Since 1995 the North Harbour Club and Charitable Trust has been celebrating excellence of our young people through the annual AIMES Awards. AIMES is an acronym that represents the Arts; Innovation; Music; Education; Sport; and Service to the Community. The North Harbour Club provides scholarship grants each year for around 20-25 young people from the region, aged 25 and under, who are achieving excellence in their chosen fields. More than $3 million in grants have been awarded through this AIMES Awards programme over 27 years. There is an AIMES Award in each of the six categories, two special awards, AIMES Emerging Talent Awards and North Harbour Club Scholarships. Channel Mag publisher, long time North Harbour Club member and past president Aidan Bennett provided the summaries of the 2021/22 AIMES Award recipients on the following pages. These awards will be presented at events held in early May, with this issue being the programme for the 300-plus guests attending the 2022 AIMES Awards Gala Dinner at the Bruce Mason Centre on Friday May 6th. These events were delayed from November 2021, due to the Covid 19 restrictions.
We are thrilled to finally be announcing our 2021/22 AIMES Awards recipients. The applications for these young people were received back in June/July last year and the ability of these young people is nothing short of inspiring. As a community we are lucky to have such a wealth of talent in our region. On behalf of the Trustees and Club Members we are thrilled to be acknowledging them so early in their careers.
I would like to wholeheartedly thank our AIMES Awards judging panel made up of Tom Ashley, Pam Bayer, Dean Flyger, Sue Kohn-Taylor, Shane Cortese and Chaired by Andrew MacDonald. The judges had an incredibly tough challenge on their hands this year facilitating interviews during the August lockdown. While the logistics were less than ideal, the passion of this team and the time they gave is truly admirable.
This year’s winners will also be the first recipients of our AIMES Excellence Support Programme. This new initiative has been generously supported by Michelle Fan and Sky Cai of Precise Homes. For many years we have been aware of the pressures our young people are under. Whilst shooting for the stars is awe-inspiring and remarkable, they are constantly dealing with the pressure to perform to the highest levels. Unfortunately both the highs and lows are more extreme, particularly in uncertain times.
We want our alumni to receive more than just one off cash grants. With our new Excellence Support Programme they will get online training, access to Shore Junction as the home of our alumni and a special package at the Gala Dinner. This programme will continue to be evolved each year with input from our alumni network. I am delighted to see this new initiative take flight.
Each of our AIMES Awards winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium. We are incredibly fortunate to have such generous sponsors and supporters.
As I near the end of my tenure as President, I would like to acknowledge our Members, Sponsors and my fellow Trustees who have continued to stand by and support us. Like all organisations we have been on the turbulent Covid ride. We have looked at new ways to do things, we have drafted our new growth strategy and with the support from our club network this allowed us the time and space to put our new plans into action. We have also spent time building a new operational team and I am confident that the club is on strong footing to head into the future.
There is not another organisation like this, and it makes me so incredibly proud to be President. This is an amazing community and an amazing club.
Congratulations to all of our winners this year. We wish you all the best for the future and will stand by to see where the path takes you.
President, North Harbour Club & Charitable Trust
21 year old Zoe White is the recipient of the AIMES Arts Award for 2021. Zoe received an AIMES Emerging Talent Award in 2017.
The 2017 grant assisted the former Kristin pupil to complete three years at the prestigious Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. This 2021 award will support her Pre-Professional Year with the Sydney Dance Company in Australia.
In the UK, Zoe gained invaluable life experience and insights into the European dance industry and developed hugely as a dancer and performer.
Zoe says Rambert gave her a very well-rounded dance education, having the privilege of working with world-class teachers and many prominent guest artists in the industry, ranging from ballet and contemporary dance to drama and theatre.
During her second year she choreographed a group piece for one of the student choreography showcases and performed in numerous other works created by classmates.
In 2019, Zoe successfully auditioned for both the Mark Bruce Company Summer School, in Frome, Somerset, as well as the Akram Khan Summer School, at the Orsolina28 studios in Moncalvo, Italy. She was also one of four students selected to spend three days working with Mark Bruce’s company as an understudy for their new work ‘Return to Heaven’.
The majority of Zoe’s third year was spent working towards six choreographic works to be performed at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre, the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells and Rambert School’s Theatre. Crushingly, all shows were cancelled due to Covid 19.
