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Buller High School Bollywood Group Enters Community Awards

Bollywood Group continues to rise, but who will be this year’s community star?

Local community organisations need look no further than the Buller High School Bollywood Group for a reason to enter this year’s Community Awards, says Trustpower Community Relations Representative Abbie Siely.

The Westport-based group has a bumper year lined up, thanks in part to the connections it has made as Supreme Winner of last year’s Trustpower Buller District Community Awards.

“Buller High School Bollywood Group is a shining example of the magic that can happen when a group puts their hat in the ring for a Community Award,” says Miss Siely.

“These awards are an opportunity to connect with other go-getters in your community. The ones who are working together to make Buller an ever better place to live. Every year we get a group of keen volunteers together to hear stories from their community and connect with each other.

It is a great way to thank some wonderful community groups for the work they do, and spark new ideas and collaborations into action.”

Buller High School Bollywood Group were Supreme Winners at the 2016 Trustpower Buller District Community Awards, for which they received $1,500 prizemoney, a trophy and a trip for two to represent Buller at the Trustpower National Community Awards, held in Rotorua in March.

From there, the group found more success, claiming one of the three prizes up for grabs nationally – the Whetū MātaiataAward.

“The Whetū Mātaiata Award is sponsored by Exult, one of New Zealand’s leading training providers for the community sector. The Award was established to nurture a group with the potential to achieve so much more with a little guidance and support,” says Miss Siely.

Part of the prize was a full day workshop with Exult, which took place in June. The group spent the day brainstorming ideas and developing a plan with Exult Managing Director Kerri Tilby-Price ahead of the Diwali Festival in October.

“Working with the Buller Bollywood Group was so much fun. They already had some great ideas for their festival, but having the chance to explore the concept in more depth uncovered a whole heap of other possibilities. We were able to highlight some aspects of running an event they hadn’t thought of yet, and it’s given them a good framework to build the rest of the event on. I can’t wait to see photos of the festival when it happens,” says Tilby-Price.

The results of the session are starting to fall into place. Muni Ratnam, whose daughter Jayshri is the group’s original dancer, says the group is busy preparing its programme for the year and has reached out further into the community by including two local primary schools and more adult dance groups in its programme.

Abbie Siely says any of Buller’s volunteer groups could have these same opportunities, all they need to do is take that first step and enter.

“Being a part of the Community Awards can open new doors for voluntary groups that help them to have an even greater impact on the community. But the first step is to throw your hat in the ring – to fill in that entry form!”

Anyone can enter a group and groups can even enter themselves in the 2017 Trustpower Buller District Community Awards. Enter online at or at the Buller District Council. Entries close Friday 11 August.

The awards will be presented at a function on Monday 9 October at NBS Theatre. Prizemoney is awarded across five categories and the Supreme Winner will go on to represent Buller at the Trustpower National Community Awards in Queenstown next April.


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