Ten senior students have been selected from ten diverse schools from around the country to represent New Zealand, their school and their community, at the 100th Anniversary of the New Zealand participation in the Battle of the Somme. These highly motivated young New Zealanders will travel to France from September 10 to 25 2016.
The Young Ambassadors 2016 are:
Thomas Swinburn, Dilworth School Auckland
Elaine Zam, Massey High School Auckland
Sean Takai, Shirley Boys High School Christchurch
Materia Hutana, Cashmere High School Christchurch
Laura Voight, Otago Girl's high School Dunedin
Abigail Marshall, Waimea College Nelson
Stuart Turrill, Palmerston Boys High Palmerstpn North
Danielle Cooper, John Paul College Rotorua
Katya Collins, Whakatane High School Whakatane
Lily Polaczuk, Wellington Girl's College Wellington
Meet them all here
All ten students demonstrated strong leadership skills in their application, as well as a keen interest in French language and culture and an outstanding willingness to explore the deep relationships the two countries have formed ever since.
Nominations received - by 20 May 2016
Selection announced - 6 June 2016
Skype individual programme onboarding call - mid June 2016
Inquiry & Project Definition Workshop - 25 June 2016
Project development pre tour - July to September
Young Ambassador' s Tour - 10 to 25 September 2016
Project development post tour, findings and reflection - by November 2016
The Young Ambassadors Tour 2016 is part of Shared Histories (www.sharedhistories.com) a France-New Zealand school programme created in 2014 to commemorate the Great War. The programme provides a platform for French and New Zealand schools to partner and work on an educational project of their choice. More than twenty teams have formed since it started. Together, the teams research, present and make sense of World War One and of its long lasting influence on their communities, their schools and their respective countries.
This is the second Young Ambassadors Tour organised within the Shared Histories programme. In 2014 eleven senior students were selected to represent New Zealand at the Inaugural Ceremony of the Remembrance period, held on the Champs Elysées in Paris on July 14. The blogs they kept to share their experience, the media interviews they gave and the various public events they attended, including giving a presentation at the National Library of New Zealand in June 2015, have served to inspire their younger peers to become a Young Ambassador 2016. This year, each Young Ambassador will lead their school into developing a collaborative project with a French partner.
They are all dedicated to add huge value to the programme by sharing their learnings openly and regularly.
Each is developing a Personal Project to support their school project and is committed to journal their Young Ambassador’s journey on their Shared Histories blog before, during and after the trip.
Follow their project development via their blogs here
The tour itself:
The two-week trip is the Young Ambassadors’ once in a lifetime opportunity to discover North Eastern France.
They will be hosted by families from their Shared Histories partner school and immerse in French life while joining in the routine of their French peers.
They will also visit the historical and cultural sites where New Zealand soldiers made a significant contribution to the war. The trip includes the Somme battlefields, Longueval, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Le Quesnoy, and the Wellington Quarry in Arras and is likely to extend to Kemmel, Ypres and Messines in Belgium.
The Young Ambassadors will also represent New Zealand at the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme ceremony, alongside youth and dignitaries from all involved nations