Tramping on an Outward Bound course
Image: Outward Bound ©


Every year DOC awards scholarships to young people for Outward Bound adventure courses. Read about the young conservationists about to embark on their adventure.

Date:  22 June 2016

It's National Volunteer Week and we'd like to thank some of the volunteers who have dedicated their time for conservation.

Outward Bound logo.

The annual Outward Bound scholarship is our way to say thank you to the young volunteers protecting our nature and natural place

These scholarships offer a great development opportunity for our future conservation leaders.

This year 8 scholarships were offered for :

  • Outward Bound Classic for 18 – 25 year olds
  • Leaps and Bounds for 13 – 15 year olds

Outward Bound Classic for 18 – 25 year olds

Guy McDonald

Guy McDonald.
Guy on a scientific voyage to the Sub-Antarctic islands

Age 18, Timaru

From an early age Guy has been involved with conservation through the Kiwi Conservation Club. He's helped local ecologists to monitor Katipo spiders and Jewelled Geckos, and with the Forest and Bird branch removed invasive weeds from the local Kakahu Bush.

For years he has been trapping possums to protect natural habitats within biking distance from his home and selling the fur to make some money.

In 2015 he travelled on a scientific voyage to the Sub-Antarctic islands with the Sir Peter Blake Trust. On his return from the expedition he was inspired to establish the Timaru Boys High School Environment Group to encourage students at the school to take action for the environment by volunteering.

"Ultimately my dream is to create more predator free habitats throughout New removing introduced predators from ecosystems, the native flora and fauna will have the best chance to not only survive but to thrive."

Natalie de Burgh

Natalie de Burgh.
Natalie de Burgh

Age 21, Hawkes Bay

It's Natalie's goal to work in the field of ecology and conservation biology to restore and preserve ecosystems and species. Volunteering has given her the opportunity to get involved with a variety of conservation volunteer projects, throughout New Zealand and overseas.

She has volunteered on Tiritiri Matangi and with the Motutapu Restoration Trust. In February this year Natalie was the recipient of a Sir Peter Blake conservation ambassadorship and during this time monitored giant snails, tracked kiwi and whio, spotlighted for lizards, and shot down beech seed with DOC Motueka and Friends of Flora.

A challenging volunteer experience on Sloping Island, Tasmania, conducting small mammal trapping and seabird colony surveys has inspired a desire to develop her outdoor skills.

Natalie is currently involved in the translocation of lizards to the Cape Sanctuary, Hawkes Bay.

"I envisage many more research and conservation expeditions in the future to even more remote corners of the globe and Outward Bound will help provide me with the skill-set required. I hope to achieve a greater sense of confidence and resilience from the Outward Bound experience and to be able to function more effectively in rugged situations."

Kieran Shakespeare

Age 20, Wellington

Kieran is training to become a leader with the Paparangi Scouts and he shares his values with the young scouts he leads on outdoor adventures in the Rimutaka Forest Park, Tararua Forest Park and Mount Ruapehu, encouraging them to respect the natural and urban environments they explore by clearing the tracks from rubbish and debris. He volunteers with the Woodridge planters and at teh Setton Nossiter Park to restore the local area with native plants. Kieran is looking forward to developing his outdoor skills on the Outward Bound adventure course.

"I hope to gain a new sense of self confidence and proficiency in the great outdoors, something I enjoy passing on to other people."

Miquel Dijkstra.
Miquel Dijkstra

Miquel Dijkstra

Age 19, Masterton

Miquel grew up on the edge of the Tararua Ranges and this inspired his love of the outdoors.

He has volunteered at the Mt Bruce Wildlife centre, looking after the aviaries and helping with the Kiwi, Shore Plover and Kaka breeding programmes. He was in charge of the preparation of the bait and eggs for all the trap lines in the wildlife centre, as well as running his own trap lines.

Miquel is now on the Trainee Ranger course at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology where he volunteers at a QE2 covenant in the Aniseed Valley, weeding and planting.

