Business support for local young people to be stars

Business support for local young people to be stars

More financially disadvantaged local young people will be able to gain Grow a Star scholarships and mentoring support to help them realise their full academic, sporting or artistic potential after several Hunter business people trekked the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

Clayton Hickey and Ewan McIvor, from wealth and business advisory firm PKF, CEO of CALM Inc, Sheena Harvey, Principal of ESG consultancy SD Strategies, Sonja Duncan and Photographer, Lee Illfield was some of the participants in the second Trek for the Stars.

Clayton said PKF appreciated the opportunity to sponsor the event and for he and Ewan to trek and personally fundraise. The pair had fun along the way including creating some additional fundraising challenges, such as Clayton taking a dip in the icy Lake Pukaki.

“It was great to spend a week with like-minded people in a beautiful part of the world and accomplish some challenging climbing feats in the process. That it will end up benefiting so many children to achieve their hopes and goals makes it so much better,” Clayton said.

Sonja taught yoga at Barrington Community Hall as part of her fundraising efforts. She said the trek enabled her to combine her desire to live with purpose, passion for hiking, love of mountain landscapes and the joy of being surrounded by like-minded people.

Lee said the trek was a magical experience and everything she hoped for.

“I pushed myself further than I have before. I’m exhausted and my heart is full. Knowing our ultimate cause and sharing it along the way… it was a wonderful way to experience a truly breathtaking trip,” Lee said.

Grow a Star is an initiative of Hunter-based not for profit community housing provider Home in Place.

Events and Partnerships Manager, Michelle Faithfull, led the trek in conjunction with trek company, Inspired Adventures.

The trek started in Christchurch and finished in Queenstown, taking in Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, Wanaka and the famous Tasman Glacier. Michelle led the first trek in Tasmania in 2022.

Michelle thanks the participants and those supporting them for taking the time to make a practical difference to disadvantaged young people. The funds raised will help remove financial and generational barriers for another 15 young people wanting to be stars.

“The treks enable business leaders to connect with each other and make time for personal reflection and growth while giving back to community,” Michelle said.

“There were some really challenging days, which everyone handled beautifully, and some solid friendships made along the way.”

Michelle said to meet the continued demand for scholarships, Grow a Star is holding its annual Lunch for the Stars on 13 September in Newcastle.

Jana Pittman – Australia’s only Summer and Winter Olympian, two-time World Champion in athletics, and now a doctor – will be the guest speaker.

“Local businesses Hyflow, Broadley Signs and AON have already come on board as sponsors for what will be another amazing event. We still have the opportunity for sponsorship of the guest speaker,” Michelle said.

Previous annual Luncheon with the Stars have featured Sam Poolman and Danny Buderus (2003), Steven Bradbury (2022) and Craig Johnston (2021).

IMAGE | 2024 Trek for the Stars team in New Zealand

Home in Place

Home in Place is a Tier 1 community housing provider and registered Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider. It currently manages more than 7600 social, affordable and disability housing homes in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand.

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