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SIT students recipients of New Horizon for Women scholarship


Philanthropic national non-profit organisation New Horizons for Women:Hine Kahukura aims to help women by giving Second Chance, Special Purpose and Research for Women awards through their Trust.

With a vision to inspire women to new horizons through education and research, the Trust was launched in February 1992 with then Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard as its patron.

Scholarship trustee Dr Shirley Gillett said as part of the trusts rebranding in 2016, a Maori name to reflect its vision and kaupapa was sought. Hine Kahukura was chosen.

“Kahukura are the feathers that enable a bird to fly,” she said.

“The more feathers, the stronger the flight and the higher the heights achieved – a fitting metaphor for the financial support that enhances and supports our wahine and their ability to follow their dreams and their journeys, and to seek their new horizons.”

In 2019, an amazing record number of 529 applications were received with 51 being awarded, three of which were students who have studied at, or are studying at, the Southern Institute of Technology.

The first scholarship recipient, Ayla Carroll was the first second generation New Horizon for Womens Trust: Hine Kahukura recipient as her mother received one.

Ayla is a Kaitangata local and in her third and final year of a Nursing degree at SIT. She said her close knit family’s support has been pivotal to her success.

“It is an honour to receive this award.”

Previous SIT student Vanessa Spooner who studied Social Services, Te Reo (Level 5) and is currently in her second year of her Bachelor of Teaching – Primary Bicultural, also received a scholarship.

A single parent, daughter to a father who suffers from dementia, and programme coordinator at the Southland Help Rape and Abuse Support Centre, where she delivers education programmes to encourage self-confidence, Vanessa believed she had a good chance of being successful with her application.

“I believed that I had a unique story to tell, a story of hope, that no matter the hurdles life has thrown at me, I had to keep moving forward as best I could.

“I have come to learn, during my studies that education is the only way that I can improve my quality of life.”

Her study journey has not been an easy one, therefore being successful in receiving a $3,000 scholarship from the trust is very helpful.

“Access to extra financial support is what I thought would give me some much needed breathing space, especially when my father fell ill and I was unable to work.”

Vanessa was very happy when she was awarded the scholarship.

“I was ecstatic and relieved that I would not have to worry about finances while studying.”

She felt an obligation to look up the whakapapa of the donor of her second chance award, Dawn Ibbotsen, and found that she (Dawn) had been told when she got married that she was taking a job from someone else and had to leave and did voluntary work all the rest of her life.

One of Dawns beliefs was to always be positive to others and she is now 105 years of age.

Finally, SIT2LRN student Kayla Owen received a scholarship that will help her towards completing her studies on-site at SIT’s Invercargill campus next year.

She has been studying a Certificate in Animal Care on-line and is looking towards the Rural Technician course on-campus next year.

“I began studying at SIT with a goal to be certified and self-employed in an area that will also be beneficial to our farm (Rural Technician) at the end of my studies,” said Kayla.

“I applied for the scholarship with the hope it could allow me to cover the fees of studying and therefore in a way I am helping my family financially again.”

Kayla was overwhelmed and grateful to receive the scholarship and has paid for her studies this year.

“This allowed us to be a little more financially stable, which is great timing seeing as we are welcoming a new baby to the family in November,” she said.

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