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Student Volunteer Army founder - Communicator of the Year

5 October, 2012

Sam Johnson, Student Volunteer Army founder named PRINZ Communicator of the Year for 2012

PRINZ 2012 Communicator of the Year, Sam Johnson, of the Student Volunteer Army, has invited New Zealand to attend a party exclusively for volunteers.

The first of its kind in New Zealand, the 8-hour concert; www.theconcert.co.nz is statement about the valuable role of volunteers within New Zealand communities.
PRINZ president, Jane Dodd, announced Johnson as the recipient of this year’s Communicator of the Year Award today at a PRINZ College of Fellows event for senior public relations practitioners in Wellington.

“Sam is passionate about what he does and galvanised an army of volunteers during the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake through his ability to communicate and link with people.

“His ongoing commitment, and even his latest ‘The Concert’ and the Ministry of Awesome, demonstrates his exceptional contribution to raising awareness of the plight experienced by Christchurch residents,” she says.

“The award recognises people who demonstrate a genuine contribution to society and display outstanding qualities as a communicator.

“Sam showed he has those qualities and continues to inspire people to help Christchurch rebuild and be a better place,” she says.

Nominations by PRINZ members were voted on by the PRINZ College of Fellows to decide the 2012 Communicator of the Year.

In accepting the award by video at today’s PRINZ Senior Practitioners Event in Wellington, Sam said the response of students and the community to the ongoing events in Christchurch had been remarkable.

“We have seen people young and old bind together to create a stronger fabric in communities,” he says. Christchurch is a dynamic and challenging place to live and it is a privilege to speak on our team’s work, and on Christchurch.

“I am indebted to my team and my mentors who keep me grounded and focused on what is most important – nothing would be possible without the work of a dedicated and disciplined team.”

This is the second year running that a Christchurch leader has been given the award.

Bob Parker was named Communicator of the Year in 2011. Previous recipients include Judge Andrew Becroft, Hon Pita Sharples, Alan Duff, Dame Cath Tizard, Bruce Slane and Sir Peter Blake.

The work done for the Student Volunteer Army by PRINZ members Louis Brown of Social Innovation and Daniel O’Regan of Convergence Christchurch was awarded joint Supreme Award winner at this year’s annual PRINZ awards in May.


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