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Deaf Aotearoa wins I Am Auckland Youth Voice Award

Media Release
July 2014

Deaf Aotearoa wins I Am Auckland Youth Voice Award

Deaf Aotearoa were thrilled to be honoured in the inaugural I Am Auckland Awards, winning the Youth Voice category, which recognises the best youth worker and organisation in giving young people a voice and creating opportunities for them to have their say.

Ursula Thynne, Youth Services Team Leader for Deaf Aotearoa, says “It’s an amazing opportunity to be recognised for the fabulous work we do with Deaf youth in the community. We look forward to next year and it would be lovely if Deaf Aotearoa was recognised again.”

Deaf Aotearoa were nominated for their youth programme, Magnet, which enables young Deaf people to speak up about what matters to them. Through leadership camps and workshops as well as their transition service which supports students in their last year of school with work experience and entering tertiary education, Magnet helps young people explore and develop new opportunities, encouraging them to reach their full potential.

A Magnet leadership camp participant said recently “With Magnet, theres always a sense of belonging, no matter how different our lives are, or if we dont know each other. Magnet has always encouraged young people to be involved, and find who they are with the support of their youth workers. I can honestly say that Magnet has held the best camps I have ever been to because there I grow as a person, feel like I can find my place on the world, feel like I belong.”

Held on Friday 25 July, the I Am Auckland Awards also marked the launch the I Am Auckland Action Plan, which sets goals that will accelerate the prospects of young people in Auckland, ensuring the city offers an environment for them to be the best they can be. The I Am Auckland Plan and Awards were developed by young people, for young people.

“Those who work with youth know how important it is to put young people first, and it’s evident in the hard work they do and the lives they change,” says Youth Advisory Panel Chairperson Flora Apulu. “The awards give us the opportunity to celebrate those who are doing truly great work in inspiring and empowering young people.”

The awards and action plan affirm the passion, conviction and sheer determination of young Aucklanders to have their say and to be heard. “The I Am Auckland action plan is the key document in the first stage of work to create positive change for children and young people, and it is essential to the Auckland Plan’s commitment to put children and young people first,” says Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

- Ends -

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