Zoe returned to New Zealand and turned to long-distance learning, achieving her Bachelor of Arts in Ballet and Contemporary Dance from the University of Kent, with Honours, in July 2020.
Zoe was accepted into Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year (PPY) for 2021. She is also studying an Advanced Diploma in Elite Performance.
Following her graduation from the Sydney Dance Company, Zoe is now back in New Zealand, teaching ballet locally as well as contemporary private lessons, and reconnecting with the local dance scene.
Zoe says she’s done classes and workshops with some awesome people, and has ideas for events, films and ways to use her art going forward.
“I would love to get more into choreography and explore where that could lead. I have just signed with the Human Agency as a performer and will hopefully make it to Sydney in the middle of the year to do a secondment with the Sydney Dance Company. I’m keeping an eye out for overseas auditions and opportunities and also using my overseas experience to give back to up-and-coming local dancers.”
Zoe White receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Arts Award for 2021, sponsored by ASB Bank, and a cash grant of $15,000.
25 year old former Kristin student Murdoch Thomson is the recipient of the North Harbour Club AIMES Innovation Award for 2021.
Murdoch is highly skilled in privacy and information security.
After completing his schooling at Kristin in 2014 he attended the University of Buckingham Law School (UK), completing an undergraduate law degree in two years. He held chairmanships and committee positions across the University, edited two law journals, published scholarly work, and graduated top of his class with first class honours. Prizes included best performance in several subjects and he received the Kandahar Prize for outstanding contributions to the Law School. During 2017 Murdoch completed a LLM in international and commercial law, graduating with distinction. His dissertation on the extra-territorial applications for UAVs in a combatting setting received the highest score awarded in 20 years. With interests in emerging technologies – outer space and spectrum management – Murdoch then pursued an advanced LLM in space, cyber, and telecommunications law at the University of Nebraska (USA). His thesis, focusing on the implications of Brexit in satellite communications, was at the forefront of legal discussions and described as a first-of-its-kind by leading space policy experts. He studied alongside senior members of the US Armed Forces.
Murdoch Thomson had completed his third law degree by age 21.
Murdoch has since developed, implemented, and managed privacy and information security programmes for numerous Fortune 100 organisations in aviation, banking, finance, healthcare, retail, and telecommunications across the UAE and USA advising governments on space policy and security and related legal issues.
Murdoch returned to live on the Shore (the Bays) in 2021 and is currently the Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager at Cyber Research NZ, a CyberCX company. He says he has “a desire to contribute to New Zealand’s developing privacy and information security posture”.
Murdoch has volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau as a qualified Gateway Assessor and Advisor and continues to volunteer his skills in space law and technology transactions at the Space Generation Advisory Council as an editor and member of the space law and space cybersecurity committees. He mentors undergraduate students on career pathways, and lectures on emerging technologies.
Murdoch says he plans to use the AIMES grant to seek admission to the New Zealand Bar, allowing him to participate in the rapidly emerging areas of privacy, information security, and space law.
“All these areas significantly contribute to protecting the rights of New Zealanders, defending New Zealand businesses, and supporting innovation.”
Murdoch Thomson receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Innovation Award for 2021, sponsored by Massey University, and a cash grant of $15,000.
20 Year old violinist, Christine Haeun Lee, is the recipient of the AIMES Music Award for 2021.
The former Albany Primary, Junior High and Westlake Girls pupil says her first serious violin lessons were with Shore based teacher, Mark Bennett. He helped Christine form an interest and love for music and build a strong technical foundation of violin playing.
“Mark also introduced me to music competitions including the North Shore Performing Arts Competition, where I won first prizes. I was active in string ensembles, performing in assemblies and prizegivings. I continued my active musical involvement at Westlake.”
Christine’s first year at Westlake started with preparation for a European tour with ensembles of both Westlake Girls and Boys. A member of two ensembles, Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, she played concerts in Germany, Austria and Hungary, and attended the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival where they won first and third place. A highlight for Christine was playing in the prestigious Musikverein, Vienna, Austria.
From her third year Christine was Concertmaster. She helped Westlake achieve consistent success at KBB Music Festivals, receiving gold awards and performance prizes.
Aged 15, Christine auditioned for the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Her most significant and influential musical experience outside of school. She was again appointed Concertmaster.
