Young Reporters for the Environment gather for winners workshop in Auckland

On 22 November the National winners for the New Zealand 2017 Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Litter Less competition were invited to a Winners Workshop day hosted by The University of Auckland.   This amazing experience formed part of the prize package for all YRE place winners in their category.

Aimed at 11-18 year old students, YRE enables young people to be part of the solution by creating engaging environmental journalism through the media of writing, film or photography.

The day kicked off with an Award Ceremony where the students were recognised for their achievements in their environmental journalism projects.   Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars Multisales is the lead sponsor of YRE and Victoria Hamilton from Mars NZ spoke at the ceremony and presented certificates.  Teachers and parents were invited to the ceremony so that they could share the experience with the students.  Following the celebrations, the students then entered their workshop sessions which were jam packed with a variety of environmental and journalism topics.

Well known TV presenter and journalist, Melissa Davies shared some of her most memorable experiences along the pathway to her successful journalism career.  Environmental Photographer, Jacki Key also facilitated a Photography session where students took a fieldtrip within a short radius of the University and practised honing their photography skills to capture images that tell an environmental story.

Throughout the day, The University of Auckland provided speakers on a variety of topics including primate conservation, environmental archaeology, how to conduct a great interview and more!

The Young Reporters agreed that one of the highlights of the day was participating in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Photobooth Session.  Students were encouraged to bring along a message or prop which illustrated their commitment to the environment and/or one of these goals.  There were many inventive ideas during the session.  For example Jacob Watson-Jones from Kristin School illustrated his commitment to ‘Life on Land’ by being photographed with his pet blue-tongued skink named Ivy.

The Young Reporters had an enjoyable, informative and action-packed day which was evident in the high engagement of the students throughout all the sessions.  We are sure that this experience will inspire our Young Reporters to continue with their passion for environmental journalism.

To see the winning entries, click here.

Expressions of interest are now open for the 2018 YRE Litter Less competition – for more information, click here.

See below for some photos from the day:

Cam, Sophie and Emma with their awards

Jessica and Ellidh with their UNSDG commitments

Jacob with his chosen United Nations Global Social Development Goal