As you will read in this issue of Channel, the AIMES Awards applications open for 2019 on June 12th. These awards recognise excellence achieved by young people in the region aged between 10 and 25 years old in the fields of the Arts; Innovation; Music; Education; Sport: Service to the Community. Successful recipients will receive award grants in the Junior Excellence sector (those aged 10 to 13 years); and in the AIMES and AIMES Emerging Talent category (Aged 14 to 25 years).
Applications are invited from those in the age-group who are achieving wonderful things. The application process is easy and can be made online at www.aimesawards.co.nz
Sue Stanaway leads a team of 12 judges who will receive all these applications and determine the approximate 20-25 successful applicants who will receive AIMES Award grants for 2019. Catherine Lamb assists Sue as the Chair of the Junior Excellence Awards judging committee. The awards will be presented at special functions held in early November this year.
Channel Magazine put these questions to Sue Stanaway in late May in an effort to explain the process to readers and prospective applicants.
CHANNEL MAGAZINE: Sue, you must get a real kick out of judging the high achieving young people who apply for these AIMES Awards?
SUE STANAWAY: It is so inspiring to see the fabulously talented young people from the North Harbour region who are doing such amazing things in their chosen disciplines and who are achieving both local, national and international recognition. So while the judging role is challenging it is also immensely satisfying. The North Harbour Club really wants to encourage and support excellence among our youth and help these young people to achieve their goals so we are always excited by the calibre of the applicants and the broad cross-section of high achievers in the community that we are able to recognise and reward with AIMES Awards.
CM: What are the key criteria for young people to be eligible to apply?
SS: We award young people from 10 years to 13 years in the Junior Excellence category and the from 14 years to 25 years in the Emerging Talent and AIMES categories. Because the AIMES Awards cover such a variety of skills and depth of talents we encourage all young people in these age groups who are excelling in their chosen field to apply. The important thing is to let the judges know everything they have achieved to date and a little about the journey they have been on to reach their goals and what their future aspirations are. The AIMES Awards for many becomes a journey where they can be recognised in Junior Excellence and then as they go on to achieve greater things they can reapply for further recognition in the older AIMES Award category. The North Harbour Club is eager to support and nurture ongoing talent and achievements and each year welcomes the new award recipients in to its family of winners and its strong alumni.
CM: If somebody was to ask you if it is worth them applying for an award, what would your answer be?
SS: Absolutely! The process of preparing an application is not difficult and it becomes an opportunity for the applicant to assess their achievements, recognise the journey they have undertaken to get to where they are, and look forward to what they hope to achieve in the future. This means it becomes so much more than just an application but is a resume of their successes and we have received very positive feedback from both recipients and their family or coaches in the past that this is very worthwhile. The judges see a broad selection of talent each year and keep a very open mind so everyone who feels they have achievements they are proud of should apply to be in with a chance to be rewarded.
CM: How does the judging process work?
SS: Once the applications are received online and sorted into their categories, the judges receive them and read them all and shortlist those they wish to interview. Interviews are either in person or on Skype if the applicant is not in the country. The judges then choose the winners in each category and they are notified and invited to attend the Gala Dinner and Cocktail evenings in November where they are recognised by the North Harbour Club and its members and receive their awards.
CM: What are the key things that the judges look for from applicants that lead to success?
SS: We have found that passion and dedication are common denominators with our winners and a firm mindset to meet the goals they have set themselves and then perseverance to reach those goals. There are so many wonderfully talented young people in our community but those who seem to reach the lofty heights of success are those who put in that extra bit of effort to reach their full potential.
CM: We understand the process of applying is very easy and online. How does this work?
SS: Applications for our AIMES Awards, AIMES Emerging Talent Awards and Junior Excellence Awards are made online and will open on the 12th June 2019. Applications remain open for around 7 weeks, closing at 5pm on the 2nd August 2019.
After applications are closed our team of Judges – including North Harbour Club Trustees, Members and invited specialists with experience across the categories – convene to determine our winners. This process takes approximately 2 months and will involve interviews and dialogue with those shortlisted.
ALL applicants will be contacted AFTER Friday September 13th to be advised of their progress. Awards are presented at our very special award functions held in early November.