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Frances Clarke Memorial Awards 2013

posted Feb 9, 2013, 12:37 AM by James Webber   [ updated Feb 25, 2013, 11:34 PM by Craig Miller ]
This year the annual Frances Clarke Memorial Awards were held on Wednesday the 17th October on a typically fine spring Wellington day at a special ceremony held at Government House. This is the twenty-second year these a
This year the annual Frances Clarke Memorial Awards were held on Wednesday the 17th October on a typically fine spring Wellington day at a special ceremony held at Government House. This is the twenty-second year these awards have been presented by the Governor General of the day to our worthy young people.wards have been presented by the Governor General of the day to our worthy young people.

The Ballroom at Government House was almost overflowing with the 140 invited guests who travelled from all over the country to support the four recipients of this year’s awards including very proud parents, relatives, friends and their school mates.  Each recipient was presented by The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand and the Wellington Phoenix soccer team striker Paul Ifill with a trophy and a framed certificate which recognises the special achievements among children with Down syndrome.  Sir Jerry said the awards were an opportunity to recognise confidence, positivity and determination to succeed in children with Down syndrome.  As guest speaker, Paul Ifill proved to be very popular among all his young and old soccer fans when he outlined his early beginnings and love of the sport and how they too could achieve high if they put their mind and dedication to it. 

The following citations were read out by Paul Ifill for recipients:


Junior Category

Vanya Hope Reedy

Vanya Hope Reedy

Vanya is a 9 year old girl who was nominated by Caron Watson. She has attended the Holy Family School in Porirua East since the age of 5.  During this time she has moved through the mainstream school with her peers and is now a Year 5 student.  She has shown determination and perseverance with her learning in the classroom and excellent social skills outside in the playground.  Though this has not always been an easy task for Vanya, she has struggled with the concept of making and keeping friends, but with encouragement she has worked very hard. Her friends and classmates say she is a good role model, plays fair and takes turns, helps little kids, is a good librarian and is kind to you when you are sad and will play with you.  She does very creative work and always completes her homework. Each day Vanya shows great responsibility as the messenger of the daily Holy Family News and her classmates comments are a testimonial to the beautiful child that Vanya is.

“Vanya has shown determination, application and perseverance with her leading in the classroom and her social skills in the playground” 
Caron Watson – Deputy Principal

Aden Young

Aden Young

Aden is an 11 year old who was nominated by Libby Hainesworth the principal of St Brendan’s School in Upper Hutt where he has attended since the age of 5.   Aden may have been born with Down syndrome but he never lets that get in his way.   He is always keen to immerse himself in the heart of the mainstream school; he is well liked by his peers and is very kind and caring to all children.  In the classroom he insists on taking an active part in all activities.  He has become extremely independent and is no longer reliant of the help from buddies.  He is a keen reader and has become competent in writing using a special computer programme and completes all the work as planned for the class. This year he represented his school in cross country and also has attended the Wellington District Schools athletics tournament where he was placed 2nd in his grade.  He is an active member of the school’s Kapa Haka group and can perform a mean Haka.

Aden has a very active life outside of school also. He has been a swimmer at H2O since the age of 3 and recently joined the Special Olympics swimming club;  the youngest ever for the Hutt Valley.  He loves attending Riding for the Disabled and attends Cub Scout  meetings and weekend camps.    He has always had a passion for soccer and plays competitively throughout the year.  For the past two years his team has won the summer league grade.  He is also an active member of Starjam an entertainment group especially for special needs children.  We look forward to watching Aden succeed as he grows.


“Aden insists on taking an active part in all activities. He has become extremely independent..” 
Libby Hainesworth - Principal

Senior Category

Moses Siow

Moses Siow

Moses was nominated by Sue Osborne.  He lives in Miramar and is a 15 year old student in Year 10 at Rongotai College.  He is in Tamatoa which is the home room for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme for much of the day plus he is also part of a mainstream form class.

Moses relates well to his peers and will instigate positive activities for others at interval time and at lunch time  he spends it playing soccer on the field.  He shows considerable improvement in his techniques in the class fitness programme and takes pride in doing the exercises correctly.  Moses has shown real maturity when competing in the Athletics with a Disability sporting competitions.  His soccer skills have improved with his main credit due to his perseverance even when the team is losing by being a good team member and always putting in his best effort.  Moses is very kind hearted and tries very hard with all his work.  He contributes to music with his love of dance and is a very worthy candidate to receive a Frances Clarke Memorial Award.


“Persevering even when the team is losing, being a good team member and always putting in his best effort. .. he relates well to his peers and will instigate positive activities for other at interval and lunchtimes” 
Sue Osborne – Teacher in Charge or Tamatoa and Asst Head of Learning Support

Keegan Joe

Keegan Joe

Keegan is a happy 16 year old who was nominated by Sue Osborne.  He lives in Island Bay and is in Year 12 at Rongotai College and is in Tamatoa, the home room for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme for much of the day.  He is also part of a mainstream form class and in the Year 11 computer class. Keegan is a very affable and kind natured young man who is valued by his peers and by all the staff members.  Although speaking isn’t something that comes easily for him, but with perseverance he has shown great character by repeating himself or finding other ways to get his message across.  Once a very shy and quiet student he has made so much progress, he is now a mature and confident  student whose efforts to communicate are outstanding who relates well to his peers.  He is willing to participate in all class activities and at intervals and lunch time will be off hanging out with friends and kicking the ball on the playing field.  Last year Keegan was the recipient of the Jamie Allison Cup for being the best ambassador for Tamatoa for the year.  With the assistance of others these qualities will help Keegan succeed in whatever he chooses for the future.

As a huge thank you from the Wellington Down Syndrome Association for hosting this wonderful event, young Lincoln Hansen presented a large gift basket of flowers to Lady Janine. Following the prize giving ceremony, Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine invited guests to an enjoyable morning tea followed by walk through the recently refurbished Government House and the beautifully manicured grounds.  In the meantime all the children enjoyed being entertained by storyteller Marie Murdoch who arrived all dressed up in a long pink velvet dress and cloak.

“He has made such progress form being a very shy and quite Year 9 student to a being a mature and confident student whose efforts to communicate are outstanding” 
Sue Osborne – Teacher in Charge or Tamatoa and Asst Head of Learning Support



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