Topic: 2010 Hamilton Civic Awards

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In 2010 Civic Awards were presented to Sayeeda Bano, David Campbell, David Croucher, Christine East, Michael Easther, Gillian Gorrick, Margaret Holroyd, Kathy Moody, Paul Mitchell, Tureiti Moxon, Tom Purcell, Nancy Rounthwaite, Jan Silvester and Shirley Winikerei, in December 2010, by Mayor Julie Hardaker.

Sayeeda Bano

Since arriving in Hamilton 25 years ago, Sayeeda Bano has devoted many hours of voluntary service to community groups throughout the city.
Described as "an honest, caring, cheerful person who works tirelessly to help people from all walks of life," Sayeeda makes a widespread contribution to Waikato ethnic communities and faith communities - she is a member of numerous organisations, often serving on the executive committees or advisory boards, and is also a Justice of the Peace.

Over the past eight to 10 years, Sayeeda has held various positions on the Waikato Ethnic Council, now known as the Multicultural Council, and is currently a vice-president. She has been an active member of the Muslim community for more than 20 years and has participated in a number of local and national programmes for Muslim women. Extremely passionate about women's rights, Sayeeda is a foundation member of Shama
- Hamilton Ethnic Women's Centre Trust, which promotes integration with the ethnic women and the wider community.

She's been involved with a number of major cultural festivals including Diali, Navratri and Eid; has actively assisted with the Char Bargh Garden project at Hamilton Gardens; and through her work as a community radio broadcaster has helped to spread messages of peace and harmony throughout our communities.

During her 16 years with the Rotary Club of Hamilton East, Sayeeda has served on the Community, Vocational, International and Public Relations committees, and has been pivotal in the coordination of speakers, meetings and international exchanges. She also served for a period on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board, a national organisation working on community-orientated research projects.

Whenever there is a need in the community, Sayeeda devotes her time selflessly to the cause and is always willing to go the extra mile - this devotion to her community makes her a very worthy recipient of this Civic Award.

David Campbell 

For more than four decades David Campbell has been giving back to the city he calls home. An active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Frankton for 40 years, Dave has held all the officer positions within the club, including president, during this time.

Often used as a mentor or ‘think tank' for projects, Dave remains keenly involved with a number of key projects - championing the youth and community activities within the wider club projects, and ensuring that the annual Summer Science School attendees are supported through the nomination process and financially assisted. For eight years he was also the primary organiser of the ‘Fit for Life Relay' - an extremely successful event which would have continued had it not been for changes in Transit regulations and associated costs. Through his actions and deeds Dave has made an enduring mark on the city, and in recognition of this his peers awarded him Rotary's highest honour in 2005, a Paul Harris Fellowship.

A former headmaster at Fraser High School, during this time Dave completely restructured the course programme and successfully instilled a sense of pride and loyalty in the students - creating a strong, united school which still holds this legacy today. In the early 1970s he also became heavily involved with rowing - with his enthusiasm at the helm, Fraser High School's rowing programme went from strength to strength, with the school ultimately going on to win the Maadi Cup.

Long after he retired from Fraser High School, Dave and his wife Nancy were the driving force in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Secondary School Rowing Committee which organises the Maadi Cup regattas. The organisation of the Maadi Cup in 1997 was a real achievement for the region and a true testament to Dave's leadership and the high regard in which he is held by rowers, supporters and officials alike. Dave's long involvement with the sport has made him a ‘master in regatta problem-solving' and he is known to find creative ways of tackling issues - once running all of the regatta computers off his motor home's generator in order to keep racing going during a power cut.

Dave Campbell is a man of enthusiasm and drive, displaying boundless energy and commitment and outstanding professional leadership, and it is our honour to present him with this Civic Award today.

David Croucher

As a Friends of Hamilton Zoo volunteer, David Croucher has devoted over three-thousand hours to improving the visitor experience, as well as enhancing the lives of the animals that reside there. A member of the host committee, David works and meets regularly with zoo management, and also acts as a mentor and trainer for new hosts. He is often invited by community groups to speak about the roles that hosts play at the zoo, as well as the role of Friends of the Zoo.

Renowned for his excellent communication skills, his ability to build a rapport with anyone and his wonderful sense of humour, Dave's approach is appreciated and admired by visitors to the zoo. Tasked with helping to enhance the visitor experience, Dave also calls on his engineering background and design and construction skills to take this to the next level - building everything from seats, to a viewing platform by the giraffe's enclosure to enable visitors to view these fascinating animals all year round. Dave also taps into his skill base to make improvements for the animals themselves - creating platforms for the tigers, feeding poles, cat sleeping boxes, Kune Kune pig shelters and other behavioural enrichment tools.

