2011 Awards Finalists

Uploaded by AttitudeTV on 28.11.2011

This is Auckland’s viaduct and we’re here to celebrate. In just a few days we’ll be
back at this stunning events centre on Wynyard Warf for the Attitude Awards. The 2,000 square
metre auditorium is being rigged for this, our 4th awards. This year we’ve met some truly inspirational
people on Attitude.
Some are world champions or international stars, others are heroes in their own community.
Good evening and welcome to the 3rd Annual Attitude Awards.
Our awards give us a chance to reveal the stories behinds lives lived with some extraordinary
challenges. Simon Dallow has hosted our awards three years running and he’s signed on for
this year as well.
This year we’re thrilled to be at the brand new Viaduct Events Centre. We’re catering
for 500 quests at this state of the art venue. What do you think of the view Dan?
Awesome. But we’ve got 21 finalists to profile in this programme so back to business. The
finalists were nominated by our viewers and chosen by four independent judges.
First up, the Youth Award, for a young person who’s shown initiative pursuing his or her dreams.
The finalists are Nicholas Brockelbank, Gabrielle Hog and Cameron Leslie.
Nick O’Cool by Nicholas Brockelbank. This is my family, Toby, Mummy and Daddy; we play
lots of games together. Toby is my favourite brother I like him. This is my Mummy she is
nice. This is my Daddy he likes to play soccer and cricket with me. I have a wheelchair because
I have muscular dystrophy. This is my medicine, I need to have it every morning, it helps
my muscles get strong it really helps very well. I need glasses for close up work, I
really like them they are cool. I play soccer every Saturday, I scored five goals.
I play guitar every Wednesday, my guitar teacher is called Mr N. This is my friend called Callum,
we have fun, and we both like Lego. This book is about me and my life.
Even though I’ve got muscular dystrophy I can do lots and lots of things.
Only 23 years old and already Gabrielle Hog has an audience within Government. The doctors
told her parents she would never be able to do much.
I’m on an advisory group that advises the Government on current policies to do with
people with autism. So, it’s the number one thing I’ve got to work at, changing
the world to make it a better place.
Gabrielle was diagnosed with dyspraxia and dyslexia at age 10 and with an autism spectrum
disorder at age 12.
I guess it’s just a different way of being and you’ve just got to learnt to adapt it.
My t-shirt says, ‘Autismo Girl’ that’s the name of my business.
Today she has her own business helping parents to make sense of the puzzle of their child’s ASD.
This is the guide that you’re going to need for the rest of Joshua’s life. Autism is
like a puzzle and I’m helping kids to understand how their puzzle pieces fit together. That’s
what parents see in me is that hope that I give to them. Even though I’ve been through
some incredible stuff during my life I put on this positive attitude and get up every
single morning and enjoy it.
Cameron Leslie may have been born without limbs but that didn’t stop him winning gold
at the Beijing Paralympics.
Throughout my life I think I’ve always had to prove myself that I can do exactly what
the next person can. I wanted to win in Beijing so badly for other people to accept me as
an athlete.
Coming to terms with his body has been a life long journey for Cameron.
First stage of acceptance for anyone is kind of accepting who you are and what you look
Cameron is now studying Journalism and has fronted a disability travel series.
I think today I am comfortable with myself and I’m not worried about what other people
have to think. I don’t feel like I have to constantly prove myself so much anymore.
He’s now using his life time experiences in leadership roles and at University, in
Paralympic swimming, and mentoring others. Cameron will be taking his hard won confidence
to next years London Paralympics.
Next an award that goes to the heart of what Attitude is all about, the Spirit Award, given
to an unsung hero who approaches life with positivity and audacity. And the finalists
are Patrick Herewini, Chris Hanley and Mark Grantham.
Every time Mark Grantham sells a chocolate bar he knows a disadvantaged child on the
other side of the world is going to benefit.
