What are the William Wallace Awards?

These awards honour outstanding young people in care, many of whom have overcome significant barriers and gone on to great achievements.  The awards go towards helping the young person pursue their dreams of tertiary, vocational or leadership training.  Award recipients are honoured at a special ceremony held in Wellington later in the year.

Who was William Wallace?

The awards are named after William Wallace, who generously left a bequest to Child, Youth and Family. Mr Wallace (who died in Australia on 17 July 1989) left his residual estate to 'the neglected children's department or like institution of the Dominion of New Zealand'. Mr Wallace intended that these funds would be used to nurture children and young people in care, and help them develop their potential.

What awards are available?

You can nominate a young person for the following awards, which can be valued up to $3,000:

  • Tertiary award: To help a young person go on to further study after school.
  • Vocational award: To help a young person train for a career or buy equipment for sports or artistic pursuits.
  • Leadership award: To help a young person develop their potential through a course like Outward Bound.
  • GFS Scholarship: This is a special scholarship for a young woman in the Wellingon region - see below for details on whether your young person is eligible.

The GFS Scholarship

Thanks to the GFS (previously known as Girls' Friendly Society) of Wellington, we are proud to offer a special award to an outstanding young woman, living in the greater Wellington region. This means she will live between Whanganui, Wairarapa and Wellington.

What is the scholarship?

  • The scholarship offers a young woman an award of up to $4,000 each year to cover course costs;
  • It can be for every year of study that she passes successfully; for up to three years, or for the duration of her study.
  • Mentoring: A GFS representative will also meet regularly with the young woman a (couple of times a year) to ensure she is getting the help she needs.  

How to apply:

If you are nominating a young woman for the William Wallace Award, she can also be considered for this scholarship. All you need to do is tick the box on page one of the nomination form.

Who is GFS?

GFS is a trust that has been around for 125 years, originally set up to provide safe housing for young women settling in Wellington from England.

Who can receive an award?

  • Any young person in Child, Youth and Family care, or in the care of iwi or child and family services; or
  • Any young person who has recently come out of care when they turned 17;
  • Preference will be given to those who can take up the award in the following year.

Who can nominate a young person?

Anyone can nominate a special young person in care, or who recently left care including:

  • foster carers
  • social workers
  • school principals or teachers
  • community workers.

Making a nomination

Nominations for the 2014 William Wallace awards are now open. We look forward to receiving your nomination for an outstanding young person you know. Nominations for this year's awards close on Friday 5 September 2014.

When you're ready to make a nomination, follow these helpful tips:

  • Download and fill out the nomination form.
  • Get the young person involved: Being nominated is an achievement in itself. Wherever possible, include the young person in the application process. They may want to write a letter, include things like their artwork, photos, achievements at school, and so on. Let the young person know they should be proud of getting a nomination. 
  • Be creative: Include copies of certificates, photos and anything else that will make your young person really stand out. You can also include references from people like a teacher, sports coach, school principal or foster carer. The young person can help by asking for references about themselves, and they will gain confidence in seeing wonderful results.
  • Be detailed: You can use as much space as you need, and the more information you give the better your nomination will be. Give details about your young person's background, the barriers they've overcome, their achievements and talents, and why you think they deserve the award. If you are a Child, Youth and Family staff member, make sure you get your site manager's approval before sending in your nomination form.

Application checklist:

Have you:

  • filled out all the details of the form
  • included input and/or a letter from your young person
  • checked that the young person is likely to qualify for the course of study (if you are applying for tertiary study)?
  • attached information about the young person, such as photos, certificates and achievements
  • provided references from people who know them, such as teachers or foster carers
  • if you work for Child, Youth and Family, have you got your site manager's approval

Email or post your completed nomination form by Friday 5 September 2014 to:

William Wallace Awards,
Office of the Chief Social Worker,
Child, Youth and Family,
PO Box 1556,
Wellington 6140.

If you have any questions, please contact us at williamwallaceawards@cyf.govt.nz.

How are the award winners chosen?

A panel made up of representatives from Child, Youth and Family and non-Government organisations such as  Barnardos, Open Home Foundation, and Fostering Kids, and our corporate partners Vodafone and Sysdoc.  One young person from the previous year's awards is also part of the panel.

Previous winners

All sorts of young people have won William Wallace Awards in the past, including young people who used the awards to:

  • develop their talent for sports or the arts
  • go on to university or learn a trade
  • develop their potential
  • buy equipment to help them pursue their passions.

You are only limited by your imagination, so why not nominate a special young person you know!

Read about some of our previous winners here

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