Courageous Young Environmental Advocate Named Fred Hollows Junior Ambassador

Aneke Kilbride, has been named today as this year’s Fred Hollows Junior Ambassador for taking on her local District Council about the region’s environmental footprint. The 11-year-old student from Paekakariki School took her environmental action to the next level when she spoke at a Kapiti Coast District Council planning meeting earlier this year, telling councillors and members of the public about environmental issues and the impact they are having on the local community.

The passionate young Kiwi also spoke about the longer-term impact of global warming on her generation even challenging Kapiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan to approach companies to stop plastic packaging rather than organising more bins.

The Fred Hollows Humanity Awards, now in their third year in New Zealand, are a movement created to recognise passionate children following in the footsteps of legendary New Zealander and founder of the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, the late Professor Fred Hollows. The Awards recognise young New Zealanders who strive to make the world around them better and embody the values of compassion, integrity and kindness.

Principal of Paekakariki School, Julia Bevin, who nominated Aneke for the award says the plucky student isn't afraid to speak out or stand up for what is right.

“Aneke is passionate about encouraging and supporting sustainable practices. This involves connecting with others in our community to learn about local environmental issues and actions that students can take to address these.”

CEO of the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, Dr Audrey Aumua says the courage and leadership Aneke demonstrated by challenging those in power to step up for the community encapsulates the qualities of Fred Hollows”

“Fred championed the right of all people to have high quality and affordable eye care and he spent his life standing up for that right.”

“Climate change is already affecting the people we work with across the Pacific and it is only through the efforts of courageous young people like Aneke that action will be taken to minimise the devastation it will cause, both in the Pacific and closer to home,” says Dr Aumua.

Aneke was presented her award this morning and congratulated by The Foundation’s Ambassador Indira Stewart. She will also be able to extend her good work by donating $5,000 to a Pacific Programme run by The Foundation, thanks to charity partner Specsavers.

Nine outstanding young New Zealanders also received Fred Hollows Humanity Awards for their outstanding efforts. They are:

Skylar Coates - Hurupaki School, Northland

Amalia Port - Snells Beach School, Auckland

Liam Jones - Helensville Primary School, Auckland

Murtaza Hussaini - Sylvia Park School, Auckland

Georgia Hall - Aberdeen School, Waikato

Lakeisha Collier - Horohoro, Bay of Plenty

Collinz Kennedy-Diack - Greendale/Tamatea Scout Group, Hawkes Bay

Hamish Gallen - Waituna West School, Manawatu

Lucia Dumbill - Ngaio School, Wellington

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