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Jul 20, 2021

Mental health advocate Ezekiel Raui wins top enterprise award

Social entrepreneur and mental health advocate Ezekiel Raui has been named the supreme alumni of the year at the 2021 Young Enterprise Trust Alumni Awards.

Supreme Alumni Award Winner Images 6

The awards, held on Thursday night, celebrated the achievements of about 100,000 students who have completed The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme, an experiential learning programme, which helps students set up and run a business through the course of the school year.

Raui, who was also named as the cultural leader of the year at the awards, was recognised for his significant contributions to the mental health and wellbeing sector.

At just 23 years old Raui, of Te Rarawa ki Hokianga and Ngāpuhi, has worked closely with Mike King and Lance O’Sullivan and established his own peer support programme, Tū Kotahi, that focuses on students' emotional, mental, social wellbeing and resilience.

“Mental health and wellbeing is where it all started for me. What I love most about navigating this space is that, while it has its challenges and can be deficit-focused, it highlights the importance of the simple and small things in life and how each of these, like daily exercise, social gatherings and sleep, can be effective tools to helping us overcome our own challenges.”

Due to Raui’s dedication in this sector, he has met the Obama family at the White House in Washington DC, received the Queen’s young leader award at Buckingham Palace and been named on Forbes' 30 under 30 list.

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