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'Time For Change' Say Uni Of Auckland Students

'Time For Change' Say University Of Auckland Students

10 May 2006

AUCKLAND – A group of University of Auckland Students will be making the difference for communities in Tanna, a small island of Vanuatu these holidays. The nine young leaders, along with mentoring engineer Craig Omundsen will be joining a World Vision Project in the Tafea Community Development Program, assisting to maintain and develop water distribution systems.

The team, lead by Holly Corbett (Biomedical Engineering Student at the University of Auckland), and mentored by Omundsen (Water and Wastewater Engineer. Employee of Metro Water Ltd, Auckland. Member of RedR New Zealand) was selected from a number of impressive applicants from the School of Engineering at the University of Auckland in March this year.

The team will travel to Vanuatu for 17 days on June 28th, working alongside the community, learning the local dialect and assisting in basic engineering and sustainable development. “These are people with an extraordinary commitment to making a difference, and while the project takes the form of a couple of weeks Aid work, these people will know themselves and their world completely differently after the trip – that is the heart of this project. It will be these people who will make a massive difference and touch communities in Vanuatu, and it will be these people who go on to make a massive difference in New Zealand and the world.” says Corbett.

The team states that their goal is to “inspire and empower youth to act upon issues of sustainable development in New Zealand and our South Pacific Island neighbours”, and thus hope to inspire yearly projects like this one and similar projects based in other Universities around New Zealand. It is a multidisciplinary team consisting of Anita McKenzie, Josie McVitty, Jesse Ashton, David van Berkel, Wharehuia Dixon, Julia Norton, Andrew Waelen, and Haydn Luckman.

Fund- raising is a major goal for the team presently and total funds raised to date floats around $14,000 – with a budget of double this figure. Local firms SKM, GHD, AquaCOOL and the University of Auckland are the primary sponsors at present, but the search is still on for funding.


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