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North Harbour's Youth Celebrated at Annual AIMES Awards

North Harbour's Youth Celebrated - Education Takes Highest Honour

13 November 2017 – With the desire to treat incurable blindness, the excellence of young talented North Shore doctor Lewis Fry has been recognised with the Supreme Award at this year's AIMES Awards Gala Dinner.

The annual AIMES Awards (Arts, Innovation, Music, Education, Sport and Service to the Community) are the innovation of the North Harbour Club, a group of business and community leaders north of the Harbour Bridge, aspiring to help talented youth achieve even higher. 2017 sees the celebration of 22 years of rewarding youth excellence in the region, with grants totaling $2 Million dollars over this period.

The Supreme Award winner Lewis Fry (24) is an ex-Kristin School pupil and DUX, and has very recently taken up a Rhodes Scholarship at The University of Oxford, undertaking a PhD in Clinical Neurosciences. This will allow him to spend the next three years working on gene editing technology ‘CRISPR’ to edit DNA and treat incurable blindness. CRISPR has changed the game for genetic diseases.

Lewis says Young people from the North Shore do incredible things. It’s an immense privilege to be recognised as having the potential to follow in the footsteps of some of those who have previously won this award.

I am so grateful for the opportunities that are provided by an AIMES Award. These awards only exist because of a strong community and committed leaders who are contributing to our future and I thank the North Harbour Club for their efforts.

I go forward knowing that I am part of this supportive community, and I take great pride in representing the North Shore and representing New Zealand. I hope I can one day look back on this as the base that allowed me to develop a career that improved the health of New Zealanders and helped science flourish in New Zealand.

Andrea Davies, Chair of the AIMES Awards Judging panel, says that the depth of youth talent emerging from the North Harbour region continually amazes the judges. "Every year at the AIMES Awards we think we've reached a pinnacle, yet we continue to be impressed, it's a very humbling experience to be involved with such talented youth.”

With 176 nominees this year the judges were presented with a tough task to select the category winners and overall supreme winner. The judges were also inspired to see many of our past Junior Excellence and Emerging Talent winners forging the path in their career and this year going on to win Emerging Talent or the AIMES Awards level.

The AIMES Awards are divided into categories of Excellence (the Supreme winner is selected from within this group). Applicants must display excellence in the areas of the Arts, Innovation, Music, Education, Sport and Service to the Community. Emerging Talent winners are also selected from this group of applicants aged between 14 and 25 years. The Junior Excellence Awards are categorized in the same way and are aged between 10 and 13 years of age.

Supreme winner Lewis faced tough competition from fellow AIMES Award recipients; comedian Melanie Bracewell (22), computer scientist Jun Bing (24), cellist Jacky Siu (21), Olympic sailors Alex Maloney (25) and Molly Meech (24) and Alexia Hilbertidou (18) an activist and entrepreneur.

The annual AIMES Awards Gala Dinner was held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna to celebrate the seven AIMES Excellence Awards recipients. Air New Zealand flew home two of the 2017 award recipients and one performer - who was a previous AIMES Award recipient.

Earlier last week AIMES Emerging Talent Awards and Junior Excellence Awards were also presented to another 16 exceptional young people at a function held at The Wharf with their friends and family in attendance.

Winners Programme

Full bios available for each winner available here:


AIMES Award Winners 2017

Supreme Award - $30,000

Lewis Fry – Doctor, Scientist, Teacher - AIMES Education Award sponsored by Kristin School

Excellence Awards - $15,000 each

Melanie Bracewell – Comedian – AIMES Arts Award sponsored by ASB

Jun Bing – Computer Scientist – AIMES Innovation Award sponsored by Massey University

Jacky Siu – Cellist – AIMES Music Award sponsored by Yamaha Home Entertainment

Alex Maloney & Molley Meech (team, share $20,000) – Olympic Sailors – AIMES Sport Award sponsored by AUT Millennium.

Alexia Hilbertidou – Activist Entrepreneur – AIMES Service to the Community Award sponsored by Albany Toyota

Emerging Talent Award Winners 2017 - $7,500 each
Sponsored by Bellingham Wallace Accountancy

Zoe White – ARTS, Ballet Dancer

Blake Tolmie – INNOVATION, Bee Keeping Inventor

Lauren Bennett – MUSIC, Violinist

Matthew Beardsworth – MUSIC, Musician and Composer

Courtney Davies – EDUCATION, Microbiologist

Michaela Sokolich-Beatson – SPORT, Netballer

Cameron Webster – SPORT, Rower

Olivia McTaggart – SPORT, Pole Vaulter

Ian Lim – SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY, Community Champion

Junior Excellence Awards - $3,000 each
Sponsored by Library Lane and NZ Force Construction

Jasmine Jarad – INNOVATION, Innovator and App Developer

Jesse Oh – MUSIC, Singing, Piano, Violin and Viola

Caitlin O’Reilly – SPORT, Swimmer

Chantelle May – SPORT, Fencer

Maggie Squire – SPORT, Diving

George Rush – SPORT, Yachting

Logan Somerville – SPORT, Karate


About the North Harbour Club:

The North Harbour Club comprises of 180 leaders in local affairs, business, education, sport and social development. These members, who are all local residents or have their businesses in the North Shore and North Harbour area of Auckland, strive to promote excellence by encouraging and providing financial assistance to the young people of the region who are achieving excellence in their chosen field.


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