She accepted a Fellowship with the NZSO, gaining a deeper education about orchestral life.
Achievements have included: Scholarship to Pettman National Junior Academy; Pultron Award for Best Performance of a NZ Work at the Gisborne International Music Competition; first at the Gilbert Glausiuss Competition, Akaroa Music Festival; second at the Tauranga Concerto Competition; finalist NZCT Chamber Music Contest; Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Young Soloist of the Year with opportunity to perform with the APO Summer School Orchestra, Auckland Town Hall; chosen for the inaugural Wakatipu Music Festival – NZs best young musicians take part in the Festival’s Young Artist Programme.
At 17, Christine went overseas to do a Bachelors at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, studying under renowned violinist Ning Feng. Covid 19 intervened, resulting in a gap semester in NZ. She has since returned to Germany to continue her studies.
During her upcoming university holidays Christine will return to Auckland to take part in the APO Fellowship programme following a successful online audition.
The award grant will facilitate opportunities as will being recognised as an established violinist from the North Shore. She is also focused on contributing back to the community through violin teaching.
Christine Haeun Lee receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Music Award for 2021, sponsored by Yamaha Home Entertainment, and a cash grant of $15,000.
21 year old Former Westlake Boys pupil Jae Jun Kim (Jae) is the 2021 AIMES Education Award recipient.
Jae is a star on the rise in the New Zealand legal profession. He plans to become an academic lawyer and will complete a Master of Laws at Auckland University within the next two to three years, and then a PhD. The award grant will go towards his future LLM study. His ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of the law in New Zealand.
Jae’s currently a Junior Barrister at Shortland Chambers, working with a cohort of the leading barristers in a range of areas of law. He was a Judges’ Clerk at the High Court of New Zealand for two years from 2019-2020, assisting Judges with legal research, writing, reasoning and decision-making.
Jae completed his law degree within the top 5-10% with first class honours, being awarded the Law Dean’s Academic Excellence Award in 2020. He was ranked first in five courses; Privacy Law, Law of Torts, Appellate Advocacy, Maori Worldview, and Logic.
Jae has also excelled outside the lecture theatre and exam halls. In mooting (mock court advocacy) competitions, in 2019, he represented New Zealand at the Jessup International Law Moot in Washington DC, the largest competition in the world. His team won the Richard Baxter Award for the best overall written submission, the first time NZ has won this particular award.
He also won the Sentencing Advocacy Competition organised by the Ministry of Justice and New Zealand Bar Association – judged entirely by sitting judges of the High Court of New Zealand. He’s also been involved in judging mooting competitions and helping students develop their advocacy skills.
Jae was Editor-in-Chief of the Auckland University Law Review, and Public Interest Law Journal of New Zealand.
Jae’s received several scholarships – the University of Auckland Partnership Award, David R Mummery Memorial Scholarship in Law, and the Marylyn Eve Mayo Endowment Scholarship, the largest value scholarship on offer at the Auckland Law School.
Jae is focussed on giving back. He gives time to Youthline, Auckland Community Law Centre, lends his legal skills to assist underprivileged communities, and to the Empower Youth NZ programme, mentorship refugee students. Immigration and refugee law and policy is an area of increasing interest for Jae. He also assisted in the Ihumatao dispute regarding the protection of indigenous heritage sites. For this work, he received the Overall MVP Award from the Equal Justice Project.
Jae Jun Kim receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Education Award for 2021, sponsored by Kristin School, and a cash grant of $15,000.
At the tender age of 21, Massey University student and canoeist Alicia Hoskin is already an Olympian, applying while competing at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Regal, and previous AIMES Award winner Teneale Hatton.
Alicia says her dream to represent NZ started young, and was ignited in 2012 when she met Lisa Carrington at a regatta. “I remember plucking up the courage to ask for her autograph and photo, and feeling excited when she smiled, looked me in the eye and said, ‘Of course - tell me about your favourite race today’. That gesture cemented a promise I made to my 12-year-old-self that one day I would be ‘just like her’. Nine years on, I am now a team-mate.”
Alicia says that how Lisa made her feel is a continual reminder of the influence and potential impact sportspeople can have on those around them.