I’ve sold more chocolate than anybody in New Zealand to help my kids.
Mark’s been selling since he was 12 years old, he’s a regular in this Auckland shopping
strip. Each year Mark raises around $3,000 to support the five children he sponsors in
Tanzania in India. In 2009 Mark went to Tanzania to met two of his children and carry on his
mission. Living with cerebral palsy Mark’s an advocate for independent living, but his
strongest message is the way he lives his life.
I dream I’m not in this wheelchair. I have a good heart in life and I love what I do.
Patrick Herewini’s legs don’t work very well, but his heart is more than big enough.
For six years he volunteered to help other disabled people learn to ride.
I just fell in love with the place.
And despite the cerebral palsy he was born with he’s put in thousands of hours splitting
and bagging firewood, mowing lawns on one crutch and volunteering for others.
I’ll probably go without and give it to others if I can.
Two years ago he finally achieved his life long goal.
A real paying job. It’s pretty hard for a disabled person to get real paid employment.
The first time I’ve ever had a proper paying job. If I can do it I’ll try my darndest
to give it a go.
A drink driving accident on his 17th birthday left Aucklander Chris Hanley in a wheelchair.
Just up ahead here is the spot where I had my accident, it’s always a funny spot to
drive past actually.
A string of family tragedies followed. In a decade he lost both parents and the brother
he lived with, he was alone.
To be honest I think it’s made me harder than I would like. Emotionally sometimes I’m
a little bit reserved with my emotions.
Against those incredible odds Chris has build a full and successful life. Always an inventor
he designed innovations for his own chair and it led to a job in wheelchair sales, he
become the top salesman in the country. He is married to Erin and has three sons. But
perhaps his greatest contribution has been to the community as a leader in the Right
Track Programme steering young offenders back on course.
If I can go along and talk to a few people about my experiences and how my bad choices
affected my life and if they can get something out of that then I think that’s really valuable
thing to give.
Is it a cow or an oversized sheep?
It’s art Dan.
One of the highlights of the night is the Artistic Achievement Award.
The finalists are Sarah Houbolt, Natalie Te Paa and Eddie Low.
Music is my life; I was born to music.
Blind from birth 16 year old Natalie Te Paa has already penned half a dozen of her own songs.
Writing for me is really fun, I’ll sit at my keyboard and just have a bit of a fiddle
and all of a sudden, ‘Oh that sound cool.’
Natalie wrote her first song at age 7 and intends to make composition and performing
her career.
Some people have thought of me as, ‘Oh she’s blind she won’t be able to do this…she
won’t get very far.’ But I’d just love to be able to prove them wrong…my being
blind does not stop me from following my dreams and going with my passions.
Through her music Natalie aims to inspire other young people with a disability.
Sings: Stay strong and follow your dreams.
Flying high Sarah Houbolt is in a world of her own. 11 years ago she joined an Australian
Circus troupe and found her passion. She spent 7 years learning, what she calls, her magical
art and now tours festivals around the country. But it’s a career choice with challenges.
There is definitely some judgement and preconception there with what I look like in the acting
industry and performance industry. I think I’m beautiful, I think I have a right to
be on stage and I think I add something quite special to performance.
Sarah is partially sighted but she makes no concessions. She is passionate about putting
disability centre stage.
It’s that buzz of being on stage and communicating something creatively and also just the physicality
that you reach on stage as well as a little bit beyond everyday life.
She took her show to Thailand and while there branched out into teaching refugee children
performance skills. Aside from her aerial work she is co-writing a film script and has
acted in theatre and film. Her dream is to tour her own show internationally.
My dream is to do disability arts stuff including film and to be represented on screen.
Sings: Look in my mind and you will see I’m one of a kind there’s only one me.
He’s a kiwi legend. Eddie Low started composing as a child, yet his school report was emphatic
no musical ability.
I was writing poems when I was 10, then I just started putting little tunes to these
poems, which was song writing. But never ever dreamed that it would become a way of living.
