When Fairfield Rotary Club submitted a Hamilton City Council Civic Award nomination earlier this year, it was an attempt to ‘break the mould’ of those who get recognised.
Fairfield Rotary successfully nominated science educator Shalini Guleria, who was presented a Civic Award along with 11 fellow recipients at a ceremony in August.
Shalini is the founder of Science Box which delivers children’s science workshops to spark their curiosity without the need for expensive or hard to find resources.
“Fairfield Rotary formed a connection with Shalini after reading about Science Box in the Waikato Times,” says Graeme Kitto, the club’s former Service Director. “We tracked her down and we were just blown away by her passion and ability.”
Science Box was created and launched while Shalini completed her Masters of Science at The University of Waikato, and her passion has seen a team of like-minded volunteers come on board to support the project.
While the Civic Award nomination was in the hope of having 25-year-old Shalini recognised, it was also to see more efforts by young people promoted.
“We were keen to suggest you don’t have to have been around for 70 years and doing something for 50 years to get acknowledged,” says Graeme.
“We thought, ‘here’s a person with huge potential who’s already doing a massive amount for our city’. [Shalini’s] such an impressive person so who better to nominate than someone who might break the mould.
“When I got the call to say the nomination had been accepted, I was over the moon.”
Graeme hopes to see more of Hamilton’s unsung heroes acknowledged at the next Civic Awards ceremony in December.
“There are so many people in our city who do many things to help others in an invisible or under-the-radar way – ordinary people doing things most wouldn’t have a clue about but it’s significant to the recipients of that support.”
Nominations for this round of Hamilton Civic Awards close this Friday (15 November).