2019 Youth Award

Winner - Abby Golden

Youth award winner, Abby Golden,17, is described by the judges as “an impressive young woman who has stepped into leadership roles in her school and community with a genuine commitment to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

Whether it is in leadership roles with St John Youth, Sticks ‘n Stones, the 40 Hour Famine, Students Against Drink Driving, or the Dunstan High School Student Council, Abby is an inspirational and exemplary role model.

Abby’s sensitivity, innate ability and dignity underpin her positive community contribution. Her success comes from hard work and taking opportunities.

She completed 700+ voluntary hours towards the St John Youth Grand Prior award she was awarded in 2018. She also volunteers at Central Stories and Ranui Rest home.

Abby is an accomplished academic and makes a major contribution to Dunstan High School’s musicals, performances and choirs. She has served as Alexandra chairperson of Sticks ‘n Stones, as a fundraising leader and on the national board.

Abby has embraced opportunities to lead her community and grow her own skills. Her trusting, positive and encouraging demeanour makes her an exceptional leader dedicated to doing good things for her community.

highly commended - Finlay Russel

She may be 17 but Finlay Russel is already making an outstanding contribution to her local community.

With a maturity beyond her years, Finlay is the youngest of 20 volunteer firefighters with the Clyde Volunteer Fire Brigade—and equal to the mental and physical challenges of firefighting. She is recognised as one of Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s youngest trained frontline firefighters in the lower South Island.

Finlay is also a talented swim teacher at the Alexandra Community Pool where she teaches children of varying ages.

A natural leader who is well-respected by her peers, Finlay is an academic high achiever at Dunstan High School. She represented the school (and Central Otago) at the University of Otago as a local leader in science studies, particularly in anatomy.

Finlay is an inspirational mentor, a facilitator, and a firefighter who is trusted in situations that can be life-threatening. A natural leader of high integrity, she generously uses her skills and talents to make a real difference in her community.