Global Ambassadors 2020 696x339Global Ambassadors (from left) Marc Juntilla, Mary Bernarte, Mayor Neil Brown, Fylgia Romero and Jade Kruger. Absent: Jasaiah Claydon-Wade. Photo supplied.The Ashburton District Council has announced the names of five young people who have been appointed to its new Global Ambassadors Programme.

Mary Bernarte, Jasaiah Claydon-Wade, Marc Juntilla, Jade Kruger and Fylgia Romero are the district’s new Global Ambassadors who will be working with council to support Ashburton’s international partnerships.

The group will have the chance to gain practical experience and make valuable connections to kick-start their future in international relations.

Mayor Neil Brown said the group had an exciting year ahead and would be taking part in workshops and training.

‘‘I’m sure they’ll do very well representing our district to the international community here and beyond, and I wish them all the very best for a great year of professional development.’’

The Global Ambassadors’ first assignment will be to assist the Welcoming Communities programme in its support of the upcoming Holi Festival of Colours, hosted by the Ashburton Indian Multicultural Charitable Trust on February 15.

Another important project the ambassadors will get to be involved in is the upcoming national Sister Cities Conference in Ashburton in April this year. The theme for the conference is Growing Cultural Diversity in the Regions.

Throughout the year, the ambassadors will attend workshops on topics such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te reo Maori, cultural competence, international relations and communications. They will also be connected with people in politics and will get to participate in planned activities for five hours a month.

At the end of the 12-month programme, each ambassador will receive a certificate of completion.

Mr Brown said the Global Ambassadors will have the chance to make a significant contribution to the community.

‘‘Economic development doesn’t just depend on gross domestic product growth. Diversity and prosperity are equally important factors in the community’s wellbeing and the Global Ambassadors Programme will help to share our district’s story locally and around the world.’’

One Global Ambassador position is still available, and council is accepting applications for this role. It is open to young people aged 18-24.

© The Ashburton Courier - 23 January 2020

ash16 layna hunt 200x300Layna Hunt is off to the World Championships of Performing Arts in America. Photo supplied.Ashburton-grown singer and actor Layna Hunt will represent New Zealand at the talent Olympics in the USA later this year.

Ms Hunt, 28, will be part of the Kiwi contingent at the World Championships of Performing Arts and is busy fundraising for the trip.

The championships have been running for 24 years and attracts performers from over 60 countries; they compete for medals, cash and scholarships. The event will be held at Disneyland in late July.

The talented local performer attended the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art after leaving Ashburton College in 2009. She was part of the New Zealand team in 2017 and went to Long Beach, California, with 25 others ranging in age from 5 to 29 years. She bought home a silver and a bronze medal.

“This year will be the last year I can apply to attend as the age cuts off at 29,” she said. “Being one of the eldest members of the team was nice as I felt that I could lend a helping hand to the younger team members.”

Ms Hunt said she loved acting and dancing, but singing was her main strength and she will only be competing in singing categories at the championships.

After grading with a Bachelor of Performing Arts from the national academy in 2012, she has performed in musicals in Mid Canterbury and worked at the Court Theatre in Christchurch, where she now lives.

“As well as musicals I have been singing with my partner’s Dad’s rock bank Odyssey, who have been together for over 45 years.

“We play good, old school rock music and perform often at the Wunderbar in Lyttelton.”

Tapping into her creativity, Ms Hunt started her own photography business Kaleidoscope Eyes Photography; when she is not working fulltime as a receptionist at Argus Heating, she is out capturing special memories for others with her camera.

She is fundraising to attend the world championships and is planning to do sausage sizzles in both Christchurch and Ashburton. She has also started a Givealittle page where supporters can help her cause:

Ms Hunt will be back in Ashburton this week to take part in a special alumni choir at the Mid Canterbury Summer Singing School. The school will be marking 20 years.

“I have so many special memories of performing in Ashburton. Singing at Christmas in the Park, the summer singing school with Jo Castelow and Alice Sollis and Mid Canterbury Children’s Theatre.

“The Ashburton Operatic Society productions hold very dear memories to me. My all-time favourite memory was performing as Eponine in Les Miserables in 2009. Getting to perform in the brand new event theatre was an absolute pleasure and something I will treasure for life.”

By Linda Clarke © The Ashburton Courier - 20 January 2020

patrick sandrey 263x300New Ashburton College teacher Patrick Sandrey. Photo supplied.New Ashburton College social science teacher Patrick Sandrey is a former college old boy.

It isn’t too many years ago that Patrick Sandrey was in school uniform and a student at Ashburton College.

For the start of the new school year, he’s back, this time at the front of the classroom, and as a teacher.

The 22 year-old returns to his alma mater to teach social science, in a maternity cover role.

Since leaving school, Patrick has completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Canterbury, majoring in history, and also earned a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning.

Teaching is his chosen profession and he’s excited by the prospect of starting his journey at his old school.

“Before the interview for the job, I hadn’t actually been back to Ashburton College since finishing as a student.

“Instinctively, I probably thought I was going in for a detention rather than a job interview.”

Patrick said there was the obvious sense of familiarity with the school, but coming back as an educator would present a raft of new challenges and opportunities.

“It’s only natural to have a few nerves mixed in as well, but generally I’m really looking forward to seeing the future-focused direction that the school is heading in and I’m eager to contribute where I can.”

Patrick said he fondly remembers playing in the school football team and travelling to away tournaments, even though the results were sub par.

He also really enjoyed school house events.

“I think Ash Coll’s house culture is second to none. Events like the prelims and Festival of the Spoken Word were always a great chance to represent the house colours and to show off some skills.”

As an emerging educator, Patrick will be working towards completing his two years registration.

He follows in the footsteps of former Ashburton College students, Tom Kitchen and Jack Hanrahan, who have both been recruited in recent months to teach German and drama respectively, and former head boy Michael Clark, who is now the assistant head of the English department.

By Mick Jensen © The Ashburton Courier - 20 January 2020