Are you a New Zealand resident with aspirations to better yourself and the community? If so, congratulations- you meet the official requirements needed to apply for the Cora Wilding Memorial Award! The award provides a grant of up to $5,000 toward the cost of participation in a personal development training course or a project that will benefit both the recipient and their community. Applications are open from now until 30th June, 2019. If you have a course or project that you want to complete in the near future, consider the following questions to see if you’d make a good candidate for the award:

  • Why do you personally want to attend this course/project, and how will it allow you to benefit the community?
  • How does it relate to the culture of the countryside, towns, cities and peoples of New Zealand?
  • Does it benefit or involve our environment?
  • How does it effect the culture of other countries and people?
  • Do you already have the means to undertake this action without the help of funding?

All of the above and more are considered when selecting the winners, so be thorough and think it through! The Cora Wilding Memorial award is given to a maximum of two candidates annually, and the courses and projects that winners take on vary wildly. Last year’s joint winners went down two very different paths when they shared the grant. Thomas James undertook the 10 Day Youth Development voyage on board the Spirit of New Zealand, while four Year 12 students at Rangi Ruru Girls School received funds to publish a book containing recipes and interviews from refugees and migrants in the Christchurch community. Past awards have been granted to support winners in attending the Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN), Outward Bound, first aid courses, and more. Thomas spoke of the ways in which the grant and the subsequent experience that it enabled him to have shaped his personal development. “I came to understand that being an effective leader in my community means listening and valuing other people’s perspectives; it means encouraging and inspiring other people to achieve. The leadership model I experienced on the Spirit of New Zealand has led me to believe that if we want to encourage people to protect our environment, we need to do more than just explaining the importance of protecting it. We need to help people create a connection with it which in turn will inspire them to commit to protecting it.” So if you think that you’re a good candidate for the Cora Wilding Memorial and want to make a difference in your community, click here for application details.

The Cora Wilding Memorial Award was established in honour of Cora Wilding, who founded YHA New Zealand in 1932. This award aims to motivate and inspire New Zealanders to pursue their goals and help their communities.

The Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand, (YHA New Zealand) is a not-for-profit association that was established in 1932 in Canterbury. With a network of over 40 hostels in both islands, YHA New Zealand provides high quality budget accommodation to New Zealanders and international travellers. YHA New Zealand is a committed advocate of sustainable practices. For more information please visit their website.

For more travel tips and stories, check out our Student Travel section, brought to you by YHA!