Alicia has achieved considerable success, despite overcoming the odds. In 2017 she was selected to represent NZ at the Junior Worlds in Romania. Three weeks prior she was diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome - a heart condition. She had to stop training, undergo an array of tests resulting in heart surgery.
In 2018, Alicia joined Canoe Racing NZs High-Performance Squad on the Shore. This led to selection for the 2019 Open World Championships with K2 partner Caitlin Regal, making the A Final.
Alicia’s achievements include: 2018 High Performance Level 3 Carded; 2019 U23 World Championship K4 500m 8th; 2019 Open World Championships Debut K2 500m 9th/A Final; 2020 High Performance Level 2 Carded Athlete; 2020 Oceania Open Women's K1 200m Silver; 2020 Canoe Racing New Zealand Athlete of the Year Award; 2020 New Zealand Blue Lake 2 Regatta – Open Women K2 500m Gold; Open Women K4 500m Gold; 2021 Selected for the Tokyo Olympics K2 500m and K4 500m.
Alicia says the AIMES grant will allow her to commit to future aspirations, reach the highest level within her sport and to use her studies in Sport Development to improve accessibility and encourage participation in physical activity and sport within minority groups. Her vision is to partner with Canoe Racing NZ to aid in the development of social kayak programmes.
“As a full time athlete, I rely on people like those in the North Harbour Club to help me achieve my goals on and off the water. These funds ensure that I can fully invest the huge amount of time, energy, and passion it requires to compete at the top level within my sport.”
Alicia Hoskin receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Sport Award for 2021, sponsored by AUT Millennium, and a cash grant of $15,000.
21 year old former Rosmini College student Oscar Thomas is the recipient of the AIMES Service to the Community Award for 2021.
The wildlife conservationist and photographer is in year three of a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Otago, majoring in Ecology, minoring in Zoology. A Master’s in Wildlife Management will follow in 2023.
Oscar has a passion for New Zealand wildlife. He says his interest was stoked at age nine, on a school visit to Tiritiri Matangi Island, the Hauraki Gulf island that protects a dozen endangered bird species.
“From then on every moment outside of school was spent volunteering for conservation organisations, advocating and raising awareness, travelling the country in search of as many birds as I could observe and photograph.”
At 15, Oscar took up volunteer guiding at Tiritiri Matangi. Showing visitor groups around the pest-free sanctuary, sharing stories and information on wildlife, history, and conservation.
Oscar also developed into a respected wildlife photographer with photos published by leading organisations and in books. He was contacted at age 18 by the London-based John Beaufoy Publishing and asked to create a new book called ‘A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of New Zealand’.
This came following Oscar providing photos for 'The 50 Best Birdwatching Sites of New Zealand' by the late Liz Light, who suggested his name for the next title in the series. For his book Oscar selected 365 photographs and wrote the introduction and summaries for 238 bird species that occur in New Zealand (45,000 words). The book was published in October 2020 and sold out in its first month of release.
Oscar has worked tirelessly in conservation: 2015/16 Campaign Manager for Forest & Bird’s ‘Bird of the Year’ competition; 2016 DOCs youngest volunteer on Chatham Islands; 2016/17/18 Conservation Award at Rosmini College; 2016/17 volunteer for Sylvia Durrant (The Bird Lady) at Rothesay Bay; 2017 Forest & Birds Te Kaiarahi Rangitahi O Te Taiao Youth Award; 2017/18 Volunteer Auckland Zoo; 2017/18 DOC Volunteer Whangamarino Wetlands; 2021 Awarded a True Young Explorers Scholarship to Auckland Islands with Heritage Expeditions; 2022 did a 2-week BLAKE Ambassadorship to Pukenui/Anchor Island for Kākāpō Recovery.
In 2019 Oscar undertook a Rotary Youth Exchange for 12 months in Belgium.
Oscar believes every child in New Zealand deserves the opportunity to experience the positive difference communities can make to the natural environment. The AIMES grant will go towards his studies and passions. He also plans to donate an amount to the 'Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi'.
Oscar Thomas receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Service to the Community Award for 2021, sponsored by Albany Toyota, and a cash grant of $15,000.
The 2021 AIMES Judges Special Award WINNER is musician, 22 year old David Paligora.
David had never touched a musical instrument until he listened to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at age 11. A gift changed his life – a box set, all of Beethoven's Symphonies performed by Berliner Philharmoniker.
