Western Leader : January 24th 2012
www.westernleader.co.nz 8 WESTERN LEADER, JANUARY 24, 2012 NEWS Slow down around schools A chance for young musicians Musical messages: Co-ordinator Simon Matafai encourages young people to enter the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest. Photo: NICOLA MURPHY By NICOLA MURPHY Go to www.westernleader. co.nz to watch a video on the Global Youth Music Contest. A talented Avondale man is doing his part to change the world through music. Simon Matafai is the national co-ordinator of the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest being run in conjunc- tion with the Rio+20 Earth Summit, a conference on sustainable development held in Brazil in June. Mr Matafai is promoting the contest within New Zea- land and is looking for people uptotheageof30towrite and perform their own music and upload a video to the competition s website. Viewers will vote on their favourite from those entered around the world and the two winners, one aged under 15 and one aged between 15 and 30, will be flown to Rio de Janeiro to perform their music at the conference. It s a creative way for youth to voice our concerns for the future, Mr Matafai says. That could mean anything from unemployment and a lack of job opportunities to natural disasters. It s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You could be on your way to showcasing your music and your messages to the world. That s something the 23-year-old knows a lot about. He returned to New Zea- land from Durban, South Africa in December where he represented New Zealand at the United Nations Climate Change Conference as a youth delegate. Mr Matafai hopes to boost Pacific Island representation at these events because of the drastic effect climate change has on that part of the world. New Zealand youth dele- gate co-convenor Rachel Dob- ric worked with Mr Matafai during the South African con- ference and suggested he put his name forward to be the Global Youth Music Contest national co-ordinator. Simon has a great deal of experience in music and working with youth. He has a great ability to build networks and appeal to people, she says. Entries close on March 18. Voting opens the following day and closes on May 19. Visit www.global-rockstar.net for more information. Chan a finalist for award Great achievement: Elizabeth Chan has a one in three chance of winning Young New Zealander of the Year. By NICOLA MURPHY A former west Auck- lander has been selected as a finalist for the Young New Zealander of the Year competition. Elizabeth Chan lived in West Harbour until last year before moving to Wellington for work. The 22-year-old vol- unteers as president of UN Youth New Zealand as well as being a student advocate assist- ing students with legal support and the Refugee Services. She has also been involved in a project tell- ing the stories of trailblazing women law- yers. I m really excited to be a finalist, it s such an honour, she says. Miss Chan is up against a Bluff resident whose marine science project has been inter- nationally recognised and the founder and leader of the Student Volunteer Army in Christchurch. Avondale s Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge manager Susana Fiu Fetalai was a semi- finalist for New Zea- lander of the Year but did not make the final selection. Former Prime Minis- ter Jim Bolger who is an award patron and judge, says the calibre of nominations this year has been extremely high. It s humbling to know that there are so many Kiwis out there who are contributing signif- icantly to the positive growth of our nation. I feel honoured and privi- leged to be part of these awards, he says. The winners of the five categories will be an- nounced at a gala dinner at the Langham in cen- tral Auckland on Febru- ary 16. Winners will receive a trophy and $5000 to- wards their work.
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