Monday 05 December, 2022
Environmental activist and global youth ambassador Āniva Clarke named Head Girl at Diocesan School for 2023

Sixteen-year-old Āniva Clarke, who’s been a Pasifika group leader at Dio this year and an environmental activist since she was 10 years old, says she plans to use her role as Head Girl next year to lead the school’s student-focused sustainability initiatives and promote greater awareness of climate change and environmental issues.

Samoan-born Āniva is one of 12 global youth advisors on the Children’s Advisory Team (CAT), set up at the start of this year to facilitate youth consultations on children’s rights, the environment and climate change.

The team has been working with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child as they prepare official international guidance about how children’s rights are impacted by the climate crisis, with the information helping shape how governments around the world uphold these rights.

The first draft of the consultation has been completed, and Āniva is now assisting the Committee with the final stages of the official guidance which is due to be released in June 2023.

She is hoping to facilitate a youth consultation on Children’s Rights to a Healthy Environment with local organisations in Samoa in January.

Āniva, who started at Dio in February 2021, says she hopes her leadership role will help inspire other students to develop an interest in environmental issues, especially in the Pacific region.

Āniva was the recipient of a Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa Secondary Scholarship this year, which aims to inspire and support Pacific secondary students in the STEAM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.  She has received a Toloa Scholarship again for next year.

“It’s a huge honour to be taking up the role of Head Girl at such a prestigious school and I hope I can be a role model for younger Pasifika girls to show them what they can achieve if they put their mind to it,” she says.

“I’m very proud to be Samoan, so being able to share my culture and Pacific values with the Dio community is very important to me.”

Top academic awards for Dio Champions

Two of Dio’s top Year 13 academic achievers for 2022 are both Dio Champions;  a special group of students who complete their entire school education at Dio.

Ella Riley, 2022 Proxime Accessit and the outgoing Deputy Head Girl, started at Dio as a Year 1 student in 2008.

“I have a genuine love of learning, and Dio has really instilled that in me,” says 18-year-old Ella.

“It’s a very special place – students develop self-confidence and the motivation to make the most of the many opportunities the school offers.”

 Ella is planning to study psychology and international business in Sydney next year.

The NCEA Dux for 2022 is a joint award for Amie Cummack and Lucy Russ. Joint-Dux Lucy Russ has also spent her entire schooling at Diocesan.

“Dio empowers you,” says 17-year-old Lucy. “It’s helped me have a positive outlook on education and there is a massive array of opportunities available to us.

“The teaching staff are passionate about their subjects and in ensuring student success. They’ve helped shape my love of learning,” says Epsom-based Lucy.

Lucy, who was Ethics Prefect and Captain of Orienteering in 2022, is planning to study International Relations, History and Law next year.

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