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Prestigious Girdlers’ Scholarship awarded to Hamish Thomas

Universities NZ – media release

Prestigious Girdlers’ Scholarship awarded to Hamish Thomas

11 May 2017

Hamish Thomas, aged 17 from Christchurch, has been awarded the prestigious Girdlers’ Scholarship which will see him study Natural Sciences, specialising in genetics, at the University of Cambridge.

“Cambridge will provide an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the future survival and direction of humanity”, says Hamish.

Hamish attended Christ’s College, where last year he achieved Excellence endorsements in NCEA and won awards in English, Maths and Creative writing. He also won awards for debating and was a member of the successful Canterbury Regional Debating Championship at the secondary school competition last year. Similarly, he is accomplished at theatresports and led the school team to become South Island Champions. He also captained the Colts hockey team.

Following his study, Hamish plans to work with New Zealand farmers and scientists to improve agriculture and science. He would like to be involved in the creation of more productive and efficient organisms through transgenesis, as the key to feeding the burgeoning global population.

Administered by Universities New Zealand, the Girdlers’ Scholarship is funded by the Worshipful Company of Girdlers which traces its foundation back to medieval times as a craftsmen’s guild.

The award, worth approximately £32,000 (NZ$57,000) a year, is offered to one New Zealand “all-rounder” each year. It will cover Hamish’s university and college fees and contribute to his living costs while studying.

In announcing the decision on behalf of the Company, Past Master Ian Seaton says, “The Company is delighted to award Hamish this scholarship as he embodies the qualities we seek. He has the academic ability to perform well at Cambridge and the ambition to take full advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. We will watch Hamish’s progress with interest and support him during his time at Cambridge.”

Universities New Zealand, administers around 40 other undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships each year. The closing date for the 2018 Gridlers scholarship is 1 December 2017.


• The Girdlers’ Company, which dates back to medieval times, was a fraternity of craftsmen, who came together for religious observances, mutual assistance, and guarded the secrets, standards and conditions of their craft. While the Girdlers’ Company no longer practises its craft, it still presents the sword belt and stole for each Coronation.

• More information about this and other scholarships administered by Universities New Zealand is available at

• This release is available on our website at

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