Through his involvement in the Royal Society of New Zealand BP Challenge, Dave is passing on his knowledge and advice to the younger generations - guiding school students as they are tasked with designing animal enrichment item for themselves.

Dave has certainly made an impact on the lives of the visitors and animals at Hamilton Zoo, and we recognise his selfless efforts with this Civic Award today.

Christine East 

Christine East and Margaret Holroyd's strong partnership has seen the pair become key drivers in the establishment of the new hydrotherapy pool at Waterworld.

Together Christine and Margaret researched, wrote and presented a submission to the Hamilton City Council in 2004 that set the platform for the project. They have worked tirelessly, raising funds for the capital to build the $2.1 million pool and liaising with the project's architects and working party to ensure the design of the pool has all the features required to enable the most severely challenged accessibility to the swimming pool.
When complete, the pool will be equipped with specialty equipment - making it one of the most up-to-date hydrotherapy pools in the country and an amenity that everyone in the city can be proud of.

At 17 years of age Christine East developed acute rheumatoid arthritis and over the years spent significant periods of time in rehabilitation. It was during one of these periods at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rotorua that Chris first became aware of the benefits of exercise in hot water. After attending exercise classes at a motel leisure pool in Hamilton, Chris' dissatisfaction with the poor conditions prompted her to join with Margaret and begin researching the need for a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool in the city.

The pair has presented submissions to the city's annual plan about this issue every year since 2004 and arguments for this much-needed community facility were so persuasive that the Council gave their unanimous support to the project.

When the Hamilton Hydrotherapy Pool Charitable Trust was formulated in August 2005 Christine was a founding trustee. The first major fundraiser was the photographic essay ‘African Wildlife; Through the Eyes of a Kiwi' - a book complied by Christine's late husband Dr Rod East, who recognised the benefit that his wife gained from exercise in the warm water of the hydrotherapy pool that he decided to develop the book about his travels in Africa as a fundraiser for the cause.

Following Rod's death the cost of publishing the book was funded by a group of their friends and all the proceeds from the sale of the books are donated to the fundraising campaign to build the Hydrotherapy Pool.

So often people like Christine who give their time voluntarily and are strong advocates for a community project go unacknowledged, so it is with great pleasure that we see her efforts recognised today with this Civic Award.

Michael Easther

Michael Easther has a long history of giving generously to the community - as a GP, writer, hypnotherapist, cryptic crossword puzzle writer, actor and theatre performer. In particular, his unpaid contribution to local theatre is renowned and he is deserving of many accolades after a lifetime service to theatre and performing arts.

Michael has been in over 100 shows in the Waikato and has performed with nine different societies, in addition to being the patron of Playbox and vice president of Hamilton Operatic Society.

In his role as patron of Playbox Hamilton, Michael has been a wonderful supporter of theatre. Regardless of whether he is starring in the production or not, he attends every show and is always involved with the set-up and pack-down of the props, furniture and sets - certainly no mean feat when you are in your 80s.

In the 27 years that Riverlea has been operating, Michael's involvement has spanned many capacities and he is always quick to take newcomers to the theatre under his wing. He has appeared in about 30 shows directed by students from Wintec and Waikato University, and has also done two voice-overs for stage craft productions for Hamilton Girls' High School. He is been pivotal in inspiring children and high school groups to perform before an audience - a great skill to have and to teach others.

Over the years Michael has also helped plan and perform in many large city events, such as the annual Carols by Candlelight at Hamilton Lake, celebrations for visiting representations from sister cities, royal visits and other special occasions.

As if his extensive contribution to theatre was not enough, Michael has also published two books and written a weekly ‘flim-flam' for the Waikato Times for the past 11 years.

The years of pleasure and service he has given to the people of Hamilton and the greater Waikato region makes Michael a very deserving recipient of this civic award.

Gillian Gorrick

In the 1970s Gillian, then charge physiotherapist at Waikato Hospital, worked diligently to establish the Waikato Crippled Children's Society toy library. From these small beginnings the toy library concept has grown, with over 220 toy libraries being established in towns and cities throughout the country.

Each toy library shares a common philosophy that play is a child's work and that playing with toys is a fun way for children to develop skills to negotiate the world. In recognition of the ground work she laid for the movement, Gillain was made a Life Member of the Toy Library Federation of New Zealand in 1982.

