Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards Winners

2011 Leadership Award winner- Nadeen Papali’i

Otara resident Nadeen used her award to offset her tuition fees for a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Nadeen’s thesis is water quality in developing countries - a practical topic she is passionate about and keen to implement in the Pacific and other developing countries around the world.

2011 Inspiration Award winner- Jessica Papali’i-Curtain

Jessica used her $5000 award money to travel with her husband to Cambodia in early 2012, where they volunteered at a training centre and orphanage for children. During her time in Cambodia she screened hundreds of patients to assess their health. Her ultimate aim is to use her medical training to address Pacific peoples’ health issues in New Zealand, and in the Pacific.

2011 Innovation Award winner- Cameron Hoare

At 17 years old, Cameron was the youngest of the Award winners last year and embarked on his 32-week pre-employment aircraft maintenance training programme in January. Cameron completed the training programme on October 19 and says it has increased his desire to enter into a career in aviation. Having already qualified to be a glider pilot, he is now working towards his private pilot’s licence with a long-term goal of becoming a commercial pilot.

2011 Inspiration Award winner- Brandon Jackson

Winning the award gave Brandon more motivation to continue his study towards a Bachelor degree in human services. With his studies completed at the end of 2012, he plans to use his award money to fund a trip to United States of America to work in youth centres and undertake further study. His ultimate goal is to become a youth worker in his home community of Otara.

2011 Inspiration Award winner- Joyce Toleafoa

In 2013, Joyce will finish her education degree with a major in primary school education and plans to travel to French Polynesia to visit primary schools. She hopes to work on projects with local schools in the region and bring fresh teaching ideas back to New Zealand.

2011 Creativity Award winner-Mark Dewes

Mark has shown huge determination and commitment to securing this award. He says being shortlisted last year gave him a huge boost in confidence and the will to try again. Since then he has further developed his skills through part-time work with Glasshammer Studios in Auckland. He knows he is one of the lucky ones, and says the best way of honouring that is by working very hard and always remembering that he should take nothing for granted.  Mark has other part-time employment as well and regards working seven days a week as good practice for his internship at Weta Workshop.