Piano was a focus through Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar. At TGS he moved on to the trombone. He received a gold award and was accepted into the KBB Honours Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra.
“I will always cherish the first pieces I ever played as part of that ensemble,” said David in his AIMES Award application. “They were Johanne Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, along with the beautiful and encapsulating Aotearoa Overture by renowned New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn.”
David played Principal Bass Trombone in the Auckland Youth Orchestra for the 2016 season. He was also a member of the North Shore Brass Band, playing at events such as Christmas parades and ANZAC services.
David became involved with the APO Young Achievers Programme. At TGS he received the McKeown Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Musical ensembles and the KBB Trophy for Best Woodwind/Brass player. He also received the Taurus Charitable Trust Music Scholarship to study at the University of Auckland. This study included his second love, physics, in which he was awarded an NZQA scholarship.
He was accepted into the NZSO National Youth Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone in 2018, a position he has held each year. He was also selected as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra intern in 2018.
In 2020 David was the winner at the International NZ Brass Festival. He then joined the National Brass Band of NZ and was selected for the NZSO Orchestral Fellowship on Bass Trombone, playing the NZSO’s first concert out of lockdown.
In physics David achieved three 'Top in Course' awards. This meant he was eligible to study towards his Honours in physics.
In 2021 he won the Open Bass Trombone solo in the National Brass Band Competition and in his final year in the band was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Player’.
David says this AIMES grant will mean he will finally be able to afford to purchase his own Bass Trombone so he can pursue his dream job… “of becoming an orchestral musician, planning to audition in Europe for a place in my dream school, the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music.”
In the 2021 AIMES Awards David Paligora received the Judges Special Award and a cash grant of $5,000 towards buying his own Bass Trombone.
20 year old former Long Bay College student Tayla Alexander has been achieving big things for many years. She received an AIMES Special Judges Award in 2014, at the tender age of 13.
Known as the ‘Kiwi Songbird’ Tayla caught the ear of an independent music label at 11 years old. The young soprano has performed with national orchestras live on TV programmes and sung to more than 200,000 at Christmas in the Park. She launched her top 10 album, making her the youngest Kiwi to appear on the music charts.
Tayla has worked with respected music producers and released her songs globally through iTunes. Her music video on YouTube has reached more than one million views. She has continued to train with several coaches including Dame Malvina Major, Simon O’Neil, Dr Morag Atchison, Dr Te Oti Rakena, Andrew Crooks, Gina Saunders and
Tayla’s AIMES grant will go towards her own study.
“I plan to study towards a Masters of Music at the University of Auckland, specialising in Performance with a Research Dissertation. Drawing on elements of ‘music and disability’ and ‘music and mental health’ within the wider topic of music therapy in an effort to shine a light on a hugely underrepresented and misunderstood demographic in NZ.”
At age 18 Tayla launched her own foundation with a vision to support young musicians. The Tayla Made Foundation launched in September 2020, backed by an initial $25,000 for classical singers from the estate of Patricia McCormick.
"Alongside my professional experience in the music world itself, I am passionate about helping youth, particularly with mental health challenges and disabilities. I have worked with Star Jam in Hamilton while at the University of Waikato. This has given me a first-hand insight into the healing impact of music on children with disabilities.”
Tayla has also been a support worker for Stella, a young 10 year old, who suffers from KAT6A, a rare syndrome resulting from a mutation in the KAT6A gene. Around 300 people have been diagnosed globally.
“I remember the first time I sang to Stella. She looked up and her eyes zoomed in and focused. She used sign language to say “sing more” and eventually suggested her favourite songs. I would sing Little Mermaid. Even though Stella cannot talk and has limited ability to sign, it is through music that we understand each other best. I’ve created songs to gauge her focus through music and redirect her attention when necessary.”
Tayla Alexander (20) receives the AIMES Ross Finlayson Award for Excellence, sponsored by Alvarium Wealth, , including $5000 towards a a course of her choice.
Oliver Cain (25) – The Arts, Artist
Oliver Cain is an English born Kiwi artist who studied visual arts throughout his time at Takapuna Grammar and went on to complete his BoVA (Batchelor of Visual Arts) at Unitec. His popular work changes, develops and covers a wide range of topics using a large range of materials. His artworks, subverted linguistic paintings, ceramic sculptures and installations, bear a certain physicality and push the boundaries between conceptualism and post-pop art. As a proud member of the queer community, Cain uses his work to examine, question and criticize the relationships between gender, (homo)sexuality and societies’ misconceptions about those themes.
