Gold Award Ceremonies 15 August 2015 - Government House - Wellington

His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM, QSO Governor-General of New Zealand presented Gold Awards to recipients.

A sample of the recipients comments

9.00 am Ceremony

Aparima College

Robert Grove

Going on Youth to Everest, meeting the Nepali people and sharing their living conditions showed me that there are like-minded people all over the world who can share ideas and values even though their lives are very different. Having the devastating earthquakes happen very soon after we left Nepal has given me a desire to help people who have suffered disasters, and also some experience working with community organisations to raise relief funds and make things happen.

King's College

Laura Fuge

The highlight of my participation in the Award was the strong emphasis on the outdoors which I love, from the Adventurous Journey on the Heaphy Track and the Outward Bound Residential course to my sports of football, tennis and sailing. The programme matched my interests but also encouraged me to go further and stretch myself more than I would otherwise have done with all these activities.

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Harrison Griffin

The best things about this Award were the opportunities I had to form relationships with so many different people. I found myself creating bonds with others from all walks of life and sharing so many great memories with them. I love the community feel that comes hand-in-hand with this Award. The biggest highlight for me would definitely be my final expedition. Nothing beats tai chi at the top of a mountain you've spent all day climbing.

1.00 pm Ceremony

Canterbury Vision Challenge

Mary Fisher

Part of our expedition section was tandem cycling on the Banks Peninsula Little River Rail Trail. Though we'd prepared, a puncture and other obstacles popped up and we made some informed changes so we would still enjoy the outdoors but stay safe. The Award recognises that it's important to give back to communities and to keep working towards personal and group goals in a range of areas, which is what I'll transfer into my life.

St Peter's College – Palmerston North

Mary Cane Bucao Demecillo

The Award has helped me open my mind and not just connect better to the world around me, but within me as well. I’ve come to appreciate more the blessing of nature, family and friends. I’ve also adapted a mindset that has allowed me to achieve goals beyond the Award. One of the most valuable lessons I have learnt from participating in the Award is that perseverance and self-reflection are the key to reaching my goals.

Central Hawkes Bay College

Nick Southward

The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award has been a large part of my school life and has been one of my proudest achievements. It has left me with some awesome memories from tramping the Waikaremoana and Heaphy Tracks to farming in Porangahau for my Residential Project. I strongly recommend others to get involved.

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