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Karamu High School Student Wins Prestigious Award For Creative Interpretation Of Wellbeing

A Karamu High School student has won a prestigious art competition for her creative interpretation of Hauora.

Makayla Read (Ngāti Kahungunu) won the Te Rau Ora Rangatahi Art Awards’ Te tohu Whakahihiko ‘Inspiring Others Merit Award’ for her artwork ‘Hauora in my eyes’.

The artwork, drawn by hand and digitally enhanced, is a representation of what hauora (wellbeing) means from a teenager’s perspective.

“I honestly didn't expect to win any award as the other artworks among mine looked amazing, and my mother stated that I had some tough competition,” the Year 11 student says.

“Having it out in the community overwhelms me with happiness because it’s amazing to know all my hard work I put into my piece has paid off due to winning this award.”

With a “strong passion” for creating art, she was encouraged to enter the competition by her mother, Julia Carmichael.

“She was the one who gave me a paper one day after school stating that Te Rau Ora was hosting a Rangatahi Art Competition and said it would be a great way to get my artwork out there in the community for others to see.”

Makayla used inspiration from her Year 9 and 10 health classes where she was taught about Hauora.

“I only really know about Hauora through health classes at school but I'm happy I was able to infiltrate that knowledge into my competition piece.”

Her work consists of four characters talking about what Hauora means to them.

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Before she began creating the piece, she went to four of her close friends and asked them ‘what does wellbeing look like to you?’

She then picked out the main points they brought up that she agreed with.

“This then got me thinking about what attributes I could include into my characters as they are my strength in my artworks, and so tried my best to create them with diverse features that teenagers can share a voice with.”

The $150 prize money went towards art supplies for future projects.

Mrs Carmichael says she couldn’t be any prouder of Makayla.

“I’ve given her ideas and sent her links to art competitions before but this one is the first one that resonated with her.

“I love that she opened up this line of discussion with her friends as that is who we need to be hearing more from - our future generation who will lead us into a healthy future - Tinana, Hinengaro me te Wairua.”

Principal Dionne Thomas says she is proud of Makayla's collective creativity and vision for Hauora.

“It is a little serendipitous as we increase our well-being focus in Year 11, 12 and 13 with more Hauora for seniors in their learning programmes from 2022.”

© Scoop Media

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