Class Act 2011 ten years later: where are they now?
We asked those who received Otago Daily Times Class Act Achievement Awards in high school 10 years ago what sets their generation apart from the rest.
Unsurprisingly, many have referred to technology, describing themselves as the “nexus between the old and the new way of life” – the latest generation who didn’t grow up with social media from a young age but did. adopted in adolescence.
This differentiates us from the older generations because we are not afraid of new technologies and we adapt to changes, but neither are we defined by them and
realize that there is life outside of social media, ” Rebekah Greene said.
“We are able to use floppy disks, flip phones and personal music players,” added Alex Pasco, “while simultaneously being comfortable with a 3D printer or mining for Bitcoin.”
Being exposed to many different ideas via the internet and social media has made them more aware of social issues than previous generations, said the group, most of whom are 27 or 28 years old.
Growing up with massive changes meant that they had also developed a capacity to adapt and knew the value of “wearing several hats at once”.
Many thought they had more opportunities, but Patrick Dawson said that people of previous generations, when they were young, were allowed to dream up big ideas in ways that his generation did not have.
”[They] at least I must be dreaming of getting rich, world peace, flying cars, political revolutions, whatever you want. In contrast, a large part of my generation just hopes to have a decent job, a house [and] maybe children. ”
Saasha Bruce said they didn’t like being told something was impossible as Jordyn Walker believed his cohort was more daring than the ones they were following, “but not as daring as the ones following us.” .
Some spoke of the challenges their generation faced, with Lisa Craw saying climate change was “a real threat, not a” future problem “like others”.
Covid-19 is another pressing issue and three have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Many others had canceled a trip abroad – at least one using his savings for a house deposit instead.
Only seven of the 52 beneficiaries who responded live abroad and five of them are in Australia.
Douglas Wood worked in the Emergency Department at Wellington Hospital during the lockdown: “It was pretty terrifying watching what was going on overseas back then… and knowing that you are on the front lines in terms of health response, ”he said. “We are extremely fortunate to live in a country where leaders listen to the experts when it matters.”
Alex Pasco supported the government’s response to the outbreak, creating information maps and interactive dashboards to help ministers make strategic decisions.
Others said the closures gave them time to renovate their homes, appreciate their hometown and explore domestic employment opportunities they otherwise would not have explored.
The Class Act Awards recognize excellence in many fields, from academic achievement to athletic and cultural achievement, and a decade later, the 2011 recipients are living up to their original promises.
Aaron Kennedy is doing a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical engineering, developing films for growing cultures as well as devices for making cell and gene therapy affordable.
Physiotherapist Maxine Shanks has been featured in the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine while software developer Fergus Farrell has helped set up a national digital health platform that ensures vulnerable children get checkups. They are part of 12 people, including nurses, junior doctors and a radiologist, working in the health sector.
Michael Collins has played 50 super rugby matches, Julia Gorinski is part of the Otago Spirit rugby team and Dayna Turnbull heads the New Zealand Touch Blacks women’s team. Both Rebekah Greene and Sophie McCormick are successful runners and in the run-up to the Softball World Cup, Ben Watts has been named to the Black Sox practice squad.
Some who have been nominated by their high schools excel in the arts. Ella Borrie and Giles Graham have both published poetry in Landfall, Kylie Price is an award-winning singer, and Rosalind Manowitz is the host of a TV2 children’s show.
Others went on to more unusual careers – Kate Waterman ran away to circus school, Jodie Hope is a funeral director, and Sophie Williamson helped create Australia’s first alcohol-free bar.
When asked about their greatest accomplishments over the past 10 years, many mentioned graduating from college, traveling, getting their dream job, buying their first home, and starting a family.
PhD student Lisa Craw ‘quarreled’ in four field campaigns in Antarctica and one in the Arctic while Hayden King was traveling to the United States when he ‘flirtatiously’ tweeted the famous graphic designer Michael Bierut, asking to meet for a coffee. Bierut, who designed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign logo, accepted the invitation and showed her around her office in New York. Public health analyst Giles Graham said that for a few years after receiving his Class Act award, he was “mortified” that the Otago Daily Times would call and that he would have nothing to show for his potential – ” like a man who “d buried his talents and forgot to dig them up.”
However, after six years he had forgotten everything. I got married. I moved to Wellington for a few years and broke into an area where I would use my superior skills. Then I went back to Te Waipounamu, renovated a caravan, had a child and bought a house. I couldn’t have imagined, when I was in high school, how different my life would be now. [or] how happy I would be … ”