50 years on and a swag of gold and platinum albums and fans around the globe tell a different story.
I’m not here because of me, I’m here because people put me here.
Eddie was born totally blind. His mother had german measials when she was pregnant and
died just a few weeks after he was born. Eddie and his brother were adopted by the Low family,
but he’s never forgotten his Maori mother and Scottish father. His latest album is a
tribute to his heritage.
Sings: It’s my homeland; my own land New Zealand and I miss her wherever I roam.
He can’t read or write music, but plays totally by ear.
I’d like people to remember I was here and I entertained and just hope they enjoy the music
The Courage in Sport Award is for someone who’s shown great determination in pursuing
their sporting dreams.
And the finalists are Toni Crowther, Trish McQueen and Conrad Ryan.
On the Kapiti Coast everyone knows Trish McQueen, she’s got that kind of personality.
Trish is pretty famous actually.
But it was her desire to complete a triathlon that took her to the heart of the community
and that’s no small goal with a woman with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability.
Trish joined a gym and proved herself as a woman with determination and guts and the
locals got behind her. It wasn’t long before Trish had her very own team, Michelle Laurenson
organises it all and personal trainer Wayne Pietersen puts in the hard yards, but Trish
has fired him more times than he can remember.
She’s an awesome person, always friendly, always trying to help everybody. She wants
to fire me every week or so.
And with that support Trish tackled her triathlon and completed all three legs.
She’s organised, she really does mean what she says; she gets out there and does it.
Toni Crowther revels in simple pleasures like an afternoon at the beach with her daughter
Jasmine. Four years ago Toni woke to the shock of finding herself paralysed down one side.
A stroke caused by her contraceptive pill, Jasmine was just eight months old.
So exhausted I felt like I could barely do it, but I had to for her so it made me get
out of bed every morning.
Last year Toni raised $22,000 for the Stroke Foundation, more than any individual had previously
raised. She did it by challenging herself to swim 6.5 kilometres from Rangitoto to Auckland.
I still can’t even believe I did it, it was just so much hard work training over the years.
Four years on she’s still lives with the affects of that stroke, but is focused on
the future.
It’s just a matter of moving on and getting on with your life, it’s happened, you can’t
change the past so you’ve just got to live everyday and that’s what I do live everyday
and have fun.
The road is Conrad Ryan’s highway to success, he set himself the challenge of joining 1500
competitors racing 160 kilometres around Mt Taranaki. In driving rain a third of the field
gave up, not Conrad.
He just doesn’t care about people’s preconceived ides of him or what he can do or should be
able to do. He just thinks, ‘I can do it’ and he does.
Conrad is one determined young man, he has a heart condition, limited sight and other
physical challenges, but he competes regularly in eight different Special Olympic sports.
Golf, athletics, soccer, basketball.
Some people may say he’s been disadvantaged in his life in the cards he’s been dealt,
he doesn’t really care about those whatsoever. He’s always setting himself goals that we’ll
think, hey that’s a bit lofty, I wouldn’t even consider doing that, but Conrad just
jumps on in there and does it.
The haul of medals Conrad’s collected is proof of his dedication to sport.
As a member of the New Zealand Wheel Blacks I know that achieving in sport is about so
much more than just building physical skill.
The Sport Performer Award celebrates the talent and determination that has taken these finalists
to the top of their game.
They are Sophie Pascoe, Jayne Parsons and Danny McBride.
11 years ago forestry worker Danny McBride was crushed by a falling tree, fiercely independent
he returned to work in the industry and runs his small farm in Tirau.
It takes something like an accident like that to realise how close I was to not being here
and I’m just making the most of every moment.
With typical resolve he’s created a whole new direction in life through sport.
I wanted to go to a World Champs and hopefully the Paralympics, that had been a goal of mine
for a long time.
Danny committed himself to a brutal training regime up to six days a week.
