In The Driving Seat
This is your life, and you get to make the decisions for what happens.
A resounding message from guest speaker Marina Shearer who spoke at the Secondary School Achievers ceremony yesterday evening at Hawarden Rugby Club.
First established in 2000, this Fund was established by Hurunui District Council to help current school students from Year 11-13 who are going on to further study in the following year. The funds are predominantly used for accommodation costs, scholarship travel expenses, purchases of text books or electronic equipment.
HDC grant $10,000 annually to the fund and Council’s legal advisors Buddle Findlay have generously sponsored the scheme by $1500 for the last two years.
To date, 128 young people have received grants and this year saw 19 applicants – the biggest number ever.
This year eight recipients received grants which they will use in 2022, and all have displayed excellent values in community service around the Hurunui District, a large factor taken into account by the panel of judges comprising Councillors Geoff Shier and Nicky Anderson, a representative from Buddle Findlay Anna Wishart, a Youth Council representative Millie McIlraith and three independent members Anne Costello from Hawarden, Judy Meikle from Waiau and Gwyn Williams from Amberley.
Up on stage included Angus Gardner from Culverden who has been recently accepted for a cadetship at Smedley Station in Waipukurau. He was awarded one of 13 positions from more than 100 applicants, his farm training beginning in January 2022 involving a two year programme including both practical and academic training; Celine Barnes from Mt Lyford who is embarking on her first year of Health Science in 2022 with the aim to be selected for the study of medicine; Erin Park-Lilly from Amberley who will study a double degree in criminology and psychology at Victoria University in Wellington with the eventual goal of joining the police force; Esme Hewitt from Hanmer Springs who will study at the University of Otago to one day become a forensic anthropologist; Lily McQuillan Reese who has lived in Hawarden and Amberley will study a double degree combining Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability to reach her goal of becoming a lawyer or policy adviser in the area of social and environmental justice; Ruby Gill-Clifford from Amberley will study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environmental Science and Chemistry at Canterbury University whilst continuing with her study of Te Reo and further developing her understanding of Matauranga Maori especially in conjunction with western science; Samantha Moriarty from Cheviot is passionate about nursing and looking after people andwill study a Bachelor of Nursing at Ara in Christchurch to eventually embark into midwifery or pediatric nursing; and Stephanie Redepenning from Amberley will study at a flight school in New Zealand in 2022 to gain her commercial pilot license however she must complete her Private Pilot License first, then she plans to work towards a Flight Instructor Rating and says her dream is to be the woman who flies and helps people.
Each recipient had a huge smile on their face as they received their award from Mayor Marie Black, and took a moment to congratulate their fellow students, thank the Council and Buddle Findlay, and express their excitement for what lies ahead.
“Thank you Hurunui District Council, from all of us. The opportunities this is giving us is so amazing, I’m so excited to use it,” said Celine Barnes.
Presenting these Awards is one of the highlights of Mayor Black’s year, who was in awe of the high level of achievement and vision from our young people in Hurunui.
“This is about the real strength of your foresight, and passion to be what you want to be,” she said.
Marina Shearer is co-Director of THRIVE FOR GIRLS, and presented to the room two analogies for navigating crossroads while pursuing goals, life and dreams.
“You need two skills, you need Grit, and you need to be able to Pivot.”
GRIT; Grow, Rebound, Improvement, and Try again.
And then she talked about PIVOT; Proceed, Innovate, Vacate, Organise, and Think.
“Sometimes you will choose to GRIT, sometimes you will choose to PIVOT. Own your decision, and it will help you line up your best life.”
Back row, left to right:
Angus Gardner, Ruby Gill-Clifford, Lily McQuillan Reese, Celine Barnes, Mayor Marie Black.
Front row, left to right:
Erin Park-Lilly, Esme Hewitt, Stephanie Redpenning, Samantha Moriarty.