In 2004 she was asked by the Federation to open the Cambridge Toy Library Conference as a motivational speaker, to mark 30 years of toy libraries in New Zealand. Gillian is now retired but has retained a strong and practical connection with the toy library she founded.
She also supports the community voluntarily in a number of other ways - proceeds from the toy bags she makes contribute to fundraising for the Hamilton Hydrotherapy Pool and she works voluntarily for Presbyterian Social Services to continue to assist disadvantaged families.

Gillian Gorrick's vision for the children of this country and her willingness to share her passion and skills beyond her own community makes her an extremely worthy of this Civic Award we present today.

Margaret Holroyd

Together Christine and Margaret researched, wrote and presented a submission to the Hamilton City Council in 2004 that set the platform for the project. They have worked tirelessly, raising funds for the capital to build the $2.1 million pool and liaising with the project's architects and working party to ensure the design of the pool has all the features required to enable the most severely challenged accessibility to the swimming pool.
When complete, the pool will be equipped with specialty equipment - making it one of the most up-to-date hydrotherapy pools in the country and an amenity that everyone in the city can be proud of.

During her time working in the Rehabilitation Unit at Waikato Hospital Margaret Holroyd, who is a retired social worker, found there were many people like her who needed to keep themselves as fit as possible to cope with their disabilities. It was with this insight that she identified a real need and strong support for the development of a new hydrotherapy pool in the city.

When the Hamilton Hydrotherapy Pool Charitable Trust was formulated in August 2005, Margaret felt that her own health would limit her ability to act as a trustee so declined the role. However this has not limited her input and support - her own background in health and personal challenges has made her well aware of the benefits of exercise in warm water, and she is a formidable and passionate advocate for this project.

She has continued to promote interest in the Hydrotherapy Pool Project, using her own computer to set up a large database of contacts and potential users and keeps them well informed of progress.

Margaret remains committed to the vision that the hydrotherapy pool will be a community facility that promotes wellness and will be accessible to all who wish to keep active and healthy by exercising in warm water.

Kathy Moody

Kathy Moody has taken a lead role in establishing and developing one of the city's much-loved sporting facilities.
The current club president of Hamilton Roller Skating Club, Kathy has been involved with the club for more than 30 years and was awarded life membership in 1990 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the club and the community in general.

A firm believer in the benefits of roller skating, Kathy has worked tirelessly to make skating available to a wide range of people. When Skateworld closed, Kathy campaigned for a roller-skating rink in Melville Park - using her impressive skills of persuasion to secure the support of park users, members of the local community, Hamilton City Council and funders.

In 1998 her vision came to bear and the club opened a facility for use by club skaters and the wider community with low-cost skating sessions targeting families and young people. Over time the slab grew, making a larger rink; club rooms were built; the facility was roofed; and security cameras were installed.

Kathy has personally overseen both planning, funding and construction of all of the stages of the rink, however her efforts to upgrade and protect the facility by roofing and enclosing the rink in 2010 was a clear milestone for the club and the local community. Today the rink is a major asset to the neighbourhood - it encourages healthy, family-based activities, provides a central focus to the park and regularly attracts participants from as far away as Auckland.

Through her hard work Kathy has created a last legacy for the city, and we recognise her efforts today with this Civic Award.

Paul Mitchell

While many people struggle to find the time and energy to devote to just one area of the community, Paul Mitchell has made special contributions to three - theatre, special education and tertiary education.

Theatre is a deep ongoing vocation for Paul - he began performing and doing backstage work in 1990 with the Hamilton Operatic Society and in 1998 he was elected as chairman of the board - taking on the administration and production responsibilities of an ailing organisation.
Using his business acumen, networking and interpersonal skills seasoned with a strong dash of humour, he helped restore Hamilton Operatic Society to a successful, financially viable organisation, while fulfilling its constitutional purpose of "bringing good theatre to the community".

Paul's ability to engage business and community support, recognise and nurture amateur talent, integrate professional talent and make people feel valued achieved the delicate balance of keeping amateur thespians happy while engaging community interest with popular shows.

Paul's other commitments have taken more of his time but he still actively volunteers as Society president where his experience provides a sounding board for members and guides succession planning.

Since 2003 Paul has also given over 100 hours per year to serve as a presentation coach and business advisor to Students in Free Enterprise, a student club at the university which undertakes social enterprise projects in the community and competes both nationally and internationally by presenting their projects to business leaders. Our local teams have been so successful that they have undertaken other nationwide competitions, and have sought and received Paul's training support for these events as well.

