News | 20 December 2022

Celebrating students' success

The Absolutely Positively Wellington (APW) Student Awards celebrate secondary-school students’ contributions to their communities.

Wellington city.

Every year Wellington schools nominate a Year 10–12 student (or students) who has contributed to their school and wider community through an outstanding action or ongoing commitment. The awards aren’t confined to students who have achieved academic or sporting success. Rather, they recognise the time and energy an individual puts in to making Wellington a great place to live and learn.

Here are the winners for 2022.

Group of people's portraits.
Winners from the APW awards.

Rama Awad, Year 12 – Wellington Girls’ College 

Organised a social media campaign, raising awareness of islamophobia in New Zealand. Rama’s petition received more than 90,000 signatures calling for schools and the Ministry of Education to take action against Islamophobic bullying. 

Jamie Scott, Year 13 – Wellington College 

A keen tramper who has shown leadership through the school’s tramping club. Heavily involved with local Scouts – both as a youth leader at the Kea Club and assistant leader at Venturer’s. Jamie is an excellent team player and a valuable part of the school’s social football team, ultimate frisbee and pickleball.

Harry Lancaster, Year 13 – Wellington College 

A talented sportsperson, Harry is vice-captain of the 2nd XI cricket team as well as participating in football, Surf Lifesaving Inflatable Rescue Boat racing and Eastern Suburbs Cricket premier reserve cricket. He also coaches junior cricket and has shown great leadership skills through the tramping club. 

Kaita Hummel-Jibiki, Year 12 – Tawa College 

Involved with debating, choral and barbershop groups at college. Kaita is also on the yearbook committee, the philosophy club, badminton team, Amnesty International, and Tawa College News. He has represented the school at this year’s NIWA Science Fair and is also involved in environmental work. 

Niamh Hanna, Year 13 – Scots College

The first female in her Lifesavers club to reach the Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver Licence and is now heavily involved in training other lifeguards. In January, she received an Award of Excellence for her involvement in a rescue at Riversdale Beach during a patrol. 

Divya Srinivasa, Year 11 – Queen Margaret College 

Created a ‘How To’ guide to help improve digital literacy among the older generation, which she funded and distributed. She has also volunteered at the Save the Children Fair as well the school’s after-school care programme for junior students.

Nescy Dela Cruz, Year 12 – St Catherine’s College 

Responsible for jointly setting up a Filipino Group and organising a religious service and celebration for Filipino Language Week. Nescy is active in her wider Filipino community, through a choir in Newtown and her church in Wainuiomata. She is also involved in volunteering at the Wellington City Mission’s Social Supermarket. 

Marianna Boless, Year 11 – St Mary’s College 

An active member of the Social Action Committee – helping to organise special character events for the school ranging from Mass services to community outreach programmes that involve collecting second hand clothing for people in Ukraine and Tonga, and canned food for St Vincent De Paul. 

Baxter Neill, Year 11 – Tawa College 

Won Bronze at the Nestlé Golden Chef Hat competition and a Silver at the National Secondary Schools Culinary regional event. Baxter is responsible for setting up the Food Club, which plans and creates lunches, with the proceeds going to charity. In 2021, he was responsible for preparing the desserts for the School Leavers Dinner.

Maddalena Dal Sasso, Year 12 – Wellington Girls’ College

Has volunteered more than 500 hours on her local urban farm’s Kaicycle composting scheme. Maddalena is involved in tree plantings and the extermination of exotic, invasive and noxious weeds. She is organising a food waste audit at her school, and helping to install recycling and food waste bins, native tree planting and regular clean-ups. 

Nathan Quito, Year 13 – St Patrick’s College (Town) 

As co-head of the school’s Environmental Group, Nathan organised a beach clean-up in Petone with Year 11 students from his own school alongside those from St Mary’s and St Pat’s Silverstream. The event was such a success they arranged another clean-up at Lyall Bay beach. 

Charlotte Horner, Year 12 – Queen Margaret College

Successfully raised more than $5,000 for Wellington Children’s Hospital. She also raised a further $5000 for in honour of a student who was killed at a Dunedin student party. Charlotte is an active member of the basketball team and has taken up leadership roles throughout the school, to promote wellbeing. 

Vidthia Beaglehole, Kauri Sekido and Joshua Toumu’a, Year 12 – Wellington High School 

The trio worked together to plan and raise money for Unicef and their mahi for the victims of the war in Ukraine. They raised almost $2000 in a day by arranging for the sale of donated goods.

Find out more about the awards on our website or download the PDF with the award winners.