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AMP Scholarship Recipients


Thursday 29 June 2000


The winners of the AMP Scholarships for 2000 include a 45 year old powerlifter from Kaikohe, a film maker from Auckland, a debater from Dunedin and a 13 year old racing driver from Palmerston North.

AMP General Manager John Drabble said the ten 2000 AMP Scholarship holders are kiwi role models with extraordinary attitude and commitment.

“This year’s winners all have big dreams, loads of talent and the determination to pursue their goals no matter what the odds. From Auckland adventurer Mark Jones who plans to kayak the length of the Antarctic Peninsula to Wellington scientist Catherine Muller who is researching new ways to fight cancer, the winners all embody the kiwi attitude of ‘going for it’.”

Mr Drabble said the AMP Scholarships aim to help exceptional New Zealanders to achieve their goals.

“The winners stood out because of their incredible dedication and because they’re all totally focused on achieving their dreams. The winners also demonstrated a desire to share their accomplishments with others and to help others to reach success.

“As a company that is helping our customers attain their goals and live their dreams, we’re proud to be able to assist these very talented people who will in turn inspire others through their achievements.”

Mr Drabble said AMP had received almost 800 applications from a wide range of New Zealanders of all ages, professions and backgrounds.

“We were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of the scholarship applications we received this year. Every application was a wonderful story of aspiration and achievement, and it was quite inspiring to discover the depth of talent and kiwi ingenuity that is alive and well in this country.”

Mr Drabble said the company was particularly struck by the diversity of the applications.

“From novelists to comedians, fashion designers to athletes, there are clearly a lot of very talented people in communities throughout New Zealand who are striving to be the best in their field.”

The scholarship winners are each awarded $3000 to help them to achieve their goal. This year’s scholarship recipients will be considered for TWO premium scholarships worth up to $20,000 over two years. Winners of the AMP Premium Scholarships will be announced at the end of August.
For more information contact:
AMP Sponsorship Manager Jon Slack
Ph 04-498-8433 Mobile 021 650 384
Or AMP Communications Consultant Catherine Sands
Ph 04-478-9229 Mobile 025-303-519


Name Goal Location

Trish Muldrock Compete internationally in powerlifting Kaikohe
Reina Webster Study at New York film school Auckland
Richard Cooper Publish book – From logging to art Auckland
Mark Jones Kayak length of Antarctic Peninsula Auckland
Rene Vaz Produce NZ’s first fly fishing tuition video Hamilton
Chris Pither Compete in Formula Ford championship Palmerston Nth
Catherine Muller Cancer research Wellington
Amy Cameron Study at Toronto University School of Music Wellington
Catherine Dwan Research ‘hospice at home service’ Christchurch
Rachel Carrell Compete at World Debating Championships Dunedin


“If you want something hard enough there is a way of getting it. Anyone can do this, anyone can achieve their dream. I’m just an ordinary 45 year old.”

Five years ago, 45 year old Trish Muldrock had never been into a gym, and when she did get there, she couldn’t even lift a bar without any weights on it. Five years on, she is New Zealand’s strongest woman.

Trish applied for a 2000 scholarship to help her with her goal of travelling overseas to compete in world powerlifting competitions over the coming year. She is the current North Island and national champion, and New Zealand’s best overall woman lifter.

The 1999 Far North Indoor Sportswoman of the Year, Trish has won a number of titles and holds a number of national records.


“Young New Zealanders need role models. We want to triumph over adversity and bring the message back to aim high, stand tall and chase after your dreams.”

Thirty six year old Mark Jones applied for an AMP Scholarship to assist him to achieve his dream to sea kayak the length of the Antarctic Peninsula later this year. The expedition will be the first sea-based quest by a New Zealander and the longest sea kayak journey by anyone in the Antarctic region.

Mark has been involved with outdoor education for most of his working life and is currently an outdoor education instructor at Auckland University of Technology. Previous experience has included roles at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre and Tihoi Venture School.

Mark has also been involved with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council Education Committee and the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) Technical Sub-Committee.


“It’s wonderful to know that a big company has taken the chance to support me.”

Twenty eight year old Reina Webster is currently in the final year of a Masters degree in film theory at Auckland University.

Reina applied for a 2000 scholarship to assist her with her plans to study at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film Production Masters programme. Reina will be the first New Zealander to study at the prestigious school which lists Spike Lee, Martin Scorcese, Oliver Stone and Billy Crystal among its graduates.

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film, Reina’s interest in film developed from her experience in radio and television where she has worked as a reporter and presenter.

Following her studies, Reina plans to return to New Zealand to make quality films and television programmes with a uniquely Maori/bicultural perspective for New Zealand and international audiences.


“Being awarded the AMP Scholarship was like finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow. It will make a big difference, it will do wonders for my art.”

