories of our remaining World War II veterans. She has    involved youth volunteers who had little understanding of    subsequent conflicts let alone World Wars I and II.

 

 

 

 

 

Change Maker:

   Josiah Tualamali'i has made a positive contribution to his    community by promoting youth participation and advocacy,    diversity, and the voice of Pacific Youth. Josiah is also the    Chairperson of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation    Council (PYLAT). He works hard to enhance the wellbeing of    Pacific Youth in all aspects and ensure their voices are being    heard in decision-making. He is also the Pasifika Youth Guide for    Youth Voice Canterbury and recently joined the Ministry of Youth    Development’s Youth Advisory Group.

 



   Sharnay Cocup is the youth co-ordinator of the Taupiri Youth Group.    Under her leadership this youth group has encouraged local young    people to do good things and believe in themselves; to show them that    anything is possible to achieve. The Waikato District Council is working    hand-in-hand with her and the Taupiri Youth Group. People and    businesses are now starting to get involved and support the youth in    their community.





   Charlizza Harris founded 2FACE Drama in 2012 to build    leadership and life skills amongst young people in order for them    to share their knowledge of kapahaka, choreography, drama and      music. Charlizza's philosophy is to encourage other youth to take    on leadership positions, and by empowering volunteers through    understanding the principles of youth development. Between    2009-2012 she created three companies through the Young    Enterprise Scheme that were focused on addressing social issues    affecting young people in her community.


   In early 2012, Shreya Geiji started Prayas Youth Theatre. The    youth theatre company formed as a response to a stifled local    theatre industry that had little space and opportunity for young    ethnic Kiwis to explore their creative interests. The theatre    company was invited by a local NGO ‘Shakti’ to perform at their    annual fundraiser, where Shreya devised, wrote, produced and    directed a play on domestic violence, narrating the story of a    victim’s journey from oppression to emancipation through dialogue    and dance.



   Katerina Clark has been a volunteer with    RainbowYOUTH since March 2014 started a peer    support group for young queer and trans people in    Tauranga. The group, called TaurangaPryde, this is the    first group for young queer and trans people in    Tauranga. Kat has worked hard over the last year to    create a safe and supportive group for the local    Tauranga LGBT+ community. She has put endless    amounts of time and effort in to get the group                                                      established.

 

 

Leadership:

   Anneke Van Heyningen founded the organisation “Special    Friends” in 2012 when she was 12 years old. Driven by her own    experiences in hospital, she wanted to provide a service that    brought happiness to other children and young people    in long term care. Anneke is also involved with volunteering    services through her school, encouraging other young people to    support those who are most in need. Last year she was awarded    a philanthropy award for her contributions.

 

 

 


   Florence Reynolds founded the youth organization “Plastic Diet”,    dedicated to addressing the issue of plastic pollution in New    Zealand. The initiative also provides young people with    opportunities to build volunteering and leadership skills. Florence    has participated in the Live the Dream youth social enterprise    challenge and has received a University of Auckland “Blue”    Leadership award.

 

 

 

 


   Kate Lunn is founder of internet blog site “We Are Hamilton”,    which provides an unfiltered voice for Hamilton’s diverse and    under represented youth population. This has inspired many young    Hamiltonians to take ownership of their community through civic    participation. Alongside her own study commitments, Kate is also    deputy chair of the Hamilton Youth Council Advisory Panel, a    director on the board of the Waikato Students' Union and vice    president of education on the Waikato Law Students' Association.




   Gina Yukich was the co-ordinator for the Aotearoa Youth    Declaration 2015 conference, which provided a platform for young    New Zealanders to voice their opinions on a range of public policy    areas. Her leadership role in this initiative not only engaged a    number of significant organisations around Auckland but also    provided young people with the chance to learn more about civics    education and youth advocacy. Gina is also involved in UN Youth    and volunteers for a number of causes including the P3 Foundation.


