WelCom June/July 2023
Dedication to protecting the environment has seen Lauren Harkness, a Year 12 student at Sacred Heart College Napier, named as 2023 Leader of the Year by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.
As part of its 60th anniversary, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award celebrated five ‘exceptional participants’ from around the country with a Youth Week Award: Volunteer; Adventurer; Kaitiaki; Creative of the Year; and the 2023 Leader of the Year.
Lauren is one of the leaders of Sacred Heart College’s ‘Enviro-nation’ group and has been leading it since Year 9. Last year she was one of two representatives who led the group to win gold at the Hawke’s Bay Secondary Schools Environmental Challenge for a project to eliminate pests and increase biodiversity at her kura. This year, they plan to engage the whole kura in environmental awareness through inter-house challenges.
Lauren says she is proud to receive the award. As part of her award, Plant Hawke’s Bay donated a native tree to be planted at Sacred Heart College in honour of Lauren’s mahi.
‘I love that it’s going to be planted at school because one of the projects of Enviro-nation is that we are trying to get more native trees around school.’
Principal Maria Neville-Foster says they are all very proud of Lauren. ‘It is a wonderful achievement. Lauren is a fantastic role model to all our students.’