We we're stoked to team up with Alexia Hilbertidou from GirlBoss NZ and bring the GirlBoss Awards to life for the very first time.
After over 400 nominations from Kerikeri to Invercargill and a lot of deliberation, last night we celebrated six inspiring young women who are driving change in their communities at an awards event in Auckland.
Congratulations to Rahiri, Mikayla, Greer, Zoe, Tulsi and Simone who are this year's GirlBosses.
Above - Alexia Hilbertidou, Rahiri - winner of the supreme Trailblazer Award and Trade Me's Moana Roberts
For more about these amazing young women, check out the media release below.
Inaugural GirlBoss Award Winners Announced
Supreme winner focused on young Māori leaders
The inaugural GirlBoss Awards were announced in Auckland last night, celebrating a generation of phenomenal young women on the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Six young Kiwi women aged between 11 and 18 received a GirlBoss Awards after more than 400 nominations flooded in from around the country.
The winners were focused on growing young Māori leaders, reducing pollution and driving conversations about youth mental health and were from across New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch,
Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Waikato. Each received $1,000 with the supreme winner receiving $2,000.
GirlBoss founder Alexia Hilbertidou said the GirlBoss Awards were about celebrating New Zealand’s future female leaders and CEOs. “These young women are inspirational as they challenge stereotypes and make a difference in their community. We’ve loved seeing such a high calibre of entries from Invercargill to Kerikeri, and selecting six winners was was very tough.”
Seventeen-year-old Rahiri Makuini Edwards-Hammond from Wairoa in Hawke’s Bay received the supreme ‘Trailblazer Award’ for her work developing young Māori leaders. Rahiri co-founded Project Rangatahi which aims to connect young Māori with internships, mentors and opportunities to help them flourish in their career.
Trade Me’s Moana Roberts said there were some amazing entries but Rahiri’s stood out. “Not only has she been involved in a massive range of events and initiatives, but she’s also identified how important it is to connect young Māori with leaders and show them what’s possible. Project Rangatahi is a fantastic model - it’s humbling and inspiring to see what Rahiri has made happen.”
Seventeen-year-old Mikayla Stokes from Western Springs in Auckland, took home the STEAM Award (science/technology/engineering/arts/maths) for inventing a pollution sensor to measure the amount of particulates in the air and transmit this information to a server on her laptop.
The Innovation Award went to seventeen-year-old Tulsi Lathia from Christchurch for inventing a device that would help locate people following a natural disaster and a second device that is a fire detection, evacuation and control system.
Thirteen-year-old Greer Wilson from Massey in Auckland received the Emerging Leader Award for her work raising awareness of mental health and providing recommendations to Parliament about how the mental health system could better serve young people.
Fifteen-year-old Simone Renee Peers from Waikato was the winner of the Enterprise Award for her growing business in Hamilton selling hot nuts. And eighteen-year-old Zoe Palmer from Nelson received the Community Award for campaigning to save the 24/7 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service crisis line in her region.
Miss Hilbertidou said she was looking forward to seeing these young Kiwis continue to shape the future of New Zealand. “These young women are the role models of tomorrow, what they’ve achieved already is remarkable. I can’t wait to see what they do next and I know everyone involved is looking forward to celebrating the alumni and meeting more GirlBoss Award winners next year.”