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GirlBoss Awards celebrate NZ's trailblazing young women

18 Sep 2019
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GirlBoss NZ and Trade Me have announced this year’s GirlBoss Awards winners, celebrating New Zealand’s young women who have a passion for their community and the planet.

This year’s winners hailed from all corners of New Zealand including Dunedin, Wellington, Kāpiti, Taupō, Coromandel, and Auckland.

“It was extremely difficult for our judges to pick winners, we had 500 nominations from Paihia to Invercargill, and it’s great to see so many trailblazing young women doing such amazing things for their community and wider New Zealand,” says GirlBoss NZ founder Alexia Hilbertidou.

“What these young women have already achieved is remarkable. I cannot wait to see what they do next and I know everyone involved is looking forward to celebrating their achievements and meeting more GirlBoss Award winners next year.”

Each winner received $1500, and the supreme winner Georgia Tiata Fa’atoese Latu received $2000.

The winners:

Supreme Trailblazer Award

Twelve-year-old Georgia Tiata Fa’atoese Latu from Dunedin, for selling, distributing and teaching the craft of poi with her business Pōtiki Poi.

“At such a young age, Georgia is a driven young businesswoman,” says Trade Me’s Dr Kathryn Hempstalk.

“She is passionate about enhancing Māori culture and creating an eco-friendly product that doesn’t harm the environment. Pōtiki Poi is a great model and we look forward to following Georgia and her fantastic New Zealand story.”

Innovation Award

Sixteen-year-old Brooke Moore from Taupō for inventing an edible and biodegradable alternative to plastic food wrap.

Wrapt launched in April and looks and feels identical to plastic wrap, and aims to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.

STEM Award

Sixteen-year-old Yashna Kumar from South Auckland. Yashna’s passion for technology and experience at Manurewa High School led her to create Makers Space, helping young people in South Auckland access tools to learn about STEM.

Yashna also founded the All for One Locker Project building lockers in Manurewa to provide homeless people with a place to keep their belongings safe.

“As a large technology employer, we know there is a lack of female talent coming through the door and we want to help change that which is why we’re proud to be sharing the achievements of these fantastic young women,” comments Hemstalk.

Emerging Leader Award

Fourteen-year-old Maia Filisita Mariner from Wellington, for creating Lazy Sneakers, a sneaker bank which connects preloved sneakers for children needing shoes.

Online Impact Award

Eighteen-year-old Tayla Nasmith from Auckland who founded Mummys in Need, an online charity which helps struggling new mothers by providing them with donated baby gear.

Sustainability Award

Eighteen-year-old youth climate activist Sophie Handford for her work raising awareness of climate change by coordinating the nationwide School Strike 4 Climate.

Community Award

Eighteen-year-old Emily Hacket Pain from Auckland for her not-for-profit organisation PaperPensPencils which distributes surplus unused stationery supplies to lower decile schools.

Arts & Culture Award

Eighteen-year-old Roseta Lopa from Wellington who is the founder of female singing group Le ART. The group’s latest song I Choose Love was written, composed and sung by Roseta, and she recently performed it for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Government House.

Activator Award

Twelve-year-old Hailey Jay Bolton from the Coromandel for her work teaching young children in the community about protecting the environment from predators.

“It’s important that we recognise the contribution of our young women and encourage them to keep striving and working hard, not only for themselves but for the great things they can do for their community, country and the world,” concludes Hilbertidou.