Billie was nominated for the award by Waiheke local Polly Nash for her inspirational work as founder and manager of Waiheke’s Hip Op-eration Crew. The Crew is now the subject of the hit documentary ‘Hip Hop-eration’ which will soon to be screened at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam. As well as being a 'must see', the film gives an understanding of how Billie built this now famous Crew from the ordinary folk of Waiheke and showed them they are capable of doing extraordinary things.
It is important to recognise the outstanding people in our communities and take pride in their positive contribution otherwise their selfless work often goes unnoticed. That is why a former winner of a Local Hero’s Medal and finalist in the senior section of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year awards in 2011, Don McKenzie CNZM, started a similar event when he was a member of the first Waiheke Local Board. Ten locals were recognised for their selfless contribution to the Waiheke community each year. Sadly this award has been discontinued by the second Waiheke Local Board.
Awards and recognition for Billie and the Crew have come thick and fast this year. Billie was earlier nominated for the Pride of NZ Award in the ‘Community Spirit’ category, the Crew is recognised as the ‘world’s oldest dance troupe’ in the Guinness Book of Records and the ‘Hip Hop-eration’ film has been an outstanding success.
From the 250 ‘local heroes’ around the country one will be chosen as 'Local Hero of the Year' to be announced next February. Let’s hope it’s Billie Jordan. None will have done more to put Waiheke and New Zealand on the world map.