   Ben Dowdle founded Unmask Palm Oil with the aim of changing    Australian and New Zealand food labelling laws. He has since become    an expert speaker on this issue, regularly travelling around New    Zealand and Australia to lead discussions on sustainable practices. Ben    is a former ambassador for UNICEF New Zealand, has been on the    Auckland Youth Advisory Panel and was the sole youth representative    to the Auckland Social Policy Forum. Ben was also semi-finalist for the    2015 Young New Zealander of the Year award.

 

 

 

 

Giving Back:

   Natalie Germann gives back to her community in many ways.    She volunteers in crisis support at Youthline, co-ordinates activities    at Auckland City Hospital’s Acute Mental Health Ward and is a    volunteer prison mentor. She also assists at Starjam which run    musical workshops for youth with disabilities, and fundraises for    Rotaract In addition, she is a student representative on Auckland    University’s Ethics committee, and a member of the Post-Graduate    Student Association. Natalie is employed in alcohol and drug    rehabilitation services (Odyssey House), as well as in youth respite    care for mental health, while training to become a clinical    psychologist.



   Since February 2011 Chelsea Dowling has volunteered over    500 hours at Youthline Central North Island. She has become    our first volunteer to pass on her knowledge to train our new    mentors, assisting Youthline to plan new training programmes    that will provide consistency across the teams. Chelsea also    helps out with Youthline’s seminars for schools and    community groups in addition to studying towards a Doctorate    in Clinical Psychology at Massey University.



   Sulani Helg gives back to her community in many ways. She    is a Youth Ambassador for Rheumatic Fever and Save the    Children and a member of the Youth Advisory Group for the    Ministry of Youth Development. Sulani plays a large role in    Manurewa High School where she is part of Humanitarian Aid    Leadership Programme, is a student representative on the    school Board of Trustees and runs the Breakfast Club, which    organises donations of food and provides nutritious breakfasts    for all students.




   At the age of 15 Leah Hoffman successfully completed the    2014 Youth in Emergency Services programme. On her 16th    birthday Leah joined the Ngongotaha Volunteer Fire Brigade as    a recruit Fire Fighter. Call outs range from motor vehicle    accidents, medical calls, and hazardous substance calls through    to actual structure fires. Leah always has her hand up for local    community events and those activities outside the area - Kiwi    Culture Day, A&P Show, fundraising for Blood cancer and    leukemia and many others.






   In her last two years Gabby Devine put smiles on the faces of    kids with cancer by sending them boredom boxes, giving out super    hero capes, and handing out goodies on the ward all the while    going through cancer treatment herself. Gabby created a Facebook    page called "Starlit HOPE" which provides random acts of kindness    to oncology families in Starship and New Plymouth hospital. Sadly    Gabby passed away last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working for Youth:

   Emma Dolfing leads a group of around 20 young people in drama    and film related activities teaching them skills in these areas. She    has a great ability to motivate, engage and positively influence    others. She has completed short film which promoted the    environmental sustainability of the paua population at Tauroa point    near Ahipara. Environmental education is an identified need for that    community. Emma has also directed numerous drama productions    including some with a charity focus in which she has raised funds    for young people with cancer in the Te Hiku community. Emma also    promoted and supported “Shave for a Cure”.




   Katerina Clark is an active member of RainbowYOUTH,    working closely with her local group “Tauranga Pryde”.    Balancing study and work with her efforts in the    community, Katerina has proven her commitment to    giving young LGBT+ people a voice. As a mentor,    facilitator and leader, Katerina has played a significant    role in helping the youth LGBT+ community in Tauranga    feel safe, confident and free to be themselves.


   Rebecca Wan has dedicated her time to providing opportunities for    young people. She recently founded the New Zealand Secondary    Schools’ Art Competition and has helped create an international    student buddy and mentoring programme through her school.    Rebecca is also a volunteer for Trade Aid and Sistema Aotearoa,    highlighting her passion for fair trade, human rights and helping       underprivileged young people get ahead by learning music.

