The Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year semi-finalists have been announced and Ryman is particularly proud of those nominated and the inspiration that they provide to other Kiwis.
The awards show that those that can be called seniors are certainly not sitting back on any laurels they may have earned earlier in life.
The Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award - Te Mātāpuputu o te Tau recognises those who have made a positive contribution to our great nation later in their life. This award gives New Zealanders of all ages the opportunity to express their appreciation and admiration for the achievements of our senior New Zealanders.
Previous Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year winners include Dr Bill Glass (2019 winner), Sir Kim Workman (2018), Sue Paterson (2017), John Russell (2016) and Donald Sewhoy (2015).
To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be aged over 70 years and continue to make a positive contribution in Aotearoa, following their career.
So… the nominations this year include:
Alison McLellan. With others Alison in 1981 formed the Head Injury Society (now Brain Injury Association), a support and advocacy group, and remains active with the group.
Des Smith. Des is well known in his community for not only his passion for protecting native fauna and flora, but also for decades of advocacy for the rights of same-sex couples.
Dr Doug Wilson. At age 70 Doug realised his long-held dream and began a new career as an author: publishing a series of children’s books, and one for adults: a nonfiction book called Aging for Beginners.
Graham Roy Falla. For over five decades Graham has made a huge contribution to the restoration and preservation of Aotearoa’s natural environment. He was an early member of the Auckland Forest and Bird Branch.
Dr Haare Williams; Since childhood, Haare has straddled te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā, witnessing and playing a part in the changing shape of Māoridom in the twentieth century.
Jacqueline Grant; Jacqueline (Jacquie) Grant’s influence has been wide-reaching: she has been an ONZM, active community member, an innovative businesswoman, and a national human rights leader.
Lexie Matheson; When Lexie Matheson was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016 it was an acknowledgement of more than thirty years of dedication to LGBTQ+ activism, education, sport and performing arts in Aotearoa.
Nigel Hampton, QC. Primarily a criminal lawyer with more than five decades of experience, Nigel has been involved with many high-profile New Zealand court cases, including the Pike River mine disaster.
Robert Tuahuru Edwards. Robert is a farmer, director, entrepreneur and leader who has spent his life serving his iwi, community and region. In 2000, after decades working around the Bay of Plenty, Robert returned to Ōpōtiki, to eventually become chairman of his iwi, Te Whakatōhea.
The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their 12th year. The awards are a celebration of Kiwis that are passionate and committed to making New Zealand a better place to live for everyone. The awards encourage all New Zealanders to honour extraordinary Kiwis whose selflessness, creativity and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.
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