You’ve got to have goals in your life and I think if you set your standards high then
you’ve got more chance of achieving them.
He was rewarded with selection for the New Zealand elite rowing champs last year. In
this adaptive sport he went from novice to medallist winning bronze in the 2010 World
Rowing Championships. Danny has self-belief and commitment in spades.
I think I’ve always been a driven person and I guess I have to thank my parents for
that it’s in the genes. I think if you set your sights high then you can get what you want.
In her sport Jayne Parsons has reached the top of the mountain she is a current Paralympics
World Champion and gold medallist in two different cycling disciplines and this year added a
clutch of medals to her tally.
The proudest moment for me this year was actually becoming World Champ over in Italy.
She was just 21 when she lost her sight through domestic violence. Climbing that particular
mountain took real courage and it still drives her to do more.
What motivates me the most is being able to let people that have been through domestic
violence and disabilities to be able to get out there and do something with their lives,
turn their lives around.
This year Jayne has collected gold, silver and bronze on the world stage.
I love being fit, I love a challenge and I just love life.
Paralympic gold medallist and World Record holder Sophie Pascoe has dominated Paralympic
Swimming since she burst onto the international stage at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
I’m in the sport because I love it and I have a passion and I go to the pool everyday
and I think this is what I want to do.
This year Sophie broke the World Record for 100-metre fly and the 200-metre individual
I’ve had a pretty successful year actually.
Globe trotting and medals are the fruits of her success. She brings together both physical
ability and mental toughness.
I don’t see myself as missing a leg, I still do exactly the same things as all my friends
and I try everything. If I can’t quite do it then I’ll make a way that I can do it.
At home or on the road she sticks to a tough regime she hopes will bring her more gold
in next years London Paralympics.
I’ve only got one goal in my mind at the moment, which is London and I think that’s
the motivation that I have.
For people who live with a disability one of the biggest barriers to finding employment
is others attitudes.
So we’re celebrating employers who see an opportunity where others see an obstacle.
And the finalists are Mission Heights Junior College, Wintec and An Extra Pair of Hands.
When Jane Richardson set up a business offering domestic services she was looking for the
best people to do that job. Now she has three Deaf workers on her staff of 30.
People often ask me or they may say to me, “Isn’t it wonderful that you employ people
with disabilities,” but actually it’s a win-win because they do the same job as
a hearing person and they’re doing as good a job as a hearing person.
Finding work is one the biggest obstacles for anyone with a disability.
A lot of hearing people with businesses will say, “You know deaf can’t do that,”
but Jane’s not like that, she thinks we can do anything.
I can fit it in with my children – work hours, and then I can go and be able to pick
up my children from school.
Jane Richardson is willing to be open minded to take a chance on a new employee.
It’s amazing what people can achieve if they’re just given a few tools and the right support.
Mission Heights Junior College in South Auckland embraces students from many different ethnicities
and abilities.
We’re a really diverse school, we’ve got children from all over the world here.
15 students are in the Deaf Education Unit, but some of the hearing students and the staff
have opted to take sign language as a subject. There are four employees with hearing impairments
on staff.
It just was a really natural progression to say lets have some deaf workers in the school
who can actually fulfil those same role modelling.
I love the environment, communication is easy here with all the staff and the teachers.
In other jobs that I’ve had in the past there hasn’t been very much conversational levels
of communication for me.
We don’t have things, perhaps stereotypes that make us reluctant to look at some people
as people who could contribute positively to our work environments. It’s not just
about us giving them work, it’s about the contribution that they’ve made to our school
is huge.
Training and education provider Wintec is one of Hamilton’s largest employers. Their
route to hiring workers with a disability was an unusual one, it started with toilets.
We were sitting in a room doing legal compliance and counting disability toilets and someone
had the question, “Well we have all these disability toilets but where are all the disabled
Good question, they set themselves a challenge to actively recruit from the disability sector.
