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Cantabrian Named NZDF Volunteer of the Year

Major Chris Allan believes we all have a social responsibility to help all people.
Major Chris Allan believes we all have a social responsibility to help all people.

8 December 2016

Major Chris Allan has won the New Zealand Defence Force Volunteer of the Year award for his work empowering the youth of Christchurch and assisting with aid projects in Vanuatu.

As the NZDF Volunteer of the Year, Major Allan is also nominated for the NZDF Person of the Year Award.

NZDF Chaplain Anthony Hawes said many NZDF personnel joined out of a strong sense of service and social responsibility and the award recognised the community work NZDF personnel undertook in their own time.

“The work Major Allan does empowering the youth of Christchurch and assisting with aid projects in Vanuatu is an outstanding example of commitment and  comradeship within the community,” Mr Hawes said.

Major Allan has been the Officer Commanding 2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment’s Alpha Company since early 2016. This year he has mentored young people of east Christchurch to achieve Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Recently 23 of his mentees were awarded with their Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and 10 were presented Gold Awards by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

Major Allan has also been working with the Youth Offenders Unit in Paparua this year, helping 10 young men acheive Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Over the past four years the Allan family has travelled to Vanuatu to work with villagers there. Major Allan is currently in Vanuatu setting up donated computers, painting schools and developing a library for one village.

He believes we all have a social responsbility to help all people, regardless of their ability to pay it back or their personal location.

“My reward is to see young people speak with confidence and gain the Duke of Edinburgh awards or to see the smiles of young Ni-Vanuatu speaking their first word of English or pump their first bucket of water out of a new well,” he said.


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