PM welcomes establishment of Hillary Institute

  • Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed today’s announcement of the formation of the Hillary Institute and the establishment of a prestigious international prize to be awarded for outstanding leadership.

The Hillary Institute, which will be officially launched in November 2007, is a new New Zealand-based international organisation named in recognition of the achievements and leadership of Sir Edmund Hillary. Its aim will be to foster leadership worldwide.

The Institute is creating a new international award – to be known as the Hillary Step – to be awarded to a person who displays great leadership in their chosen field. The Hillary Step will be bestowed every four years and will be worth $1 million.

Helen Clark said the award is a fitting tribute to Sir Edmund.

“Sir Edmund’s success in conquering Mt Everest, half a century ago, stands as one of the outstanding human triumphs of the twentieth century.

“Since 1953, he has repeatedly demonstrated exceptional leadership traits – whether it be leading the Ross Sea Party in Antarctica, which established Scott Base in 1957 and participated in the Trans-Antarctic Expedition; or in his life’s work since conquering Everest in raising funds for and inspiring the work of the Himalaya Trust, which he founded to bring new hope and services to Nepal and its Sherpa people.

“Through his leadership and inspiration, he has done an enormous amount to improve the happiness and wellbeing of so many of his fellow human beings.

“I am delighted to be asked to serve as patron of the Hillary Institute. I congratulate all those involved in the forming of the Institute, and hope they will build on the support they have already received.

“The award the Institute will oversee will foster and recognise a new generation of leaders following Sir Edmund’s example of working to make the world a better place,” Helen Clark said.