Bekki Richards

Age 21, Tauranga

Bekki has volunteered her time to care for the seabirds of her local area and supports others to join her. Since 2008 she has been involved with monitoring the Grey-faced petrel colony on Mauao in Tauranga, safely capturing, taking measurements and banding birds. She stepped up and dedicated a significant amount of her time to rescue and monitor Little blue penguins after the Rena oil spill. She led night teams of volunteers around the rocks of Mauao, Moturiki and Motuotau searching for and rescuing oiled penguins. She has been a wildlife ambassador for the Mauao Area Wildlife Trust, educating groups, adults and children about the local environment and conservation afforts, leading tours and volunteer teams, and passing on her skills and knowledge.

"I have always loved getting out into the wilderness, observing and learning about out native flora and fauna, and I want to challenge myself so that I may grow and help others to do the same."

Leaps and Bounds for 13 – 15 year olds

Allie Law (Ngati Raukawa)

Amelia Law.
Amelia Law

Age 14, Garin College, Nelson

The Wakefield Scout group is the vehicle for Amelia's passion for conservation. With the scouts she has helped to plant up Oyster Island in the Waimea estuary, and to remove the noxious and invasive weed Trandescantia from the Kitchener Park recreation area in Fielding.

She is part of the youth committee organising the NZ 21st Scout Jamboree, and in line with their motto "we leave a place better than we found it" they are planning to establish a native area of 2.5ha, fenced and landscaped in native plants.

By removing litter, unwanted items, controlling weeds and tending to native plantings, she has taken care of local places like Marahau beach and estuary, an important area for kaimoana, and the Wairoa Gorge. She has also joined the local Wakefield Bush Restoration Society to plant and maintain the 17ha recovering bush area.

"Should I gain the Outward Bound scholarship, I would be so excited that I would throw myself into every facet of the course and gain all that I can!

Cody Booth

Cody Booth.
Cody Booth

Age 13, Aotea College, Porirua

Cody really loves the outdoors – he mountain bikes, surfs, snorkels, dives, sails, kayaks, tramps, hunts and goes fishing.

He also really loves looking after the outdoors. He's a Kiwi Conservation Club member, has joined the Friends of Maaroa to help with native forest restoration between Porirua and Lower Hutt, and the Stuart Park restoration group, clearing gorse and replanting with native plants.

He's helped his local DOC ranger with gecko and skink counts, and trapping rodents at the Whitireia reserve. For the Whitireia Restoration Group he's helped to make and check penguin boxes. As a volunteer with the Friends of Mana Island, he also spends time exploring, learning and clearing weeds from the island.

Cody is really excited about his Outward Bound adventure, doing new and exciting activities:

"I want to feel confident that I can figure out stuff that comes up out-of-the-blue and learn to be more independent in the bush."

William Maggs

William Maggs.
William Maggs

Age 13, Lynfield College, Auckland

William has a keen interest in New Zealand's wildlife and environment and takes every opportunity he can to join his local Kiwi Conservation Club, exploring, learning and recording.

He's been involved in a remarkable number of conservation activities since joining the KCC 3 years ago, including recording birds in his garden, studying local streams and water quality, exploring the local rocky shore and going on bat hunts.

He's actively participated in a reforestation project at Tuff Crater using seed balls to target hard to get to areas, and helped at a local native plant nursery to prick out seedlings. He's helped local ornithologists with beach patrols and removed rubbish from the coastline during Seaweek. A volunteer at the Ambury Farm Regional Park, William is responsible for managing his own bait line, submitting the data online for the ranger overseeing the project.

William is also a keen photographer of the natural world and his great photos have featured in many KCC newsletters. He won the children's age group of the local Manukau Harbour Restoration Society photographic competition.

"I see this scholarship as an opportunity to challenge myself, the aim being to apply the skills, knowledge and confidence during the program to help me develop into a more confident and well rounded individual"
Back to top