2023 AIMES Awards

Asa Waller (Class of 2021), has won the North Harbour Club AIMES Arts Award, providing her with a cash grant of $15,000 towards her goal of a professional career in classical ballet. She is currently attending the Dutch National Ballet Academy through the Amsterdam University of the Arts.

Asa is a high-achieving all-rounder, having played various sports and musical instruments including guitar, piano, classical voice and saxophone, and was in Choralation Choir.

During lockdown in 2020, she focused on dancing and did schoolwork at night and in the week ends. She achieved NCEA Level 2 with Excellence, and she attained a place in the NZ School of Dance in Wellington at the end of the year.  She also won the biannual Royal Academy of Dance Competition.

Anja Filip (Class of 2022) received a North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Bellingham Wallace, and a cash grant of $7,500. She is currently studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education at Ara, the Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch. At Westlake, Anja founded Westlake Kaitiaki, where she taught other students practical conservation skills, such as pest trapping, tree planting and water testing. The group adopted nearby Smiths Bush for their environmental work.

Anja is a leader in Forest and Bird Youth Auckland and on national committees. In 2021, she gained a scholarship from the Hyundai Pinnacle leadership programme and in 2022 she was a delegate on the BLAKE Inspire programme.

After completing her degree, Anja plans to tramp the 3,000 km Te Araroa trail, stopping at schools and communities to collaborate with them on starting conservation projects. She then would like to make her Te Araroa/Westlake Kaitiaki initiative a national organisation.

Alexia attended Westlake Girls in 2014, in Year 11. She is the founder of GirlBoss NZ, which has become NZ’s largest organisation for young women. Programmes have been implemented in more than 100 schools across New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands.

Alexia has received over 30 awards for her work, including being named the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award Winner, 2020 Pacific Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Semi-Finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year, the Most Influential NZ Woman under 25 at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards, and Finalist for World Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020. She was also awarded a Queen’s Young Leader Award for Services to the Commonwealth.

She plans to use grant funds from the Award to assist young people to complete her GirlBoss Edge 10 day programme, a digital programme created during the Covid-19 pandemic, where over 1600 students received mentoring from 800 corporate mentors.