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Enjoy the journey of growing up – Hurunui District Council

A big part of growing up is about enjoying the journey of becoming who you want to be.

They were the words of Constable Damian Schuurman of the Culverden Police, guest speaker at Hurunui District Council’s Secondary School Achievers Fund awards ceremony last weekend in Scargill. As the school year draws to a close, exciting and nervous times are upon those students who are completing their final year.

This week nine school leavers in the Hurunui District received a scholarship as they embark on tertiary education in 2024.

It will be a portion of the $11,500 scholarship, a joint venture of $10,000 from Hurunui District Council and $1500 from Council’s law firm Buddle Findlay, which has been involved for six years now.

The Fund will assist them with accommodation costs, scholarship travel expenses, purchases of text books and electronic equipment.

To date, 145 students have benefited from this Fund which began in 2000, and this year 21 applications were received. This awards ceremony is always a highlight of Mayor Marie Black’s year, and as she presented the awards she expressed her admiration for the hard work and focus being illustrated by these young people. “The amazing range of options these students are exploring is nothing less than exceptional.”

Rural medicine, law and commerce, agricultural business, environmental geology, marine science, photography, law and arts, broadcasting and communications, law and commerce and engineering are the chosen career paths these students will be embarking on.

Hurunui Youth Council member William Munsey was on the selection panel alongside Mayor Marie Black, Councillors Vanessa McPherson and Karen Armstrong, Buddle Findlay representative Anna Wishart, and three independent members Anne Costello from Hawarden, and Geoff Shier and Gwyn Williams from Amberley.

“It’s great to see the fantastic work these students have done,” said Munsey.

The successful recipients for 2022 were Bob Morgan from Hanmer Springs and attended Amuri Area School, Briana Hodgen from Hawarden and attended Rangi Ruru Girls’ School from year 10, (absent from the ceremony due to Covid) Ilona McLachlan from Broomfield who attended Christchurch Girls’ High School, (who was absent from the ceremony and her mother received the award on her behalf), Jed Dwyer from Culverden and attended Amuri Area School, Jessica Shearer from Waiau and attended Christchurch Girls’ High School, Mateo Bonny from Waipara and attended Rangiora High School, Regan Clark from Hanmer Springs and attended Amuri Area School, and William Knight from Waipara and attended Christchurch Boys’ High School. Constable Schuurman said the next few years will have challenges and great times, and the key to reaching your goals is being around good people. Looking back on his youth and early career days, he said he had ups and downs and is very grateful for the people who showed belief and helped shape him. “Surround yourself with good people, as they will be a huge part of the success of getting to where you want to go.”

He noted their plans may change, career paths may shift, and that does not matter.

“Work hard at everything you decide to do, you may decide to do something completely different to what you are doing now.”

Mayor Marie Black closed the ceremony, with a message that continued on from Constable Schuurman’s message around shaping your own future. She encouraged them to continue to enjoy and discover the joy of learning, the thrill of mastering new skills and the satisfaction of using them to make a difference. “May your skills be sharpened, your dreams be realised and your future be filled with success and happiness.”


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