Oxana Repina, 17, graduated from Rutherford College in 2015 as Dux and plans to complete a degree in Environmental Science. Her passion for conservation and the environment comes from her love of the outdoors, especially tramping and surfing. She enjoys running, recently completing the full Taupo Marathon; and has also played badminton for Waitakere since 2011. In 2015, Oxana was also part of the team of four students representing New Zealand at the 12th International Geography Olympiad in Russia.
At school, Oxana has been part of the Environment Committee for the past four years and successfully submitted an application for $4000 worth of new recycling bins funded by Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB), and then worked with staff and students to set up a recycling system and education campaign. She has also volunteered at several planting days.
Oxana is passionate about landscape and wildlife photography, and won the 2013 New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year award. She hopes to be able to use photography to allow young people in particular to engage more with our unique natural environment, increasing understanding and appreciation – because once we care about something, we will do what we can to protect it.