Paul is also heavily involved with special needs education and research, which is described as ‘both his professional vocation and greatest purpose'. Paul moved into the field of special education in 1995 after he stopped being a primary school principal. Initially working with children with special learning needs for two years Paul became a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) and has worked at several schools throughout the region. Since being one of the founding team who created Kairaranga, a peer-reviewed journal for those working with people with special needs, Paul has volunteered as the editor and sourced funding to keep the journal operating.

Those who have worked with Paul Mitchell in any of the areas he is passionate about will be aware of the positive impact he has made on our community. For this, we present him with this Civic Award today.

Tureiti Moxon

Tureiti Moxon has lived in Hamilton with her family for over 23 years and she has played a major role in supporting developing community organisations. An inspirational leader that has led by example, she is driven by her social conscience and belief for equity for all.

Tureiti has worked in the community for many years, heavily involved with Te Kohanga Reo education, working as a coordinator and establishing many Kohanga Reo over the North Island in the 1980s and early 1990s. She is a founding member and CEO of Toioroa Primary Health Organisation Coalition and a member of the Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust (family Start and Paft).

Tureiti is a Trustee on Te Rununga o Kirikiriroa Maori Authority, and a member of the Social Services Tribunal, the Waikato DHB Iwi Maori Council and St Peter's Anglican Cathedral. She was a member of the COG's Committee and a Trustee for Trust Waikato for six years, as well as a director for Habitat for Humanity.

Tureiti is currently managing director of Te Kohao Health, a non-profit charitable company focused on the provision of very low and no cost health and social services to high need populations in Hamilton. In this role she has seen Te Kohao health achieve accreditation status with the NZ College of GPs and Quality Health NZ. Leading by example, Tureiti herself achieved accreditation by the Institute of Directors and is currently the only Maori accredited director in the Waikato.

Tureiti has led a multimillion dollar fundraising campaign for Te Kohao Health, resulting in the construction of a Community Health and Wellness Centre - a facility which offers excellent medical and support services that are both accessible and affordable to families. The growth of the Toioroa PHO is attributed to Tureiti's commitment and dedication.

The vision and aspiration of Tureiti, consistently striving for positive outcomes throughout the whole community, has resulted in overall wellbeing for people in the community. Her efforts make her a truly worthy of the Civic Award she receives today.

Tom Purcell 

Since moving to Hamilton over five decades ago, Tom Purcell has devoted much of his time, knowledge and skills to helping others within the community.

Tom practised as a lawyer for many years before retiring about a decade ago. He had a long-term active involvement in public speaking and the public service functions of the Jaycees Association in Hamilton in the 1960s.

Tom often provided pro bono legal advice to people of modest means very quietly through his involvement with the Catholic Church. There are no records of this work - Tom would not wish to be recognised for his generosity - as his motivation was a genuine concern for those less fortunate than himself.

Many years ago Tom also overcame personal addiction and turned his life around - as you would expect from Tom, over a long period of time he has also helped several others do the same.

Tom has been active in the St Vincent de Paul Society as President of the St Columba's Vincent de Paul conferences and was actively involved in the community work as well, particularly in Frankton. He provided advice, food and housing, and visited people when they needed resolution for their problems. Tom still has a continuing commitment to the Frankton branch, despite recent health issues.

Tom is also involved in ‘Loaves and Fishes', a programme which provides lunch for needy children in our city's primary and secondary schools.
His faithful service within his church was recognised this year with the awarding of the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI. This medal is conferred upon those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church, their families and community.

Tom is a man of innate warmth, modesty and integrity. Blessed with an irreverent sense of humour which he shares abundantly, Tom Purcell is an honourable man, committed to serving his community and is extremely worthy of this Civic Award.

Nancy Rounthwaite

Nancy Rounthwaite was a long history of supporting the city's migrants and refugees through her involvement with English Language Partners Waikato Inc. (formally ESOL Home Tutors). Over 14 years Nancy has made an outstanding contribution to the volunteer organisation; supporting migrant adult learners in one-to-one tutorials and facilitating group learning.

She has worked with 20 learners in a one-on-one setting over her time with the organisation, visiting them each week and supporting their individual language learning needs. Most of these learners were at an intermediate level of English proficiency or less when they started, and she has always supported them until they were ready to move on. Records show that some learners received more than five years service from Nancy in her volunteer role. As well as tutoring an individual learner each week, Nancy has a small group of learners in her home for conversation practise each Wednesday morning as part of her volunteer contribution.

