Stu­dent wins suf­frage com­pe­ti­tion

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

A de­sire to learn more about women’s suf­frage en­cour­aged the head girls of Kamo High School to en­ter a com­pe­ti­tion about the move­ment.

But they weren’t ex­pect­ing to do as well as they did.

Maea Shep­herd, 17, was the over­all win­ner of the Kate Edger Ed­u­ca­tional Char­i­ta­ble Trust Schools’ Suf­frage 125 Com­pe­ti­tion, while Sa­van­nah Sul­li­van, 18, made the fi­nals with her en­try.

“I was quite gob­s­macked be­cause I was not ex­pect­ing any­thing re­ally. I put to­gether this one-minute video. I didn’t think it could win,” said Shep­herd.

The Suf­frage 125 com­pe­ti­tion was to recog­nise those who were in­volved in the suf­frage cam­paign, and to cel­e­brate 125 years since women were given the right to vote in New Zealand — the first coun­try in the world to grant this.

En­trants used song, writ­ing, po­etry and art­work to an­swer the ques­tion “what does the suf­frage move­ment mean to you; your fam­ily; your whanau; your iden­tity?”

Sul­li­van — who sub­mit­ted an es­say — said she hadn’t thought about what the move­ment meant to her, so de­cided writ­ing would be the best way to ex­press that.

“I wanted to dis­cover what it ac­tu­ally means to me. And fig­ur­ing out that I’m so priv­i­leged to be able to vote, and the fact that there are peo­ple out there who can’t — which is crazy,” she said.

Shep­herd sub­mit­ted a video which fol­lowed the “amaz­ing women” in her life and was set to a song she cre­ated.

“I didn’t re­alise how im­por­tant the vote was un­til I re­alised if we didn’t have that, we couldn’t choose to be our­selves re­ally be­cause we wouldn’t have au­ton­omy over our­selves.”

Shep­herd re­ceived $500 and will at­tend an ideation ses­sion for the NZ Global Suf­frage Project.

Her video will also be show­cased on­line.

The pair were both ex­cited to be able to vote at the next elec­tion.

“Ev­ery sin­gle voice and ev­ery sin­gle vote, it does mat­ter and it does have an im­pact and if you can im­pact those around you by vot­ing, that’s even bet­ter,” Shep­herd said.

Kyla Sherbanowski from Bay of Is­lands Col­lege was highly com­mended for her en­try The Ma¯ ori Wa¯ hine — fight for our Wa¯ hine and for our Na­tion.

PHOTO / MICHAEL CUN­NING­HAM

Kamo High School head girls Maea Shep­herd and Sa­van­nah Sul­li­van both did well in a com­pe­ti­tion to cel­e­brate the women’s suf­frage move­ment.

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