 

 



   Recognising unemployment as being one of the biggest issues    affecting young people, Liam McLeavy founded “Youth Jobs    Horowhenua”, an initiative aimed at helping young people find jobs    in the Horowhenua district. Liam is the deputy chairperson of the    Horowhenua Youth Council and provided a youth voice on local    government issues including the Horowhenua Psychoactive    Substances Policy. He is also a member of the Ministry of Youth    Development’s Youth Advisory Group.



   As a student leader, mentor, project co-ordinator and facilitator,    Catherine Chen has been actively involved in promoting    environmental sustainability throughout the Auckland region.    Catherine is also a strong advocate for youth leadership and    volunteering, founding non-profit organisation Asia-Pacific Connection.    Alongside her commitment to environmental sustainability, Catherine    is also a tutor at InZone, helping young Māori and Pacific students    become empowered through education.

 

 

 

 

Youth Group:

   The Plastic Bottle Kayak team have done amazing work raising awareness throughout    New Zealand (and around the world) about the need for sustainability by juxtaposing the    prevalence of waste with the beautiful environments that we value. The awe-inspiring    expeditions show off some of the most beautiful parts of Aotearoa’s environment in kayaks     made from plastic bottles which has generated a large amount of media interest.

 


   Wellington based 2Face Drama developed initiatives to raise awareness around alcohol    and violence, using performing arts as the platform to promote social change. Over 2,000    people saw the production, 'A Christmas Dream' which was produced by young people with    lived experience of alcohol and violence. Ongoing work has grown from this initiative.


   Christchurch Youth Council exists to support a stronger youth voice in the Christchurch    area. It does this by hosting events, running consultations, writing submissions and creating    a safe environment for young people to have their say about the rebuild. The group’s    activities have ranged from working behind the scenes in the youth sector to contribute to    Youth Voice Canterbury, to organising and running face-to-face events in the local    community, to learning how to become an incorporated society that works on a professional    level.


   Ruapehu Youth Council’s mission is to enable young people in Ruapehu to be adequately    represented in order to aid the development of their individual potential and their    community’s wellbeing. The Ruapehu Youth Council is made up of youth ambassadors from    Waimarino-Waiouru and Taumarunui-Ohura. Projects have included seeking funding for    buying and distributing Christmas presents to those in need. This is part of wider work on    poverty.


   Limitless Youth Leadership Group is made up of young people from Manurewa Marae    who wish to help other young people in Manurewa. One of their goals is to discourage    young people from falling into negative activities such as drugs, alcohol and gang-related    activities which have a high prevalence in Manurewa. They have coordinated youth-led    events in the community based on their own ideas and aspirations for other young people in    Manurewa.

 

 

 

Youth Champion:

   Raven Maeder developed a youth based, interschool    environmental actions group, Nelson Youth Climate Action, after    attending New Zealand’s first Youth Climate Summit in 2012. The    Nelson Youth Climate Action Group now has 130 online members.    Raven has taken on a very active and positive role towards    making youth aware of environmental issues and the actions they    can take.






   The SavY Charitable Trust management team of 15 volunteer university students has    worked tirelessly and passionately to help build young New Zealanders financial literacy    skills. In addition to their studies, the team has developed free financial literacy (money      management) workshops, trained and managed 40+ student facilitators, and facilitated    more than 250 workshops with young people.


   Xavier Muao Breed does a lot to get Maori/Pasifika youth involved    within our community, and promotes a culturally diverse and    accepting view. He organised the attendance of Kura Kaupapa students    at the Aotearoa Youth Declaration 2015 and New Zealand Model United    Nations 2014. Xavier is the Maori/Pasifika Liaison for UNYouth    Auckland.

 

 

 


   Fenella Colyer is a teacher at Manurewa High School where she has    raised the profile of science, especially physics, among South Auckland    students. In the past four years 51 of her students have won awards,    trips, camps and competitions, and Fenella gained $100,000 for the    school in the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Award 2013.





