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MIL OSI – Source: Child Youth and Family – Release/Statement

Headline: Honouring our William Wallace Award winners

The outstanding achievements of young people in care were honoured at a moving ceremony in Wellington this week.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley congratulated the 17 young recipients of William Wallace Awards at an event marked by laughter and tears of pride.

Ahead of the ceremony, the winners spent the day with celebrities Oscar Kightley, David Fane and Norm Hewitt and youth mentor Amanda Betts. Oscar and David also brought their usual touch of relaxed humour to the ceremony, at one point inviting one of the winners to wow the crowd with an impromptu beatbox performance.

2015 award winner Piki Boyles, was a real highlight, eloquently sharing her story, what the award has meant to her and her aspirations for the future. This year we were excited to also include and recognise the Youth Advisory Panel members from 2015 in our day.

These are the tenth annual William Wallace awards honouring and supporting young people to reach their goals for the future. Each winner will receive a scholarship of up to $3000 toward further study or training, or taking part in a leadership course like Outward Bound.

These young people have overcome tough beginnings to succeed in their chosen fields and be leaders to their peers. They are an inspiration to their schools, communities and other young people in care facing similar hardships.

Named after William Wallace, a former foster child, who left a generous bequest to Child, Youth and Family, the awards aim to nurture children and young people in care, and help them develop their potential.

Photo below: Award winner Troy Simmonds with Minister Anne Tolley, Oscar Kightley and David Fane (photo by Harriet Norton)