Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


National Youth Writing Competition Winners!

November 10, 2007

Students from Auckland, Wellington and Timaru scoop prizes at Secondary School National Writing Competition – Talk with Me!

Click for big version
(Left) Kate Brooks, 17 years, Roncalli College, Timaru (centre) Juliette Varuhas, 14 years, Wellington Girls' College (right) The overall winner, eighteen-year old Nosia Fogogo


Talk with Me! Sharing the Voices of Refugees
Award Ceremony, November 10, 4.30pm- 6.30pm TheNewDowse, Wellington

The Petone Settlers Museum, in association with the Department of Labour and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will be announcing the winners of this year’s National Writing Competition at an Award Ceremony at TheNewDowse this Saturday.

The three secondary school winners from Wellington, Timaru and Auckland were chosen from over 100 entrants who submitted either a poem, rap, essay or an article about the refugee experience of young people.

The overall winner, eighteen-year old Nosia Fogogo, wrote a deeply personal story about her life as a refugee from Burundi, Africa titled “Happiness is Ubiquitous”.

Fogogo’s winning piece was selected by the judging panel Judi Altinkaya, Director, Settlement Division, Department of Labour, the editor of the Hutt News Simon Edwards and The Petone Settlers Museum’s Director Tim Walker.

All three judges praised the piece for the way it confronted the reader on several levels.

““The piece really made you walk in her shoes. The powerful narrative drew you in and the use of verse alternating with prose allowed for a very visceral sense of experience. We were all impressed with the degree of the reflection, her original use of language and her unique choice of composition. It was a unanimous decision,” says the Director of the Petone Settlers Museum, Tim Walker.

First launched in 2006, to coincide with the Petone Settlers Museum’s major exhibition Walk with Me: the Refugee Experience in New Zealand, this annual writing competition seeks to raise awareness among young people about refugees living in New Zealand.

“It’s important that young New Zealanders can reflect on their own experience either as refugees or as classmates of refugees” says Judi Altinkaya, Director of the Department of Labour’s Settlement Division. “Settlement is a two way process and this competition provides an important opportunity through which learning about and reflecting on the experiences of refugee newcomers can occur.”

Excerpt from Fogogo’s winning piece

I am just a strong girl
Who came from a long way
Who has much to say and much to see
Who has lots to talk about the painful and the powerful
I am not the history maker
But I am the storyteller
I will tell you what I think
You need to know
I will let you hear the voice of
The real refugee.

During the year 2006-2007, over a third of the refugees entering New Zealand were under the age of 18 (260 of the 697 refugees who entered).

Talk with Me Award Ceremony: Saturday, November 10, TheNewDowse 4.30pm – 6.30pm.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland