Tayla Reece, 23
Hey I'm Tayla! I'm from a little town in Waiamakariri called Kaiapoi and am just coming to the end of my studies at the University of Canterbury studying a Bachelor of Social Work. I work part-time for the Hurunui District Council running events and activities for children in earthquake-affected areas.
I've been involved with Youth Voice Canterbury for four years and am excited to be a part of the incoming Management Team for 2018!
I'm particularly interested in youth friendly places and spaces, youth well being, best practice youth engagement and developing leadership in young women. Overall I am most looking forward to the Canterbury Youth Awards 2018 and getting YVC more out there!
Emily de Rooy, 19
I am studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Canterbury majoring in Human Resource Management and minoring in Human Services. I enjoy playing basketball, being social and travelling.
I was a member of the Selwyn Youth Council prior to stepping up into role of Chairperson in 2016. I then joined the 2017 Youth Voice Canterbury management team. I am excited to continue my involvement in the youth development sector and take on more roles in projects, work more closely with partners of YVC, and champion youth across the region.
Overall, I am most excited about my internship to be the South Island Youth Connect coordinator for 2018 and have this link up with my university degree. So much can be achieved in the next year and I look forward to making it happen!
Kusal Ekanayake, 20
Hi I'm Kusal! I am a Christchurch born Sri Lankan. Raised in Halswell, now residing in Lincoln, I attended Lincoln High School and am now about to enter my final year of Software Engineering at The University of Canterbury. In my spare time I'm a bit of a musician, playing the drums in a band called The Reconstruction as well as helping out for occasional productions.
For the remainder of 2017 I will be a member of Selwyn youth council and am currently an active member of the youth reference group for sustainable transport for Environment Canterbury. I am also the Marketing Manager for the 2018 Computer Society (CompSoc) at the University of Canterbury (I'm a big fan of technology and sustainability).
Being able to witness the accomplishments of so many young people around me is something I love and is what I hope to encourage through being a part of YVC.
Haven Gardiner-Gray, 22
Hey, I'm Haven! I've lived most of my life in North East Christchurch where the beach meets the forest in Parklands/Queenspark. I've just completed my Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Canterbury and will be returning next year part time to finish of my Certificate of Arts in Education.
I'm new to the youth council scene however definitely have a passion for empowering and including young people in bigger social issues. Outside of YVC I do a lot of admin, events, and mentoring work for community and not-for-profit agencies. I have a great passion for sustainable community development and wellbeing with a particular focus on mental health and the education sector. I look forward to networking and getting stuck in to seeing more change in our city!
Paige Sullivan, 17
Hey I’m Paige and I’m 17 years old. I currently live in Rolleston, and I grew up in Beckenham. I currently go to Lincoln High School, moving into year 13 for 2018. I enjoy going to speedway, dancing, and playing netball. When I leave school I would like to run my own social enterprise.
I have been a Youth Councillor on the Selwyn Youth Council since 2016, stepping up for the last year of my term into the role of deputy chairperson. In this time I have been a youth representative on Creative Communities and also the Youth Voice Canterbury Advisory Group.
I am super passionate about youth wellbeing and mental health, as well as youth participation. I’m excited to be on the Youth Voice Canterbury management team so that I can take the next step in my leadership, advocating for youth voice across Canterbury and empowering youth to be the best they can be.
Eleanor Hurton, 20
Hi, my name is Eleanor Hurton and I am 20 years old. I live in Christchurch, but originally come from England. I have just finished studying a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in human services and sociology. I am planning to start postgraduate studies at the University of Canterbury in 2018.
I am currently working with Bounce, a Red Cross youth well-being project driven by young people in Christchurch. As a Bounce youth ambassador, I work to empower young people to increase their well-being and resilience. I have a long history of volunteering with various youth organisations, and I am passionate about improving the lives of young people.
As a member of the YVC Management team, I hope to increase the ability of young people to have a say in the decisions that impact their lives. I feel privileged to be a part of YVC, and am excited that I can be an advocate for young people in Canterbury.