   The Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute is a    volunteer-run organisation that exists to connect    young New Zealanders to opportunities that grow    their leadership skills. The Institute is training and    inspiring a new generation of New Zealand leaders by    giving them the opportunity to attend the world’s    most significant international conferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2014 Youth Week Awards winners are:

 

Change Maker:

   Lani Alo made a huge impact in the area of performing arts and    youth mentoring. He was working on Project K (an arts programme)    as a team leader, where he was in charge of developing a resource    that creates a series of narratives.
   Lani has also been involved in New Zealand and Australia with the    White Ribbon campaign and the Dunedin Fringe Festival.

 

 

 

 

   Arianna Cudby co-wrote a song in Te Reo Maori about losing    her cousin to suicide in 2011. The song provided key messages    about the pain she and her whanau experienced.
   In 2014 Arianna was invited to tour with Mike King, as a duet, to    sing this song and talk about her experiences.

 

 

 

 

 


   Taylor Finderup was a volunteer for a number of    organisations, including Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to    Animals (SPCA), Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) and    Helping You Help Animals (HUHA). She dedicated her life outside    of school to animal rights. Her biggest focus though is the    marine environment.
   She has presented over 78,000 signatures to MP’s at Parliament    to stop shark finning. She has rallied her community and other    young people to get behind this cause.

 

 

 

   Serena Lal has been involved in a number of organisations. She    was the Event Manager at St John, Uniguide Leader and Equity    Officer at Auckland University, Companion at Camp Quality, and     worked with the P3 Foundation.
   Serena’s passion is in development and ethical actions which is    demonstrated through her work with the Global Poverty Project.

 

 

 

 

 

   Wei Cheng Phee has been part of a number of projects during    his time with Enactus.
   Enactus aims to improve the quality of life of people through    entrepreneurial actions taken by students at university.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Nakita Turner overcame bullying during her first public    performance. From this experience she vowed never to perform    again. Now Nakita is a successful songwriter and performer.
   Her song ‘One Voice’ is a YouTube sensation with over 50,000    views. This song, alongside the website www.onevoice.net.nz    has inspired and encouraged others to talk about bullying in New    Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Back:

   Ronan Fitch volunteered to be one of the main speakers at the    Matamata ANZAC Day service. He was then asked to be part of    the next ANZAC Day service in the next town over and he    agreed.
   Ronan is active in many parts of the Matamata community but    not necessarily through organised groups, often doing small    things regularly, like helping out younger people in the library.

   Ronan was also  an award recipient in the 2016 Youth Week    Awards.

 

 


   Nicholas Humphries was involved with The Kids Restore the    Kepler (KRTK) project since its conception, working on the    organising committee to get the project off the ground.
   Nicholas was on the leadership team, and worked with other    students to teach them the vital skills they needed to help with    the pest issue.
   Nicholas was also involved with The Save Fiordland campaign,    by being very active on social media.

 

 

 

 

   Grady Murphy was a leader of the Timberlea Youth Programme    for over two years. He has given many hours to help run events    in the local community.
   Grady gave up the chance to go on a school trip so he could stay    and help organise events in the town. He thought it would be    wrong for him to get to go away, when others do not have the    same opportunities.

 

 

 

 

   Eve Siania has been a leader in her local bakers club since she    started high school. This club allows different schools to come    together once a week to learn how to read and work with others.
   She teaches young people how to be safe in the kitchen, food    hygiene and how to eat healthy.
   Eve was also involved in the local rugby team, ran the ’Its cool    to stay in school’ and other community events.

 

 

 

 

   Cameron Russell started volunteering for the Familial Trust    Children's Group when he was 15. This is a group for young    children who experience difficult family circumstances with    addiction issues.
   Cameron has used his past family experiences to help other    young people. He taught these young children how to make    positive decisions at school and at home.