Lauren Towns (18) – Music, Singer-Opera
Lauren Towns is an up and coming soprano with extensive professional experience, despite being still in her teens. Growing up in Bayswater, Lauren gained a love for performing while participating in school musicals, competitions and Christmas concerts at Bayswater Primary, Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar. After spending most of her early teens in professional musicals throughout NZ and Australia, Lauren shifted for training in Opera and Classical voice. At age 15 she joined the prestigious Queensland Academies’ Creative Industries in Australia.
Shuan Liu (18) – Music, Pianist
Shuan Liu is a former Pinehurst School student working towards a Bachelor of Music degree in the University of Auckland. She has a dream of being a concert pianist and sharing her music with the world. Shuan received a Margaret Doone Sonata Piano Scholarship in 2019 and has a desire to further her piano studies in Germany with the aim of realising her dream.
Liam Wright (17) – Music, Trumpet & Cornet
Former Westlake Boys prefect Liam is currently studying Music Performance and Commerce at the Unversity of Auckland. He is an accomplished trumpet and cornet player having played since the age of eight. Liam was selected as principal cornet of the National Secondary Schools Brass Band, having been selected to play for this Brass Band since 2017. He’s also been a member of the National Youth Brass Band of NZ (under 23) in 2018 and 2019 and was selected to play Solo Cornet with the National Youth Brass Band in January 2022.
Joshua Kirk (23) – Music, Conductor
Josh is a former Takapuna Grammar student aspiring to be a professional conductor. Josh majored in Classical Performance at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) in 2019. He has also completed an Honours degree in conducting at the University of Adelaide. He plans to continue his studies towards being a professional conductor in Europe.
Jannik Wittgen (20) – Service to the Community
The former Orewa College head prefect dedicates a large portion of time into leadership roles in not for profit organisations. Organisations he’s involved with include: Spirit of Adventure Trust; NZ Cadet Forces; Mechanical & Mechatronics Students’ Association; Hospice NZ Shops. He received the 2021 G. Christian Under Officer’s Award for his volunteer work at 5 Squadron Air Training Corps. Jannik was dux of Orewa College and received top student awards in Physics, Chemistry and Spanish. He was year level dux every year. Academic success has continued at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor of Engineering degree with Honours and receiving many prestigious awards and selection for the prestigious Dean's Leadership Programme.
Ben Old (19) – Sport, Football
The former Westlake Boys student is an exceptional sportsman. He recently signed a three year deal with the Wellington Phoenix, fulfilling a childhood dream. He has since gone on to play for The Phoenix in the A-League in Australia during the 2021/22 season. In 2021 Ben was selected in the U23s OlyWhites, making the 22-man squad which participated at the Tokyo Olympics.
Each of these seven recipients receive an AIMES Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Bellingham Wallace, including a cash grant of $7,500.
Arlo Feeney (14) – The Arts, Acting
Westlake Boys student Arlo Feeney has been involved in the acting industry from the age of eight and has been training as an actor since the age of seven. Over the past six years he has performed in theatre, acted in feature films, appeared in television shows, and performed musically. For such a young person his name has appeared in many shows already. In 2016, Arlo played the role of Young Richie McCaw in ‘Chasing Great’. Arlo’s dream and goal is to continue his career as an actor.
Janayah Wadsworth (16) – Music, Singer-Pop
Takapuna Grammar student Janayah Wadsworth loves to sing and perform. Her goal is to become a successful international recording artist and she says that every performance, every song she has sung since she first stepped on a stage at 7 years old is all working towards this end result. Her talent was first recognised by the North Harbour Club with Junior Excellence Award in 2018. She has been accepted into the BRIT School of Performing & Creative Arts in London UK. Famous alumni from the school include Adele, Jessie J and Amy Winehouse. The music strand that she has applied for takes approximately 50 people a year. Out of those 50, they take an average of 7 people from outside of London and the rest of the world.
