Ashburton’s reputation for celebrating diversity was on display tonight at the presentation of the 2017 Trustpower Ashburton District Community Awards.
Filipino advocacy group, Filipino Diary Workers in New Zealand Inc. (FDWNZ) was named Supreme Winner, with a much-loved Pasifika play group and the iconic Multicultural Bite also amongst the winners.
The awards were announced and presented this evening (Monday 8 May) at a function at Hotel Ashburton. Trustpower awarded prize money to community groups across five categories, along with the Supreme Winner and the Youth Community Spirit Award, which recognises Year 13 students.
Trustpower Community Relations Representative Abbie Siely says Filipino Dairy Workers in New Zealand Inc. has spent almost a decade working to make New Zealand a ‘home away from home’ for the district’s Filipino community.
“The origins of this group go back more than ten years, when a handful of Filipino farmers in Rakaia would gather on their days off to share experiences and support each other through the challenges of dairy farming.
These days, the group is formally registered and provides training, advice and support to more than 300 members and their families.
FDWNZ arranges courses in food safety, workflow systems, first aid and driving, through funding from lottery grants. They conduct free seminars on employment rights, immigration, and progress in the dairy industry to keep their members up to date.
The group successfully petitioned to have mobile consular services in Ashburton, saving workers time and money travelling to renew their passports. Because of their actions, this service is now offered nationwide.
The organisation has become a respected source of knowledge for migrant worker issues and is participating in a PhD project through Lincoln University on the integration of migrant dairy workers in New Zealand.”
For winning the Supreme Award, Filipino Dairy Workers in New Zealand Inc. received a framed certificate, a trophy, and $1,500 prize money. The group will go on to represent the district at the 2017 Trustpower National Community Awards, which take place in Queenstown next April.
“FDWNZ has shown loads of initiative with their model for the empowerment and inclusion of migrants. It’s a concept that could be successfully applied throughout New Zealand, and we’re so excited that they will be sharing their story at the Trustpower National Community Awards next year,” says Miss Siely.
Other winners at tonight’s Trustpower Ashburton District Community Awards were:
Heritage & Environment:
Winner: Ashburton Museum Volunteer Team
Runner-up: Hakatere Heritage Committee
Health & Wellbeing:
Winner: St John Ashburton Operations Volunteer Team
Runner-up: Victim Support Mid Canterbury Commendation: IHC Volunteer Programme
Arts & Culture:
Winner: Fa’a Pasifika Play Group Ashburton
Runner-up: Multicultural Bite Commendation: Methven Action Committee
Sport & Leisure:
Winner: Coronation Target Shooting Club
Runner-up: Ashburton Wheels Week Committee
Education & Child/Youth Development:
Winner: Friends of the School – Our Lady of the Snows School
Runner-up: CACTUS Mid Canterbury
Youth Community Spirit:
Winner: Tayla Wright, Ashburton College
Runner-up: Thea Valmores, Mount Hutt College
For further information, contact:
Community Relations Representative
Phone: 021 276 5319