Four Marlborough young people are the recipients of the 2019 Youth Civic Awards presented by the Marlborough District Council:
• Martinett Gouws
• Joshua Leota
• Shannon McLean
• Luke Paul
The Awards were set up on the initiative of the Marlborough District Council’s Youth Council.
Marlborough Mayor John Leggett says the awards are a positive way for Council to support and encourage young people who’re making a significant contribution to our community.
“It’s inspiring to read the endorsements from the various groups and organisations where these young people give their time and energy, and it’s reassuring to see teenagers of such a high calibre continuing to emerge from our region.”
Martinett Gouws is in her third year of remarkable service to her community. Her impressive list of projects indicates this young woman has established strong leadership credentials already.
Her fundraising and event planning as president of the Rai Valley Leo Club has already been recognised by that organisation. She has twice won her Rai Valley Area School’s Citizen Award and last year she was a recipient of a Trustpower award for Youth Community Spirit. Being a volunteer for the Picton Fire Brigade and at Walnut Ranch, where she teaches children to ride horses, has also been part of Martinett’s contribution to the community.
This year Martinett has been a part-time Youth Worker for her church and next year she plans to begin her vet studies. It is clear that this young woman is worthy of acknowledgement with her strong sense of community spirit evident in all she does.
Well done and congratulations Martinett, you are a valued member of the community.
Joshua Leota is a dancer and emerging leader in our Pasifika community. He’s both a performer and choreographer for hip hop classes offered through the Breakthrough Church. His performance skills and creativity has been seen at a large number of local events, from Christmas in the Park to the Youth Trust’s Beachfest and Springfest. Joshua has been actively involved as a helper, facilitator, leader, performer and MC at a range of other events, including the Hope Walk, Omega Family Day and Marlborough Polyfest.
But it doesn’t stop there! Joshua has also been an academic mentor for Pacific Power Up, working with primary school children to help them with schoolwork and confidence. He is also a Youth Leader for Generation Omega Youth Group running weekly youth nights. Joshua is a talented and caring young man with a strong commitment to peers and community.
Congratulations Joshua on your achievements, you are certainly worthy of this award.
Shannon McLean doesn’t hold back from getting involved; while at Marlborough Girls’, she was a member of our Youth Council, on the college Student Council. She belonged to the Leo Club and is a leading light in the college Climate Youth Action team. Shannon has represented Marlborough at national events like the Climate Change Conference, and she’s part of a small group who set up Invest in Yourself, creating a wall planner tailored to the needs of our local students. Given her wide experience, Shannon is a valued member of Volunteer Marlborough, part of its programme aiming to get more local young people on to non-profit boards.
Shannon is also caring of her peers. She was part of the Big Sister mentor programme and she also shaved her head in support of leukaemia and cancer awareness. The list could go on for this young woman’s achievements but I am sure with this brief resumé you can understand how deserving she is for this award.
Congratulations to Shannon on her hard work, innovation and dedication to making this community a better place.
Luke Paul has been a driving force behind Seddon’s new bike pump track. He has attended many planning meetings with Council and made submissions to community meetings as well as Council’s Long Term Plan hearings. He has shown strong leadership during this process, all the while taking young people with him. He is a member of the Seddon Youth Group and on the Marlborough Youth Trust MYTAG group, ensuring a strong youth voice, especially for rural youngsters.
Luke has done a lot of hard work for Seddon including gardening, sweeping and painting the ANZAC memorial. He also took a leadership role in the “pick up litter in Seddon” project, resulting in greater community pride and improving generational relationships. Luke has also volunteered for the local fire brigade.
Luke’s greatest contribution is in being a leading voice for Seddon’s young people, working through the Youth Group to support and mentor his peers, and being a positive role model.
Clearly Luke is valued by his peers and his community and is a deserving recipient of this award. Congratulations Luke.