Alice Jones (17) – Music, Singer-Folk
Soft indie pop singer-songwriter and former Takapuna Grammar student Alice Jones is known professionally as Freya. A singer with gentle voice and soaring vocals, Alice’s music powerfully explores and conveys deep emotions of loss and love through poetic, wise lyrics and moving vocals. Alice recorded her first original song at the age of 10, with only a Garageband drum loop as accompaniment at The Depot Studio in Devonport. In mid-2021 she started to release music onto streaming platforms. Her debut studio EP was released in July 2021. ‘Wildest Creatures I’ve Dreamed’ is a collection of powerfully evocative thematics developed in collaboration with her producers Harry Charles and Morgan Allen from The Depot.
Lily Woods (17) – Education/Service to the Community
Former Albany Senior High head girl Lily Woods aspires to be a game-changer… “someone who helps people think differently about the things that really matter – eg. human rights, the environment, etc. – making a significant, positive difference in my communities and in the world”. Lily is studying for Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Global Studies conjoint programme at Auckland University, aiming to major in Global Politics and Human Rights, enabling further tertiary study in the fields of Environmental Law and Human Rights. Not only has Lily excelled in her own education, she also supports others to excel as an academic mentor. In 2021, Lily was selected to be a member of the Prime Minister’s Covid 19 Youth Forum and has also created a series of workshops for primary-school-aged students about what to do in the event of a natural disaster.
Caitlin O’Reilly (17) – Sport, Ultra Distance Swimming
At age 12, former Carmel College student Caitlin O’Reilly was first recognised by the North Harbour Club with a Junior Excellence Award following her swim across the Cook Strait – the youngest person to ever complete the difficult 17.5km swim. Four years on she receives a North Harbour Club Scholarship recognising the achievements she continues to make as an Ultra-Marathon swimmer. Caitlin is the youngest to complete the New Zealand Triple Crown. This included the Cook Strait in February 2017, Lake Taupo (40.2kms) in February 2019 (aged 14), and Foveaux Strait (28km) in 2021. Only five people have previously accomplished this. Caitlin is the youngest, at 16 years old.
Chantelle May (17) – Sport, Fencing
The Torbay youngster’s fencing efforts were first rewarded, as a 12 year old, by the North Harbour Club with a Junior Excellence Award in 2017. Chantelle’s ultimate goal is to represent New Zealand at the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. She has achieved outstanding national and international results over the past few years including the Australian Under 15 International title. At the time of applying for an AIMES Award her short-term goals were to do well at several international competitions with an eye on the Olympics.
Lewis Bower (16) – Sport, Cycling
Westlake Boys student Lewis Bower began cycling in year seven at Belmont Intermediate. Over the past five years Lewis has achieved impressive results, winning multi event cycle races (tours) and age group national and regional titles across both road cycling and mountain bike racing. These achievements culminated when riding as a first year under 19 (aged 16). He won the U19 national titles for the Individual Time Trial (ITT) and Criterium events as well as the Cycling New Zealand National Road Race Series Championship. He was named Cycling New Zealand's Male Junior Cyclist of the Year for 2021. This annual award was established to recognise outstanding performances in both road and track cycling through a calendar year.
Greer Morley (16) – Sport, Canoe Racing
Carmel College student Greer Morley is a high achiever in both canoe sprint and surf ski racing. In kayak she’s the current New Zealand Under 16 K1 500m and K1 200m champion, U18 K1 500m champion, the U18 K2 500m and 200m champion as well as the U16 K2 200m champion. Greer has won many national and regional event titles in both canoe sprint racing and surf ski. She is a member of the Mairangi Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
Melissa Cowan (15) – Sport, Swimming
Rangitoto College student and North Shore Swimming Club member Melissa Cowen is one of New Zealand’s most promising breaststrokers. Melissa’s aim is to represent New Zealand at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, and future Olympics after that. In 2020 Melissa broke two New Zealand Open (all age groups) Short Course breaststroke records, the 100m and 200m, beating the previous 200m time by two seconds. This made her the fastest ever New Zealand female in these events, and at 15 years old the youngest New Zealand swimmer to hold a New Zealand Open swimming record.
Melissa has won many national age-group swimming titles, recently winning the 16 year old 200m breaststroke at the New Zealand Short Course Swimming Championships.
Each of these nine recipients receive a North Harbour Club Scholarship cash grant of $3000, sponsored by Vantage Windows & Doors North Shore.