Image: (Top left to right) Tamara Elliot, Kaden Solly & Lifeimi Nau. (Bottom left to right) Stan Whata, Lathan Pekeur & Jasmine Ah Mai
Honouring young kiwis and the people who support them
On Monday the 7th of November, we celebrated 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.
Our National Excellence Awards are known for recognising the next generation of successful young Kiwis – for all they’ve accomplished and overcome, as well as their personal growth and future prospects. The Awards also honour dedicated Foundation volunteers and employees who have dedicated so much of their lives to Aotearoa’s youth.
The Graeme Dingle Foundation Auckland is incredibly proud to have winners in five of the categories. Including students, a school and a member of our staff. As well as a winner in each programme.
Kiwi Can Outstanding School Award
Koru School – Auckland
“Koru School has clearly demonstrated long term commitment to the Kiwi Can programme and to it leaders over an impressive 17 years integrating Kiwi Can values into the school vision” – Judges comment on Koru School
Stan Whata, the principal of Koru School, delivered a speech about the values taught in the Koru School curriculum. Designed to teach previously vulnerable students how to overcome social injustice, unconscious bias, racism, and poverty. Koru School’s vision and values are intertwined and supported by Kiwi Can.
“The role of Kiwi Can in our school helps us to do this by empowering our students. Asking them to be curious, courageous, ambitious, collaborative and critical thinkers. We ask them to think about themselves, the people on either side of them and the people around them.” – Stan Whata
Project K – Excellence Award
Kaden Solly – Auckland
Lifeimi Nau – Auckland
To win a Project K Excellence Award, Project K participants must have made significant progress in their self-confidence, initiative, positive thinking, and goal achievement, as well as acted as a role model in their local community.
Our two Auckland winners attend One Tree Hill College. Kaden spoke at the awards and shared his transformational journey with Project K;
“I think that through my project k experience I’ve developed a ‘give it a go’ attitude. For example, one of my classmates on the wilderness adventure introduced me to chess. I started to play it regularly and slowly improved. It was pretty fun. Awhile later I found out about a chess tournament and I decided to enter. It wasn’t really anything I’d consider doing before Project K. At the end of the tournament I actually ended up winning it and I was pretty surprised and proud of myself. This experience gave me confidence, I could never have imagined to win a tournament like that before project k.” – Kaden Solly
Outstanding Programme Coordinator Award
Tamara Elliot – Auckland
Our programmes rely on strong coordination and management. The foundation is lucky to have a network of strong coordinators across the country. They are the glue that keeps it together and makes it happen. This award acknowledges outstanding programme coordinators.
“This nominee embodies everything that we might hope a leader of our programmes stands to represent. They occupy space within their community with mana.” – Judge
Tamara is a strong, caring and dedicated programme coordinator who embodies kotahitanga. At the awards Tamara asked for the Auckland team to join her on stage as the team working together is what makes everything happen.
“What inspires me? It is most definitely the people, especially our young. It is a privilege to empower and walk along the journey of our young people. Through encouragement and guidance, we get to celebrate the changing moments.” – Tamara Elliot
Stars – Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor
Lathan Pekeur – Auckland
The Stars programme supports young people as they transition into High School with senior students taking the role of Peer Mentors. Stars encourages leadership and this award is for an outstanding contribution from a peer mentor. To be nominated in this category our Stars peer mentors will have demonstrated leadership and positive mentoring and role modelling to other peer mentors and young people within the programme.
“I’m impressed with their commitment to the programme and the mentees. They show strength of character and know when to delegate. They clearly are a young person who is ‘there’ for people.” – Judges comment on the winners
Career Navigator – Outstanding Achievement of a Participant
Jasmine Ah Mai – Auckland
To be nominated for this award our Career Navigator graduates needed to have actively sought opportunities to help ready them for a career. They need to have demonstrated leadership and have great work ethic and prove that they are on track to achieve their goals
“So exciting to see a young person who felt disengaged embrace the opportunities that were presented to them and then strive to achieve the best outcome for their future. I admire your level of engagement and commitment.” – Judges comment on the winners
You can view a full list of the National Excellence Award recipients here.