A Tauranga teen, who appealed to our Kiwi DIY, Number 8 wire mentality, has won this year’s national Race Unity Speech Competition.
“Race Relations is a DIY job – it’s up to all of us to get the job done. Tauranga’s Kimberly D’Mello has captured the fundamental essence of human rights,” Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said.
“We’re all responsible for the kind of country and community we live in.”
Close to 500 gathered at West Auckland’s Te Mahurehure Marae on Sunday night where Kimberly – a Year 12 student at Aquinas College who previously won the Bay of Plenty regional competition – impressed judges with her “Do It Yourself” approach to race relations.
More than 170 secondary students nationwide competed in this year’s competition open to year 11-13 students.
Kimberly told those gathered: “Don’t wait for someone else. Do it yourself. Don’t get someone else to fix the problem. Do it yourself and DON’T rely on the Aussies!”
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we built bridges between cultures rather than building bridges to contain our differences? We are aiming at building those bridges of Race Unity. So are we gonna get some bloke in? Come on Mate DO it yourself!
“Big change starts with me. Big change starts with you. We have two degrees of separation for our 50 shades of different colours, we need to be a country with all colours as one family. So come on New Zealand: Do it Yourself. DIY. It’s in our DNA!”
The Speech awards were initiated by the Bahai community and the principal sponsor is New Zealand Police with additional support and sponsorship from the Human Rights Commission, Office of Ethnic Communities, UNESCO and the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils.
This year’s judges included Dame Susan, AUT Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio, Office of Ethnic Affairs chief executive Berlinda China, Barbara Morgan from the Speech Communications Association and Inspector Rakesh Naidoo, NZ Police’s National Strategic Ethnic Advisor.