The youngest Kiwibank Local Hero Awards recipient for Otago this year has shown youth is no barrier to community involvement.
James Sutherland (17) was recognised for his work in youth organisations and the Central Otago Youth Council.
“There seemed to be a need for young people to have a voice in decisions made by local councillors,” he said.
James was one of 19 Otago people saluted at the Local Hero Awards ceremony in Dunedin this week for their decades of devotion to local communities.
Twelve of the 19 were from Central Otago or the Queenstown Lakes district.
Services to Girl Guides, suicide prevention, music, sports, local government and justice – along with many fields of endeavour – were acknowledged with medals and words of thanks.
Recipients were: Emily Boud (Alexandra), youth and local organisations; Denis Cronin (Alexandra), Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful, golf; Douglas Dance (Roxburgh), St John, local government, the arts; Ngaire Duke (Dunedin), justice, Community Advice Bureau; Lesley Elliott (Dunedin), Sophie Elliott Foundation; Judy Elliott Hall (Alexandra), numerous community committees; Carol Haig (Clyde), varied local committees; Stuart Hore (Naseby), governance and sporting committees; Gloria Hurst (Papakaio), founder of Waitaki Community Gardens Trust; Heather McPherson (Cromwell), arts events, Cromwell Wine and Food Festival; Gordon Martin (Waitaki), sport, justice, Fire Service; Sonya Palmer (Lake Hawea), youth organisations; Rod Peirce (Roxburgh), local government, Clutha Gold Trail; Lynne Ray (Dunedin) Girl Guides; Valerie Smith (Ranfurly), Bible In Schools, local charities; Jane Stalker (Wanaka), Wanaka A&P Show; James Sutherland (Alexandra), youth organisations.