 

 

 

 

   Chrislynn Soong started the Christchurch Baking Army, after    the 2011 earthquakes. This was so she and others who did not    have the physical capabilities for more phyiscal work could still    help during the clean up. The Army managed to bake over    15,000 items.
   The Baking Army is still strong, working throughout the    community and reactivated during the Christchurch floods.

 

 

 

  

 

Leadership:

   Alice Craig is a ranger with Girl Guides and is working towards    her Queen Guide Award, which involves completing a leadership    certificate. Alice committed to weekly sessions, helped lead the    unit and engaged with the younger girls as a role model.
   Alice was also involved in the broader community with Cancer    Week, worked with the Returned Services Association and was    involved in ANZAC Day preparations.

 

 

 

 


   Joe Gatland was heavily involved with Rainbow Youth. He    undertook the roles of Treasurer, Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary    due to temporary issues outside of his control.
   Joe has worked above and beyond what a person would be    expected to do, to ensure that Rainbow Youth had the structure    and means to serve the community. He is always willing to help    the organisation wherever possible.

 

 

 

 

   Aaron Hape has been involved with Commonwealth Youth New    Zealand (CYNZ) since his last year of high school. In 2013 he    spearheaded a major restructure of the governance and    workings of CYNZ.
   CYNZ is a youth-run and led organisation that helps young New    Zealanders interact and influence senior Commonwealth leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

   Gibson Harris has been involved in a number of youth and    community initiatives. These include; the Prime Minister’s Youth    Programme, the Vodafone World of Difference Programme,    Phoenix Preforming Arts, the White Ribbon Campaign and more.
   Gibson has made huge contributions in each of the above    programmes and is viewed by his peers as a positive role    model.

 

 

 

 

   Brad Olsen has been a founding member of Whangarei District    Council’s Youth Advisory Group and was the Chairman. Brad is a    motivator and a prime member within the Youth Advisory Group    and has contributed to major Whangarei initiatives.

   Brad’s local civic engagement has not been restricted to the    Youth Advisory Group, he is involved in many youth    organisations throughout Whangarei.

 

 

  


   Tess Vandenburg saw the lack of options given to Lesbian Gay    Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) youth who wished to    meet others of their community. Because of this Tess established    Breaking Boundaries, an online forum for LGBTI youth and allies    to find support and friendship in a safe online environment.
   As the creator and leader, Tess ran the small team of volunteers    as well as advertising and spreading awareness of the forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working for Youth:

    Michelle Atkinson is a leader and advocate for youth mental    health. She draws on her own experience of mental distress to    improve the experiences of others.
   She is part of a youth led, and youth run, mental health    development group called Affinity Services.

 

 

 

 

 

   Tane Bennett gives up his time to coach and mentor young    basketball players.
   He was a voluntary coach at Tauranga Girls’ College and    volunteered with Tauranga City Basketball as a representative    coach.
   He was also an ACC Ambassador with their Summer without    Substance programme.

 

 

 

 

   Vinnie Bennett was a young theatre practitioner who has    worked with Nga Rangatahi Toa.
   He has developed an interactive communication and arts based    program to underpin the rangatahi personal development that    goes into a creative wide art project.

 

 

 

 

 

   Jade Leung was the CEO and is now a trustee of the P3    Foundation. She was also a National Director of P3 which saw    her to lead the executive team in the operational groundwork    through long term visioning, strategic planning and goal setting.
   This group aims to end educational inequality by creating    highly motivated, well rounded and diverse youth who support    other students.

 

 

 

 

   Victor Li was involved in a number of community based    projects.
   His biggest impact in 2014 was in the New Zealand    Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition. Victor created this    competition with the Auckland Council and AUT Business School.
   He also tutored young students, worked with local primary    schools and with local chess clubs.

 

 

 

 

   Abbey Luff is always busy organising something for the young    people in the community of Waverley to do. She    coordinated many different events including “Waverley’s Got    Talent”, Netball competitions and a Triathlon.
   Abbey also volunteered at Waverley Primary School and the    Waverley Swimming Club.