Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Goal Setter Awards 2020
The two people receiving Goalsetter Awards at the RC of Port Nicholson’s award ceremony so moved the audience with their stories of adversity overcome, that some were openly crying.
The awards are available for students in at least their second year of tertiary study in Wellington who have shown they can achieve goals, have overcome severe difficulties and have given service to the community.
 As President Mike Selvadurai said “these awards are entrenched in the Club’s DNA.”
This year’s three awards of $3,500 were presented by local Member of Parliament and Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson at a sold-out breakfast function in Wellington on 10 August attended by 170 people.
Hannah Gibson was born with a rare and debilitating condition that prevented her from any formal education between the ages of 12 and 20. She recently submitted the first draft of her PhD in Cultural Anthropology. Hannah was unable to attend and received her award at a club meeting a week earlier.
Kahui Tihore suffered from traumatic abuse as a child and didn’t learn to read till he was in the army at the age of 20. He has suffered from severe depression and PTSD but is now in a position help other young Maori men who have suffered traumatic experiences. He will begin his post doctorate studies in management next year.
Melissa Dol was raised in a dysfunctional family forcing her to take on responsibilities way beyond her years. She is now in her fourth year of medical studies and hopes the adversities she has faced will make her a more empathetic doctor.
“Every year club members and their guests are moved by the tales of persistence, determination and the audacity to believe that what they want to achieve is possible.” said Awards convenor Jane Paterson
Kahui Tihore and Melissa Dol with awards presenter Hon Grant Roberston, Minister of Finance
Hannah Gibson also received an award but was unable to attend the breakfast. Hannah was presented with her award the previous week at the club's Rotary meeting by Jane Paterson and Port Nicholson Rotary Club President Mike Selvadurai.
Past District Governor John Mohi also presented Mark Dunajtschik with his Paul Harris Fellow award to recognise his strong community commitment - especially with the new Wellington Children's Hospital.