Katura Halleday honored as the only Australia recipient of the 2021 Princess Diana Award for her work on Equality.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. The Diana Award is the longest running award for young people, currently in its 21st year, putting young people at the center of our future.
Katura says ‘ It is very humbling to be acknowledged this year as a Diana Award Recieptant’. Katura continues ‘It’s a bit overwhelming to hear the Duke of Sussex refer to you as an invaluable asset to your community. Not sure how that happened, but I know I didn’t do it alone!’
It started in 2018 at age 13 when Katura went on a trip to Mozambique to visit girls in the King of Kings school. Touched by the poverty and inequality she witnesses she decided to do something about it, and the community rallied behind her, which Katura says, ‘Is the main reason I was successful. In Africa they have a proverb, if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together!”
Katura has united her community and has been supported by a team of volunteers, and believes that, ‘This award belong to each person who has rolled up their sleeves, create a piece of artwork, bought a book or supported me on my journey.’
Fast forward three very busy years and together with her volunteers she now runs a social enterprise, 8×8 To Educate | where she raises funds through three different income streams. Katura and her sister Matika illustrated a teen novel, Home | Rinas Story, she has run a successful art exhibition now in its third year, 2020 Artwork | 8×8 To Educate and a period poverty project, DIGNITY PROJECT | 8×8 To Educate.
All the funds raised by her successful social enterprise are used to fund a scholarship program currently running in Mozambique and Tanzania. The program accepts applications from girls in year 6 at risk of having to leave school due to extreme poverty, and provides a fully funded education for them right the way through to the end of University.
The program is aimed at created strong, educated female indigenous leaders, able to take their place in Business, Government and within their community. Katura believes ‘It is educated African girls who can change the direction of their country, solve the issues facing girls and ultimate improved the lives of millions’
Katura has also advocated the world over for this cause, she has spoken in person at the United Nations in New York, at the International Volunteer Forum in Russia, and in Indonesia, Malaysia, India as well as locally here in Australia. Continually raising the flag for girls unable to do it for themselves. Katura says, ‘I want to live in a world where every girls has access to quality education to enable them to lift themselves out of poverty and have access to a life so many of us take for granted’.