Three students from John Paul College in Rotorua have been acknowledged nationally for making a video about protecting their local environment.

A three minute video by Eamon Walsh, David Harrison and Joshua Richardson about fighting for Rotorua’s water purity won the top prize in the Film, 15-18 years category in the 2016 Young Reporters for the Environment awards.

Their video was published on the New Zealand Herald website.

Category winners in the 2016 awards received a prize package including a camera, a day in the Herald newsroom and having their entry published on

Eamon, who is John Paul College’s environment captain, also won a NCEA scholarship in Drama in year 12.

He also won a Shakespeare monologue competition run by Speech NZ last year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The prize was $500.

Competitors were asked to provide a video recording of up to four minutes. Eamon played the role of Bottom, performing Bottom’s Dream from the play A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

Judge Robin Payne said: “Eamon had an engaging relationship with his audience, a credible character (uneducated, good natured, oafish), clear, exact processing of thoughts, eyes that were alive and integrated, apparently spontaneous gestures.”

Eamon will have his drama fees in 2017 paid for by Rotorua Energy

He thanked his teachers Gabrielle Thurston and Candice Visser for helping make this possible.

  • Three John Paul College students — Theresa McLean, Elsie Spires and Olivia Temm — were named the sole national scholarship recipients for their grades by Speech New Zealand.
  • Olivia, who received her scholarship for Speech and Drama Grade 6, also received the Grade 5 scholarship the year before.
  • Elsie received the scholarship for Grade 7 and Theresa for Grade 8.

The three were graded on a year’s worth of work done through an extracurricular speech and drama syllabus.