Her outstanding service has also seen her spend eight years facilitating a Social English Group each week with a team of volunteer assistants. She has formed a team of three or four assistants and has met at a number of venues in Hamilton - the popularity of the groups meant they were constantly out-growing venues and having to move on to bigger locations.

Hundreds of adult learners have attended these groups over the years where they have an opportunity to make new friends while learning English in a communicative setting. Among the special skills that Nancy brings to the group is her inclusive manner where every one is appreciated and supported in their desire to communicate well in English. She encourages learners to ‘take risks' and not to be afraid of ‘making mistakes'. Her warm and open manner, her willingness to listen carefully to her learners have supported and empowered a great number of new residents.

Nancy has a great sense of humour and a willingness to share - she is always there to provide sensible advice in all situations, reassuring new residents and assisting where she can with their new lives. She is described as a "treasure", whose dedicated service to so many new residents in Hamilton makes her very deserving of this Civic Award.

Jan Silvester 

Jan Silvester is an exceptional person who has given many hours of service supporting the people of Hamilton. Regarded as a ‘people's person', Jan is involved in numerous community groups.

She has shown strong leadership and commitment in her service to the people of our community. Over the years she has been heavily involved with school PTAs and boards; was an executive officer at Lifeline; is an active member of the Chartwell Co-operating Parish and since 2001 has been a trustee on the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust. She is currently a volunteer with the Hamilton Area Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) and has been with this organisation since 2004.

Jan is presently past-chairperson of the Management Committee of the CAB, having been the chairperson and co-chairperson in the previous two years. During Jan's time as chairperson she put in many hours of work to set up the bureau's new agency which opened in Garden Place in 2010. She worked tirelessly with Council to physically set up the working space and then undertook extra rostered duties at the agency, going well beyond the usual once a week working period that volunteers commit to. Jan has also done this for an agency at the University of Waikato in 2006 - working additional hours to cover gaps in the roster.

When dealing with clients of the CAB, Jan is non-judgemental and empathetic. She is a warm, outgoing person, who shows genuine concern for people - providing caring support for an organisation which empowers people.

She has also been involved with the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust (HMS Trust) since its inception approximately nine years ago. Having physically helped move the Migrant Resource Centre from cramped premises in Knox Street to its present location in Boundary Road, Jan continues to work tirelessly for the Trust, currently as minutes secretary.

As well as ‘mucking in' and helping out at ground-roots level, Jan is also able to offer a listening ear whenever others are in need of support. Jan is a leader by example, always prepared to help and never expecting acknowledgement or praise. She always manages to deal with each new challenge with a mixture of sound judgement and a delightful sense of humour.

With the awarding of this Civic Award we recognise Jan's unstoppable energy and enthusiasm, her strong leadership and her unwavering commitment to the organisations she is involved with.

Shirley Winikerei

As Community Resource Coordinator and Advocate for Foetal Alcohol Support Trust, Shirley Winikerei has spent eighteen years supporting those living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Over this time she has educated a number of local body and central government politicians in this major health and social problem.
As a result of her determined efforts there is now a growing awareness of the seriousness of FASD and the need for our health, education and social service agencies to be resourced to assist those who live with the condition. The consequences of regular drinking combined with pregnancy are frequently tragic and last for a lifetime.

Until recently, Shirley's work to raise awareness of the problem and provide assistance has seldom been acknowledged. A tireless worker, Shirley's passion and commitment are both humbling and inspiring. Many people half her age would struggle to sustain such an energetic approach to a cause, especially when confronted by widespread ignorance and apathy.

Several of Shirley's testimonials are actually from outside the Hamilton area, highlighting her singlehanded and determined efforts to promote awareness of FASD and provide support for families in our community and throughout the rest of New Zealand who have experienced the condition.

The isolated nature of Shirley's work is demonstrated by the fact that she established Hamilton's FASD Trust in 1997 and it is still based in the garage of her home in Nawton. Shirley has built a considerable body of resources which she shares willingly, and she has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand attending expos and distributing awareness packs.

In 2002 Shirley organised a petition to Parliament calling for FASD to be recognised as a notifiable disability. Her efforts to achieve diagnosis and help for those affected by FASD have won the gratitude of many families and the admiration of some heath workers, but few are aware her work has mostly been unfunded.

Shirley Winikerei is certainly one of Hamilton's unsung heroes and great deserves recognition at this civic level.

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