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AUT wins national title for third time

AUT wins national title for third time

AUT Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) will represent New Zealand in Singapore this October after scooping the 2008 SIFE New Zealand National Competition championship title.

This is the third recent national win for SIFE AUT. In 2005 they took home the top trophy and were placed 20th in the world. In 2006 they came second in the national competition, and last year they again represented New Zealand and came in the top 16 global teams at the SIFE World Cup in New York - out of around 1800 teams worldwide.

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Students from LEFT to RIGHT: Ken Choong, Saengtip Kirk, Dawn Badham, Stephanie Yost, Dianna Woollard, Ekaterina Melnikova, Clare George and Michael Teoh.

SIFE is a not-for-profit global community of self-managed voluntary tertiary students. The groups create and implement ethical business enterprise projects to improve the success and well being of their communities.

SIFE AUT's projects have included Pro-Activ - a speed-interviewing employment event to enhance the employability of graduating students; Networx - an education project aimed to teach business skills to underachieving high school students and presenting them with recycled computers; and WorkNZ - an educational project aimed to motivate women who have been out of the workforce to get back into employment. Its business development arm, Consulting Project Team has also helped businesses to design and implement business plans.

SIFE AUT comprises around 60 AUT students from across the university but mainly those studying for a Bachelor of Business Degree. The group's Vice President Michael Teoh says it's an honour to represent New Zealand at the SIFE World Cup.

"This is a great opportunity for us as Kiwi business students from AUT to network with the world's best business leaders and other students from across the world," he says.

"More importantly, it's a chance for us to showcase what our team of students has done in New Zealand to make positive changes in our own communities."

He adds that making a difference is the driving force for SIFE AUT volunteers.

The national competition was held at KPMG in Auckland last weekend. Judges included business executives from KPMG, Gallagher Group, HSBC, Fletcher Building, Watties, BIC, Harcourts Group Limited, Finsia, Sealed Air, Conceive, the EMA and NZTE.

Judges commented that SIFE AUT had sleek presentation, measurable business project outcomes and had made a significant impact to their communities.

SIFE AUT was also informally named the crowd's 'Most likely and favourite' to win the New Zealand Championship based on the overwhelming response the AUT team received from the audience following its presentation.

The SIFE AUT winning team, now named 'Team New Zealand', includes Dawn Badham, Ken Choong, Clare George, Saengtip Kirk, Ekaterina Melnikova, Michael Teoh, Dianna Woollard and Stephanie Yost, with SIFE AUT mentors, AUT academics Mark Le Fevre and Helene Wilkinson

Team New Zealand will head to Singapore this October to pit their skills against 45 other national tertiary teams.

"And this time," says Teoh, "we're going to bring home the World Cup."

For more information about SIFE, please visit: and


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