Katie Batterton, BSc: For contribution to health and nutrition through the provision of school lunches and teaching the importance of healthy eating.
Katie graduated with a BSc in Human Nutrition and is now working back at her old school, Bay of Islands College, providing free healthy lunches to over 400 school children. Katie is passionate about creating change for these children and teaching them the importance of healthy eating.
What was your reaction to receiving the award, and what does it mean to you?
I was very shocked and surprised! But I felt so proud and honoured to represent the Human Nutrition cohort too.
What have you done since graduation and what are you doing now?
Since graduating I moved to Vancouver for a year of travelling and working in British Columbia. My OE was cut short due to COVID, so I moved back to New Zealand and joined the Ka Ora, Ka Ako - healthy school lunches programme at my old high school Bay of Islands College. It is an initiative that provides free lunches for school children. Sharing my nutrition knowledge with my local community has been incredibly humbling and rewarding.
I also started my small business Coastline Collections – a lockdown hobby turned small business. We create handmade shell jewellery, sustainably sourced from the beautiful beaches and coastlines of the Bay of Islands.
What inspires and motivates you to work and volunteer in the areas you are involved with?
I've always had a huge passion for nutrition and food. In particular, educating the younger generation on the benefits of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Even before I started my degree I knew I wanted to make a change in what our kids are eating. I've always dreamed of being in this industry and I'm motivated to make a difference to remove the barriers that low socioeconomic families face to access healthy kai. I can't wait to expand further in this programme and help benefit more school children around Northland.
What were the highlights of your time at Otago, and has it influenced you in your career?
The amazing, enthusiastic, and encouraging lecturers and teaching staff truly influenced my career pathway so much. I am so grateful for all the life skills and academic knowledge in the field of nutrition I gained from the staff at Otago. Other highlights would be the incredible life-long friendships I made in the short four years of living in Dunedin and being a Northland kid, I will never forget seeing snow for the first time!