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Law Students Make the Grade at GABA Awards

gay auckland business association

Media Release

5th December 2012

Law Students Make the Grade at GABA Trust Tertiary Awards

Three students with an interest in legal studies are the recipients of the GABA (Gay Auckland Business Association) Trust Tertiary awards to be presented in Auckland this evening.

Rawinia Thompson of Wellington Girls College and Joshua James of Kaipara College have been awarded GABA Tertiary Scholarships of $3000 each and Sonia Prahash of Avondale College receives a GABA Study Grant of $1500.

The awards are offered to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT), are seen as a good role model by peers and teachers and who have excelled in effort and achievement in their secondary education. The Scholarship is open to any GLBT student who is enrolling in a full time degree course, of at least three years duration, at any Tertiary level institution recognised as such by the NZQA

Rawinia Thompson was elected leader of the Wellington Girls College student council by a landslide. She is an executive prefect, occasional student rep on school board and involved with her school's QSA. She also volunteers and fund-raises for Victim Support and is involved with JustSpeak a community advocacy group on criminal justice. Rawinia plans to do a conjoint Law and Arts degree with Political Science and Public Policy and intends to work in the political arena.

Joshua James is a student Leader and Peer Support Senior at Kaipara College. He set up a QSA at Whangaparoea College when faced with bullying and went on to assist with setting up QSAs at other schools. He has served on the Auckland District Health Board's Peer Sexuality Support Programme,
the Auckland City Council's Youth’s Advisory Panel and has worked with the Ministry of Youth Development’s advisory committee and as the Youth Representative on its funding board. He plans to take a conjoint Law and Arts degree with Public Policy as a focus and says: “I want to be Prime Minister”.

Sonia Prahash was born in Singapore and came to New Zealand when she was nine years old. An accomplished musician and photographer, she was a Young Scholar at the University of Auckland last year studying Maths and Computer science. Sonia is a Rainbow Youth volunteer and is involved with Q West in Henderson. A Wikipedia Administrator, she serves as live user support, extension tester, illustrator, online ambassador and is the author of articles. She is Law and Arts conjoint with the hope of working in the non-profit sector defending civil liberties or minorities issues.

Michael Richardson, GABA President says: `The scholarships are awarded each year to two or three GLBTI students who are seen as good role models by their peers and teachers. This year the quality of applicants was so high that the Trust awarded a study grant for an exceptional but 3rd ranked student. The awards are only possible due tothe generosity of our wonderful GABA members and the supporters of our GABA events, so thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible.’

The awards were established in 2008 and in 2011, in recognition of the increased costs and challenges of Tertiary education, the GABA Charitable Trust began offering two scholarships of $3000 each for the first year of tertiary studies.

About GABA

GABA is New Zealand’s largest LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) membership organisation offering a professional social network.

GABA provides a range of networking and social events and works for the community by raising funds for The GABA Charitable Trust, which are then distributed as Grants, Scholarships and Awards.

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