Gold Award winners still shine brightly

10 October 2023 | News

The joint winners of the Supreme Service Excellence Award at last year’s Blues and Golds continued to contribute selflessly to the community in 2023.

The Blues and Golds Awards celebrate outstanding student contributions in sport, service and culture.

Arabella Dudfield, a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing student, and Sophie Williams, who is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce - Global Business Major, are both members of SPACE, Lincoln’s LGBTQIA+ club.

In 2022, they were recognised for their roles in planning numerous Pride events as well as their involvement in Lincoln’s Rainbow Crossings project.

Arabella has continued her advocacy efforts within the rainbow community, becoming SPACE President and Co-President of TIB (Thursdays in Black), while also serving as the Rainbow, EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion), and Wellbeing Representative for LUSA.

"Throughout this year, I've been actively involved in a wide range of events and initiatives, such as SPACE Ball, Pride Walk, Pride Month activities, and more," she said.

As part of the Te Roopu Wheako Tauira (the Student Experience Working group), she has also helped at university events, Selwyn Culture Fest, and an undergraduate workshop, among other initiatives.

"I've also closely collaborated with the university's health and well-being team to support initiatives like Mārama Hauroa and Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as various consent campaigns."

Arabella said receiving the award was an immense honour "and I am grateful to be recognised for the mahi I contributed towards".

Sophie stepped down from her Co-President SPACE role so she could put more time into being secretary of Lincoln University's disability club, Iconic.

She also planned, coordinated and managed the Connect & Accept event in March, designed to help the families of people with disabilities to connect with the services available to them and strengthen disability community relationships, in Rolleston.

"It was one of my highlights this year, as it was able to connect with over 300 people and it was an amazing learning experience. I am planning to run it again in 2025."

She has also continued to volunteer for StarJam, a not-for-profit where young New Zealanders with disabilities unleash their full potential through the magic of music, dance and performance. Every week, members "make me smile".

"I felt so honoured to receive the Gold awards last year," Sophie said.

"I am so passionate about the disability and LGBTQIA+ communities and it felt amazing to serve them in areas that I am skilled in and have the position to advocate for."

This year's Blues and Golds are on October 18, with a new crop of nominees ready to take to the stage.

PHOTO: Sophie, left, and Arabella with their Gold and Supreme awards last year.