Ōtara-based Jannah Cameron was announced the winner of the Penny Hulse Supreme Environmental Award and the Schools and Youth category at the 2022 Ngā Tohu Tiaki Taiao a te Koromatua / Mayoral Conservation Awards last night (13 September).
Cameron runs ‘Geek Camps’ during the school holidays, in which local rangatahi participate in activities including tree planting, pest control and water quality audits, while learning about natural science, ecosystems and the environment.
Judges at the awards, established in 2018 by Mayor Phil Goff, noted Cameron’s “outstanding leadership from an individual who had overcome a significant level of personal adversity.”
They went on to praise her bespoke approach to learning where she took time to understand the needs of her rangatahi community and supported their learning with a range of engagement opportunities. Her work will continue to support conservation outcomes in south Auckland communities where access to nature is limited.
Mayor Goff says Jah’s award recognised her exceptional leadership and commitment to the environment and her community.
"More than 15,000 native trees have been planted in the past five years as a result of Jah’s work and local youth have had the opportunity to participate in learning about and protecting their environment,” he said.
“Thank you to Jah and to all the Mayoral Conservation Award winners and finalists for the work they do to protect and promote our environment.
"The efforts of volunteers, community groups and organisations recognised by the awards are crucial to creating a greener and more sustainable Auckland.”
Other award winners included Matuku Link, a wetland conservation group in the Te Henga Valley, who won the Collaboration category, and Te Ara Hīkoi: Tāwhiti SmartCages, a collaboration between the three largest landcare groups in Franklin, who took out the Innovation category.