Champion of diversity wins Blues Awards

14 October 2019

The Outstanding Contribution to Equity and Diversity award at the 2019 Blues Awards went to the incredible young disability advocate and University of Canterbury (UC) Master’s of Sociology student Eleanor Hurton.

  • Eleanor Hurton

    Eleanor Hurton won two major awards for her outstanding and inspiring leadership work in the disability sector, presented by UCSA President Sam Brosnahan.

The Outstanding Contribution to Equity and Diversity award at the 2019 Blues Awards went to the incredible young disability advocate and University of Canterbury (UC) Master’s of Sociology student Eleanor Hurton.  

Eleanor has Auditory Processing Disorder, and in addition to her studies she has taken on many leadership roles in the disability sector.

She was also joint winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement Award.

Eleanor set up ReDefine: Youth Development Programme, which aims to redefine what it means to be a young person with a disability and empower them to take on a positive identity.

Earlier this year, she was co-opted onto the Christchurch City/Banks Peninsula Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS), which allocated over $700,000 of funds, to represent the disability sector – she was the first person with a disability to be on the COGS committee; a fact widely celebrated by the disability community.

In addition to her work with Redefine and the Grants Scheme, she was asked to feature on the New Zealand Human Rights Commission “Proud to be me” website, which aims to raise the voices of disabled New Zealanders by sharing their stories. She is also on the Management Team of Youth Voice Canterbury (YVC). 

In September, Eleanor was selected as one of 50 young people with disabilities to attend the I.Lead Conference in Wellington, New Zealand’s first national conference for youth with disabilities, where she presented her ideas for solutions and actions directly to government and sector decision-makers.

Blues Awards organisers, the UC Students’ Association (UCSA) received four nominations for Eleanor, the most the community awards panel has received since the category was introduced three years ago. The Blues Award have been running for 106 years and traditionally focused on sports achievements. More recently, the Blues Awards expanded to recognise contributions to arts, community, sustainability, equity and diversity, and the Māori community.

 Major Awards

  • Polly Hoskins – Outstanding Contribution to University Arts
  • Thomas Bedggood – Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
  • Amelia Dewhurst and Rose Bayldon – Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability
  • Eleanor Hurton – Outstanding Contribution to Equity and Diversity
  • Tamahou Thoms – Waewae Kai Pakiaka: Outstanding Contribution to the Māori Community

More results are here: Insider’s Guide blog

For further information please contact:

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