Thirty seven year old Richard Cooper is currently in the final year of a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts, and plans to start his PhD next year.

Richard applied for an AMP Scholarship to assist him to publish a book telling the story of his journey from being a forestry worker nine years ago to becoming an accomplished artist. Richard hopes the book will inspire others, particularly young Maori and Pacific people, to pursue their goals.

Over the past nine years, Richard has had a number of exhibitions and commissions from city councils, universities and private collectors, and has travelled to Hawaii, the United States, the Cook Islands and Australia with his art. Richard is in the process of making Manukau City’s Millennium sculpture.


“The AMP Scholarship will make a big difference. It will allow me to focus more on my music and my studies rather than having to raise money. I just couldn’t study overseas without this kind of support.”

Wellington piano teacher and part time student Amy Cameron started learning the piano when she was eleven. Amy Cameron applied for an AMP Scholarship to assist her with her plans to study for a Masters of Music at the University of Toronto.

With a first class honours degree in performance piano from Victoria University, Amy has performed regularly in concerts and music festivals, and has won an impressive array of awards and competitions. These include top three placings at the Rotorua Piano and Instrumental Competitions and as a finalist in the 1998 Victoria University Concerto Competition.


Chris Pither’s interest in driving started when he was six years old and began racing karts. After just two years, Chris held the national title in the midget class. His success continued as he moved up through the cadet class where he won the national title the following year. In 1997 Chris travelled to Melbourne to compete in the Victoria State Open where he was fourth.

Last May, Chris passed the Motorsport Association of New Zealand test to gain a full racing licence and became the youngest race car driver in the world. This allowed Chris to compete in the Formula First ‘Winter Series’ where he finished second and was awarded the ‘Rookie of the Series’ title.

Chris has just competed in the 1999-2000 National Formula First Championship where he finished fourth overall. During the season he achieved 17 podium finishes including two wins at Manfield and Taupo, and he broke and still holds the lap record at Manfield.


Twenty three year old Rene Vaz has been fishing for most of his life. Rene applied for a 2000 scholarship to assist him to produce a fly fishing tuition video that is unique to New Zealand fly fishing conditions. Currently, there are no tuition videos of this nature available in New Zealand.

Rene is currently working for Sportfish, the largest fly fishing company in Europe, in their retail sales and corporate tuition sections. The current holder of the New Zealand Fly Fishing championship title, Rene was a member of the New Zealand team that competed at the recent World and Commonwealth Championships held in Bristol.

Active in his local church and community, Rene completed a Masters degree in Biological Services at the University of Waikato in February this year.

A former principal piano for the National Youth Orchestra, Amy also plays the alto saxophone and the violin, and does volunteer work for Chamber Music New Zealand.


“The AMP scholarship will make all the difference, I simply wouldn’t have been able to go to the World Championships without it.”

Twenty year old Rachel Carrell began debating eight years ago and during that time has competed at regional, national and international level.

Rachel applied for a 2000 scholarship to assist her to compete in the World University Debating Championships in Glasgow next January. Rachel was first selected for the Otago-Southlnad regional debating team in 1997 and became the first Southlander ever to be selected for the national team later that year.

A member of the New Zealand schools team that was placed third in the World Schools Championships in Jerusalem in 1997, Rachel was a judge at the World University Championships held in Sydney earlier this year. This year Rachel is coaching the Otago-Southland regional team.

Rachel is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Arts at Otago University in Dunedin where she is the Otago University Students’ Association Education and Welfare Vice President.


Forty-nine year old Catherine Dwan is a charge nurse at Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

Catherine applied for a 2000 scholarship so she could travel to England to further her research into establishing a ‘hospice in the home’ service in Canterbury. While in England, Catherine plans to visit a number of hospices that deliver the type of service she is planning to introduce.

With a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing), Catherine has been working in the health sector for the past 20 years. Catherine was a member of a team that established Respiratory Outreach, a community based service that provides education and support for people with respiratory conditions.


“It’s really encouraging to see a company supporting science and recognising talented New Zealanders.”

Catherine Muller is currently studying for a Chemistry Honours degree at Victoria University and applied for an AMP Scholarship to assist her with her research into the potential of the marine sponge molecule Peloruside A to fight cancer.

Twenty-two year old Catherine Muller has an impressive track record as a scientist and a high achiever. Recent awards include the 2000 Victoria University Graduate Award, 1999 New Zealand Institute of Chemistry 300 Level Prize for Top Chemistry Scholar and the 2000 Victoria Science Scholarship for a top science scholar research project.

Catherine describes her research into the anti-cancer potential of marine sponge molecule Peloruside A as an excellent opportunity to be working on a project that could make a difference and have exciting applications.


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