New Zealand’s only living VC recipient,Willie Apiata, is changing career:
Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, today announced that Corporal Willie Apiata, V.C. is to leave the Regular Force of the New Zealand Defence Force to pursue an employment opportunity in the private sector.
Lieutenant General Jones says Corporal Apiata advised the NZ Defence Force several months ago of his intention to terminate his Regular Force service. He will remain a member of the Defence Force’s Reserve Forces.
The Army isn’t saying what he’s doing but Stuff reports he will be working for the High Wire Trust, a charity which works with at-risk youth.
One of the reason some of those youth are at-risk is an absence of good male role models in their lives.
Another is the lack of opportunity for hard, physical challenges.
It would be difficult to think of anyone who could provide a better role model and help young people direct excess physical energy in positive directions that Willie Apiata.
All charities struggle for funding and his presence on the staff will no doubt make it easier for the trust to attract sponsorship and donations too.
He’s moving from the full-time Services but his new career will be providing invaluable community service.