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Hayley Westenra in the top 10
Christchurch singer Hayley Westenra has been named one of the 10 outstanding young people in the world by a young leaders' organisation.
Hayley Westenra


Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide federation for young leaders and entrepreneurs, each year recognises 10 people aged between 18 and 40 who have excelled in their chosen field.
This year, the 19-year-old popera star was the winner in its cultural achievement category.
Westenra said getting the award was a shock and a huge honour. "I don't set out to chase awards," she said. "I'm just doing what I love, singing, following my dreams – along the way I'm trying to make the world a better place."
Westenra, who has been a goodwill ambassador for Unicef for three years, said she was proud to be "flying the New Zealand flag".
"It's great just to know that despite coming from a small country, we are getting to an international level and we can compete with bigger countries."
Westenra is the first New Zealander to receive a JCI award. Previous recipients include actor Jackie Chan and entrepreneur Anthony Robbins.
Westenra's mother, Jill, said being a role model and doing charity work kept her daughter grounded in the sometimes superficial music business.
"It makes it really worthwhile," she said.
JCI New Zealand national president Andre Stokes said nominating Westenra for the award was a "no-brainer".
"This recognises Hayley's incredible talent and her outstanding achievements."


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