Wintec is a great place to work, they are open to my disability and the things that
may be hard for me so that they know that maybe I need a little bit of help.
After a bachelor’s degree Tegan Morris found her niche at Wintec.
I was given the opportunity to have dignity and responsibility.
These people are normally the highest performers in the organization. Their positive attitude
and they’re eager to hold down a normal job supersede normally any other attitude
in the organization. I would say to any employer out there give it a go because it’s definitely
worth it and it could even be the cornerstone to your culture.
Every community needs those exceptional people who open the doors for other people to walk
That’s what the Making a Difference Award is all about, here are there stories, Pam
MacNeill, Mick Gourley and Roy Bartlett.
Mike Gourley has never forgotten the struggle is was to get his first job.
Employment was an issue I faced for a long time after I left school and I just knew what
it was like to go to an interview and you’d see the look in people’s eyes thinking,
oh my gosh this is no good, this guy’s not going to be able to do anything.
Radio Announcement: Kia ora and welcome to this addition of One in Five. I’m Mike Gourley
and I’m about to catch up with a guy who’s taking on some of the myths and stereotypes
associated with mental illness.
He is the reporter and producer of Radio New Zealand’s Programme One in Five.
Some people might think that I err on the side of caution or compromise, but the reality
is people have to compromise everyday in our lives. You just have to work out what are
the compromises you can’t life with.
He was born with a condition that affected his limbs and the attitudes he came up against
shaped his life.
When he comes at stuff, he comes at it not in a simple sort of once over lightly way,
but he approaches it in a way that is beautiful story telling as well as fiercely and fantastically
Mike is one of the founders of the Disabled Person’s Assembly, a trailblazer in the
disability community with many accolades to show for it.
Mike’s a true leader; he drives you with his enthusiasm and his passion and his absolutely
set in stone principals.
Supported by his wife Helen he remains a true leader for the community.
Roy Bartlett loves seeing kids happy especially his StarJam buddy Jaden.
Hi my name is Jaden and I’m a lion “roar.”
StarJam is a performance group for kids with disabilities.
Have you seen Roy? Pardon I can’t hear you? Let’s go find him.
Building friendships and confidence it’s obviously worked for Jaden. Since they started
in 2002 more than 560 kids have moved across the stage thanks in part to Roy. Roy’s had
MS since 1988, he’s the quiet guy behind the scenes who makes it all happen.
I’m going to find him with magic “Oh!’ What is StarJam?
StarJam is a super charity where everyone who gets involves benefits, especially young
people with disabilities like you.
Why is the dream for kids like me?
For you to live your life to the max and go beyond fulfilling your own dreams.
That’s a very good answer. Can I give you a hug?
You sure can buddy.
Last year StarJam moved to Hamilton and Wellington. The next step in the dream of going global
for Roy and wife Julie.
As a child Pam MacNeill wasn’t expected to achieve anything, it was just the way things
were for a blind child.
I can remember one Aunt saying to my Mother that I was probably ineducable, that it would
be a waste of time sending me to school. And I’m not alone in that, lots of people in
my generation have had those sorts of experiences.
As an adult student she gained a Masters in Social Work. As head of the Mainstream Supported
Employment Programme she’s justly proud of placing hundreds of people into real jobs.
I was absolutely determined to raise the profile of the Programme, raise the profile of the
abilities of disabled people and ensure that we got as many people employed in the public
sector as possible.
Pam is a founding member of the Disabled Person’s Assembly, Guide Dog Society and a leader in
the Association of Blind Citizens. She now has her own business consulting and mentoring
in disability issues.
What I’ve learnt is to be bold and to be audacious and to have big hairy audacious
goals and go for them.
21 finalists, 7 awards on the night and an overall winner who takes the Supreme Award.
For those that can’t be there on the night you can catch the Attitude Awards on TVNZ
7 on December 3rd.
And also on our programme two weeks from today, see you then.