Life can throw some wonderful opportunities at you and when this particular one came hurling my way, I caught it with both hands!
I moved to Auckland from the Manawatu in 1993. My manager at that time was Professor Ian Watson, Principal of Massey University’s newly established Albany Campus. Ian – now an honourary member – was instrumental in the establishment of the North Harbour Club. So when he retired I undertook to continue building on his well-established relationships with the North Harbour region, and particularly, the North Harbour Club and Charitable Trust.
I was privileged to be elected as a North Harbour Club trustee in 2012, after which I joined the AIMES Awards judging panel. After a couple of years I was invited to chair the AIMES Awards judging panel.
Being an AIMES Award judge is such a humbling, rewarding, and extremely enjoyable responsibility. Being a judge is a big commitment of time from each of the 5-6 judges for approximately one month each year during which up to 180 applications need to be read, an interview shortlist agreed, followed by interviewing each shortlisted applicant. Of course, the most difficult decisions of all is to agree who will win each category, and who will be the AIMES Award Supreme winner. The hard work is very worthwhile as the judges meet a large number of simply fantastic and incredibly talented young people.
I have been involved with the AIMES Award for a number of years, and I can share that each year the quality of applicant gets stronger, which means that the decisions have become more difficult to make.
If it was not for my involvement with the AIMES Awards, I would never have had the opportunity to meet such a large number of extremely talented and gifted young people who are part of our wider community. For each AIMES Award winner, there are many more great applicants, and its so hard to tell them that their application has not been successful this time. We always encourage them to keep on doing amazing things, and to reapply again. As you will have read in this issue of Northside, many of our young people are following their dreams and passions all around the globe. Some are studying at the best international drama schools, others are studying at Ivy League Universities, others are establishing linkages between New Zealand and the rest of the world, and of course there are those here in New Zealand doing just as amazing things.
I am extremely proud and will always feel humbled by the absolutely fabulous young people I have met during my involvement with the Club.
My time as an AIMES Awards judge confirmed for me how much I enjoy working with young people. So at the end of 2017 I made a big decision to take on a new challenge. I’m now a full-time student studying to be a primary school teacher. I can assure you that once I find myself in the classroom, I will be inspiring and encouraging as many young people as possible to reach for the stars, achieve outstanding results, and apply for a North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award!
I thank the North Harbour Club, its trustees, club staff and my fellow judges, for the opportunity to contribute. I wish the club continued success in supporting so many outstanding young people affilitated with our region, both those from the past and those of our future.
Andrea Davies (JP) was Campus Registrar at Massey University’s Albany Campus. Her departure from the role in late 2017 brought an end to a 40 year career at the University. A career that started at the Manawatu campus in 1978. She was one of the first staff at the new Auckland campus at Albany in 1993. Andrea retired as a North Harbour Club Trustee and AIMES Awards Judging Chair in January 2018. She remains an AIMES Awards Judge for 2018.
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