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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2015 > April 2015 > Enspire winner announced

Enspire winner announced

Monday, 13 April 2015 10:00 a.m.

Twenty year old Rebekah Richards is making environmental change a reality. She won first prize in the Enspire Youth Video Challenge awards last week and has secured a $2000 project grant for the Mauao Area Wildlife Trust to increase pest control efforts at Moturiki (Leisure Island) near Tauranga.

“I’ve been doing volunteer work with native birds in the Mauao area since 2008, and got involved with caring for little blue penguins after the Rena oil spill. I’ve wanted to get into film making for a while now and thought the competition was a perfect opportunity to do that,” said Rebecca who is a Marine Studies student at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Enspire judges said that Rebekah’s inspiring video titled ‘There’s a problem in our backyard’, made clever use of puppets to capture attention and deliver environmental action messages. Rebekah’s video and other successful entries can be viewed at

The Enspire Challenge was a joint initiative by Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils to find out what environmental change young locals most want to see and encourage more people to get involved in caring for land, water and wildlife around the western Bay of Plenty.

Rebekah’s winning video will be played to an audience of 1000 attendees at the upcoming Tedx Tauranga event on 25 July.

Second place was awarded to Hannah Skelton, Liam Burn and Sophie Thomas from Aquinas College for their team entry titled ‘Enspire Ted Remix’, which encouraged everyone to create a better tomorrow by taking 30 simple actions in 30 days.

Another team, formed by Gurpreet Dhoat and Jahdiel Thomas took third place honours. Their video titled ‘Human vs Earth’ brought attention to the everyday ways that young people are contributing to global warming and putting the planet at risk.

Runner-up prizes were awarded to three other entries that looked at how local people want to be able to enjoy their natural areas at Ōmokoroa, Katikati and Waikareao Estuary.

In addition to the video presentation, entrants were also invited to submit a project proposal to turn an idea for environmental action into reality. A project grant was awarded to Amber Tognazzio and Enviro Challenge Trust to develop a mentoring programme that will help high school students to put their learning and ideas for sustainability projects into practice. The Bethlehem Green Initiative led by Aaron Nicole Warren and Aaron Lipinski were also awarded a grant to create a mural at their school as part of an environmental education programme.