Graeme Dingle Excellence Awards 2021

Honouring Exceptional Young Kiwis

In another year where COVID-19 has tested the resolve of New Zealanders, a group of young Kiwis, mentors, volunteers and leaders celebrated their exceptional resilience in the face of adversity at the Graeme Dingle Foundation 2021 Excellence Awards, held via a live stream across Aotearoa New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

On Monday the 15th of November, we celebrate more than 28,000 students and others across the country who have been involved in the Foundation’s various youth development programmes including Kiwi Can, Stars, Career Navigator and Project K over the previous 12 months. The event was sponsored by the Foundation’s longstanding sponsor, the Stride Property Group.

This is the 26th year since mountaineer and outdoor education pioneer Sir Graeme Dingle and his partner Jo-anne Wilkinson founded the not-for-profit organisation with the intention to help Kiwi children and young people develop mental fitness and resilience through self-belief, so that ultimately young people believe that ‘what they have inside is greater than any obstacle’.

Many of the amazing young people celebrated last night have bounced back from hardship and conquered immense challenges to chart a positive course through life, steered towards self-belief by the Foundation’s transformational programmes, and the positive impact the Foundation has had on their lives.

Sir Graeme Dingle, says this year’s Awards, coming at a time when COVID-19 has changed lives throughout the world, perfectly showcase what the Foundation lives and breathes – teaching young people to be resilient.

Sir Graeme says the Awards are an opportunity to celebrate this country’s future – our children and our young people.

The annual Excellence Awards began life as the Project K Outstanding Student Award and were first hosted by Governor General, Dame Sylvia Cartwright, in 2000.

To view the full live stream, please click here


The full list of 2021 Award Recipients is as follows:

Kiwi Can Outstanding School Award

Te Paina School – Auckland

Sponsored by Mitre 10

Kiwi Can - Outstanding Team Leader Award

Matthew Ellis and Jasmine Riley – Western Bay of Plenty

Sponsored by New Zealand Steel

Stars - Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor

Nicole Geyser – Marlborough

Nazia Wadan – Auckland

Haneen Amin – Auckland

Te Awanui Beazley – Waikato

Sponsored by Stride

Career Navigator - Outstanding Achievement of a Student

Hannah Ansley – Marlborough

Annea Timms – Waikato

Sponsored by SAP

Project K - Excellence Award

Maia Latham – Western Bay of Plenty

William Storer – Canterbury

Lynette Vunisa – Auckland

Teina Anderson – Auckland

Sponsored by Bidfood

Outstanding Programme Coordinator Award

Rachel Anderson – Marlborough

Sponsored by National Mini Storage

Outstanding Contribution from a Volunteer Award

Mark Dingle – Canterbury

Sponsored by AIG

Kiwi Tahi Award

CJ Edwards – Auckland

Rico Bell – Auckland

Programme Funded by Foundation North

MYND Youth Achievement Award

Isaaka Teao – Auckland

Sponsored by Lion

Highly Commended Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award

Jamie Hood – Auckland

Sponsored by Milford Foundation