Are you a top-flight achiever?

Do you possess the drive and passion to support others?

Are you in the second year of Tertiary study?
Have you overcome serious obstacles to achieve your goals?


The Rotary Club of Port Nicholson is inviting applications from top-flight goal-setter achievers for the annual Goal Setter Awards 2024. 


$4,000 cash award

Four winners will personally receive their awards at a celebration breakfast and presentation function in Wellington in early April.


Apply by 11 Dec 2023

Application forms are available online (below) or from your tertiary institution.

Download the application form to review eligibility criteria, and for application details.


Goal Setters Winners 2023 with Guest Speaker, Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier
Goal Setters Winners 2022 with Guest Speaker, Disability Rights Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero
Page News
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.
Goal Setter Awards 2018

Congratulations to our Goal Setter Awardees for 2018. On Friday 16 March, Mayor Justin Lester presented the awards to Nadia Cooper, Brooke Leota and Jordan Tewhaiti-Smith. It was a wonderful celebration of goal setting and achievement. These three young people have all dealt with significant challenges while achieving amazing things and helping others. We look forward to seeing them progress in their chosen careers and we know they will be valuable contributors to our communities.

Click here for the 2019 Stuff article to find out more about Mr Tewhaiti-Smith's incredible journey from a mob family to graduating as a doctor. We are happy to have been able to assist him in his journey and are proud of his successes.

Goal Setter Awards 2017
Emily Dwight: Emily was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2015 when she was used by a lecturer as a model to demonstrate neck ultrasounds in front of her classmates. She has since undergone surgery to remove the whole of her thyroid gland followed by radiation therapy. Despite the strain, Emily went on to be awarded a Dean’s Commendation for fifth year medicine and was re-elected onto the NZ Medical Student’s Association executive team.

Jeremy Haggland: A medical misadventure while undergoing surgery in 2009 led to Jeremy having to undergo multiple operations, spending the equivalent of a whole year in hospital during the past seven years. As a result of the many surgeries he has undergone Jeremy now has to deal with chronic pain. Aged 44, Jeremy is in his third and final year for a degree of Bachelor of Nursing Maori at Whitireia. Since beginning nursing studies Jeremy has been an advocate on behalf of the students of Whitireia and New Zealand as the TRT Chairperson of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation National Student Unit.
Julie Vidal: Julie and her sister were raised by their father who died in 2016. Soon after her father’s death she was served with a 21-day eviction notice as neither she nor her smaller sister were on the tenancy agreement. Julie has just started the fourth of five years’ study for a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws at Victoria University, Wellington. Regularly volunteering work at the Home of Compassion’s Soup Kitchen since she was 15, Julie also works at the Wellington Community Law Centre as a student volunteer. In 2016 she was elected Academic officer for the Pasifika Law Students’ Society.
Photos from Goal Setters 2016 celebrations
Brent and SarahBrent and Jane