William Wallace Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2016 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 in December.

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?

Between 15-20 awards are available each year.

Young people can be nominated for the following awards, which are valued up to $4,000:

  • 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 or programme. 
  • Outward Bound Scholarship: To help a young person complete an Outward Bound course.
  • GFS Scholarship: This is a special scholarship for a young woman in the Wellington region.

The GFS Scholarship

Thanks to GFS (the Girls Friendly Society), 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?

  • This will offer a young woman an award of up to $3000 each year to cover course costs;
  • it will be for every year of study or training that she passes successfully for up to three years, or for the course of her study or training.
  • a GFS rep will also meet up for coffee with the young woman a couple of times a year to ensure she is getting the help and support 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?
This special award is sponsored by the GFS, a trust that has been around for over 130 years, originally set up to provide safe housing for young women settling in Wellington from England.

The Outward Bound Scholarship

Thanks to the generosity of Outward Bound we are proud to offer up to three Outward Bound scholarships.

What is the scholarship?

  • This will offer a young person the opportunity to complete an Outward Bound course and will cover full course fees.

How to apply:

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

Who are Outward Bound?

Outward Bound are a not for profit trust who offer courses designed to inspire personal and social development and help participants to reach their full potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

Courses involve expeditions at sea, in the mountains as well as community service and solo experiences.

To find out more about Outward Bound take a look at their website or check out their latest promotional video.

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 2016 William Wallace awards are now open! We look forward to receiving your nomination for an outstanding young person you know.

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 Monday 8 August 2016 to:

William Wallace Awards
National Office Communications
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, Barnardos, Open Home Foundation, Fostering Kids New Zealand, and our corporate partners GFS, Vodafone, Sysdoc and Barnardos look at all the nominations. One young person who was a recipient of an award the previous year 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!

You can read more about the inspiring young people selected in 2015 here

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