Wednesday, 7 June
PR: CYNZ Deputy Executive Director to receive honour from The Queen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CYNZ's Deputy Executive Director and Victoria University of Wellington student Brad Olsen will travel to the United Kingdom to receive an award from Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth. Mr Olsen, 19, is New Zealand’s 2016 recipient of the Queen’s Young Leader Award, an honour that celebrates and supports 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth each year.
The 11-day residential programme will also introduce the winners to a suite of workshops designed to enhance their work in their home countries. The group will call on Twitter, the BBC, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others.
The programme also includes meeting with senior government officials at 10 Downing Street, and the Awards Ceremony will be held at Buckingham Palace, where Brad will receive his Award from the Queen.
"I am absolutely thrilled to see the amazing work Brad has undertaken has been rightly recognised by the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen," said Aaron Hape, CYNZ's Executive Director, who is also a member of the panel that selects Queen's Young Leader award winners.
"His dedication to his community and using his skills to transform lives should serve as an inspiration to young people around the Commonwealth, as it did for me and the Queen's Young Leaders selection panel when we read thousands of inspirational and courageous stories."
Brad is being awarded for his work as an advocate for young people. He spent four years on the Whangarei District Council Youth Advisory Group, where he offered advice on policies which affect young people, and is a Youth Ambassador for UNICEF New Zealand, providing views around children’s rights. He has also volunteered with Commonwealth Youth New Zealand, to raise awareness of the Commonwealth. At the age of 17, Brad helped to set up a free healthcare clinic for young people in Whangarei. He works with the National Youth Advisory Group, advising government departments and NGOs about issues ranging from mental health to education.
“This is an incredible honour to be recognised at such a high level for the work I’ve been a part of in my community over the last few years. It’s testament to the inspiration people I’ve worked alongside and the impact we’ve had on other people’s lives” says Brad.
“This trip coincides with the British Referendum on the European Union on 23 June, which will make London an even more interesting place to be during the Residential Week.”