Passionate Francophile ready to represent NZ
Aria Newfield caught the ‘‘French bug’’ as a youngster.
Now the 22-year-old is heading to Paris to represent New Zealand at the Bastille Day military parade on July 14.
Newfield is in her fifth year of a conjoint law and arts degree at Auckland University. The Grafton resident is majoring in French and history.
She became interested in all things French at primary school aged 8, and went on to study the language at St Cuthberts College.
‘‘I guess I just got the bug. I love the French language and find the history and culture so interesting.’’
Arts, Culture and Heri- tage minister Christopher Finlayson announced the four French-speaking New Zealanders selected on June 3.
It followed an invitation from French president Francois Hollande to send two men and two women aged 18 to 24 to take part in the parade.
France is using this year’s national day to mark the upcoming centenary of World War I. The four Kiwis will join youth from around 70 other countries that were involved in the war.
‘‘There were more than 200 applications for this unique opportunity,’’ Finlayson says.
‘‘I congratulate the four young New Zealanders chosen by the judges and am proud that they are joining me to represent New Zealand and their generation overseas at the Bastille Day military parade.’’
Aucklander Milan Djurich, Isabel Kerr of Wellington and Alexander Summerlee of Christchurch will also attend.
Newfield has been to France once before. She stayed with a family in Nueil-les-Aubiers in rural France during a student exchange.
She is hoping to meet her ‘‘host sister’’ and get some down time to explore Paris.
‘‘I can’t believe it. I feel very lucky.’’
Paris calling: Aria Newfield is looking forward to representing New Zealand on France’s national day.