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Hutt City Youth Awards 2016

The 2016 Hutt City Youth Awards were held on the 21st of September at Weltec in Petone.

2016 Winners

Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners!

The Label & Litho Hutt City Youth Award for Leadership


WINNER: Soe Sola of Naenae –  for the leadership she provides to her peers at Naenae College, including championing bicultural values, leading the homework centre, volunteering with Students Against Drink Driving and the school’s prospectus design group, and being elected Head Girl of the school.


The Hutt News Hutt City Youth Award for Contribution to Sport


WINNER: Rory Woolet of Petone –  for his dedication to the Petone Rugby Club, where his roles include refereeing games (including those of much older players), setting up and packing away fields and changing rooms, supervising children while their parents are engaged in club activities, helping run Club school holiday programmes and helping out at registration and Prizegiving.

The Westpac Hutt City Youth Award for Overcoming Adversity


WINNER: Rakshana Sugath Chandrasiri of Lower Hutt – for his success in developing a career in banking and entrepreneurship despite having arrived in New Zealand as a refugee with very limited English and no education only four years ago.


The GNS Science Hutt City Youth Award for Science and Technology


WINNER: Lucy Chen of Lower Hutt- for her organising of an event for secondary students promoting careers in engineering. The event included activities in aviation, coding, robotics and humanitarian engineering projects, and also featured high-profile speakers from the STEMM industry.


The Youth Infusion Hutt City Youth Award for Embracing Diversity


WINNER: Rachel Rickard of Taita – for her services in bringing a grieving community together after a tragedy, by creating an event where many people of very different backgrounds could come together for mutual support.


The WelTec Hutt City Youth Award for Service to the Community


WINNER: Michaela Judson of Lower Hutt – for her service as a St John Cadet, during which she has been selected as the District Cadet of the Year, has achieved Grand Prior status, taught first aid to children, and logged more than 200 hours of community service with retirement homes and charities such as Te Omanga Hospice. She also represented New Zealand at a St John Youth event in Hong Kong, at which she won every event she competed in.


The Hodge Group Hutt City Youth Award for Entrepreneurship 


WINNER: Joel Alheit of Naenae – for establishing his own stock photography and design business, through which he employs and trains young peers who contribute photography. He also volunteers at Taita Clubhouse, teaching Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to intermediate-aged students in his spare time.


The Goodtime Music Academy Hutt City Youth Award for The Arts

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WINNER: Julian Dennison of Naenae – for his achievements in acting, most notably in a key role in Hunt for the Wilderpeople which has broken New Zealand box office records and was screened in cinemas all over the world. Julian is also an ambassador for Maori Language Week.


Inaugural Awards Ceremony


The inaugural Hutt City Youth Awards ceremony were held on Thursday 3 December 2015 at Boulcott’s Farm Golf Club.

2015 Winners


The Label & Litho Hutt City Youth Award for Leadership


WINNER: Giselle Promise Iradukunda of Stokes Valley – for providing exemplary leadership of her peers through advocacy against bullying, assisting special needs students, captaincy of sports and dance groups, and leadership in fundraising.

The Dowse Art Museum Hutt City Youth Award for The Arts


WINNER: Shae Berney of Epuni – for his achievements in achievements in ballet including being awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Harid Conservatory in Florida.


The Westpac Hutt City Youth Award for  Overcoming Adversity


WINNERS: Keegan O’Kane-Jones of Wainuiomata – for having overcome significant social barriers and challenges to represent New Zealand in Boxing at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015.

Jared Gillies of Woburn – for overcoming physical disabilities to become a mentor for other students, achieving NCEA Level 3, and developing the ambition to work in Early Childhood Education.

Harmony Daly of Fairfield – for overcoming family challenges and tragedies to become a peer advocate and youth coach, excelling in her education, and providing significant support to her family and peers.

The Hodge Group Hutt City Youth Award for Entrepreneurship


WINNER: Lilia Alexander of Lower Hutt – for her involvement in several start-ups including Tash Gelato, Wellington – LIVE, YouCreate, and her participation in Young Enterprise Scheme, Creative HQ and Start-Up Weekend Wellington.

The WelTec Hutt City Youth Award for Service to the Community


WINNER: Rosalina Sitagata of Naenae – for her volunteer work as an netball umpire for many primary and intermediate school games, including training junior umpires and fundraising for junior sports teams.

The GNS Science Hutt City Youth Award for Science and Technology


WINNER: Nicholas Hyland of Lower Hutt – for creating a free iPhone app, ‘Wellington Now’ which provides real-time updates on traffic, public transport, weather, disasters, and more.

The Ignite Sport Hutt City Youth Award for Service to Sport


WINNER: Diana Oloapu, of Naenae – for her unfailing support of several junior sports teams across a number of codes, including refereeing, mentorship, organising inter-whānau sport competitions, and assisting in any way necessary including refilling water bottles etc.


The Natraj School of Dance Hutt City Youth Award for Tolerance and Diversity

WINNER: Nathaniel Hailemariam of Lower Hutt – for his work representing Ethiopians (including representing New Zealand in U15, U17 and U19 football, and coaching Lower Hutt primary school football teams), and fundraising for supplies and air freight to Ethiopia.

Photos by Brady Dyer.