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Kiwi Talent Receive AMP Scholarships

Entrepreneur, Conservationist, Glass Artist And Leading Sportspeople Among Kiwi Talent To Receive AMP Scholarships

The winners of the 2001 AMP Scholarships include a 13-year-old entrepreneur from Whangarei, a conservationist from Invercargill, an Auckland glass artist and three leading sportspeople.

AMP Managing Director John Drabble said the 2001 AMP Scholarship winners are ten extraordinary New Zealanders with a real passion for the goals they are pursuing and the determination to achieve their dreams, no matter what the odds.

Mr Drabble said the judges were so impressed by the quality of this year’s winners that AMP increased the value of the scholarships that were awarded from $3,000 to $5,000.

“From Cheviot farm manager Jamie McFadden who wants to involve people in community based conservation projects to up and coming young netballer Chrystal Karaka, the winners all embody the kiwi attitude of ‘going for it’.”

Mr Drabble said that the 2001 winners stood out because of the depth of their talent as well as their commitment to do the very best they can, both personally and for the wider community.

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

Mr Drabble said AMP had received over 650 applications from a wide range of New Zealanders of all ages, professions and backgrounds.

“Once again, we were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of the scholarship applications we received this year. It is incredibly inspiring to discover the number of ordinary New Zealanders who are quietly getting on with some quite extraordinary things in communities throughout the country.

“From novelists to comedians, fashion designers to athletes, each application was a wonderful story of aspiration and achievement.”

The AMP Scholarships aim to help exceptional New Zealanders to achieve their goals. Over the three years the scholarship programme has been running, AMP has awarded $370,000 worth of scholarships to 35 New Zealanders.

This year’s scholarship winners are contenders 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.


Name Goal Location

Chrystal Karaka Develop national netballing career Wellington
Jamie McFadden Involve people in conservation projects Cheviot
Jeremy Yates Compete internationally at cycling Hastings
Layla Walter Attend international glass conference Auckland
Robyn Lelievre Take up role with Operation Raleigh in Chile Invercargill
Rochelle Bright Produce new style of musical theatre Mt Maunganui
Sergiy Klymchuk Publish and distribute maths book Auckland
Sam Hunt Compete internationally at golf Rotorua
Scott Boyd Expand skateboarding apparel business Whangarei
Stuart Laurence Study astronautics to help put person on Mars Auckland



“Achieving my career and sporting goals will assist me to work with my peers to create an environment where they will also be able to progress and succeed.”

Netballer Chrystal Karaka, 18, left her Gisborne home when she was 16 to move to Wellington to pursue her netball goals. Chrystal is currently a member of Wellington’s Capital Shakers netball squad, the New Zealand under-21 netball squad and the New Zealand Maori under-21 women’s touch team.

In the short-term she wants to stay in the New Zealand under-21 netball squad as a stepping stone to her long-term goal of playing netball for the Silver Ferns. She would also like to be a role mode for young Maori. In 1999 Chrystal was awarded the Sunday Star Times Sportfit Future Champions Award.


“This sort of funding is vital to help people to get a lot closer to their dreams.”

North Canterbury’s Jamie McFadden, 33, plans to make the world a better place by encouraging and involving people in conservation projects.

Jamie established a native plant nursery on his family’s 800 hectare farm seven years ago for replanting vacant areas on the farm. The nursery opened to the public in 1999 and Jamie now hopes to use plants from the nursery for a community project in the Hurunui district.

The project involves developing native plantings throughout the Hurunui district with the aim of increasing the number of natural habitats and enhancing the movement of wildlife, particularly native birds. Jamie is involved in a number of local groups and is currently joint vice president for North Canterbury Federated Farmers.


“The AMP scholarships are a great step towards sending Kiwis places. This support will hopefully aid this country’s development in the international arena - whether sporting, academic or the arts.”

Eighteen-year-old Jeremy Yates, of Hastings, has been cycling competitively for over three years, moving through the local club grades to regional championships. Last year he was both the National and World Campion for Juniors.

Jeremy is a full-time amateur cyclist. His mid-term goals include riding in world championship meets and world cup races in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria and other European countries.

By racing in these international tours, Jeremy hopes to gain an official ranking so he can achieve his long-term goal of representing New Zealand as a cyclist in the Commonwealth and Olympic games. Jeremy was New Zealand road cyclist of the year in 2000 and has also been named overall sports person of the year for the Hawke’s Bay.


”To get this support is a wonderful thing when you’re at the beginning of something big.”

Auckland-based glass artist Layla Walter, 26, has been self-employed for three years since graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Design - Glass, from Unitec Institute of Technology.

Throughout her glass casting career, she has worked closely as an assistant to New Zealand’s leading glass artist Ann Robinson. Layla’s most recent success has been winning the 2001 Pilchuck Saxe Award, an international scholarship, with the prize of a three-week class in Seattle by two Japanese glass artists.

Layla has exhibited both overseas and within New Zealand, and has presented guest lectures in Canada and the United States.


“Life is a gift and you’ve got to live it fully. If you never try, you’ll never know what you can achieve.”

Invercargill’s Robyn Lelievre is in her fifities and is a ranger and volunteer coordinator for the Department of Conservation.

She has recently been appointed as project manager with Operation Raleigh in Chile next year. The international organisation develops young people through challenging community and environmental expeditions throughout the world. As project manger, Robyn hopes to publicise New Zealand’s work in conservation management.

During her 11 years with the Department of Conservation, she has coordinated the Southland/Otago volunteer programme and has established and organised the Conservation Corps training scheme for 16 to 25-year-olds. Robyn has also worked on programmes to monitor black robins on the Chatham Islands, protect kakapo on Codfish Island and excavate a Ngai Tahu canoe on Stewart Island.


“For people with dreams, the AMP Scholarships makes them feel like those dreams can be accomplished.”

Rochelle Bright, 20, of Mt Maunganui has been writing plays since she was a child. At the age of 12, Rochelle received an award at the Comalco Playwright Competition and has had another play read at the International Woman’s Playwright Conference in Athens last year.

Her “desire and passion” is to introduce innovative musical theatre to New Zealand audiences with a contemporary style that expresses youth/kiwi culture, which, she believes, is a first for this country.

Rochelle started writing a contemporary kiwi musical, called “24/7”, while she was in London during 1998. Her aim is to professionally produce the musical and tour with it through New Zealand and overseas to show kiwi culture to the world. She would also like to be considered the next Jonathon Larson or Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Rochelle has performed at London’s Globe Theatre and has received the Aotea Performing Arts Scholarship. For four years she has been a member of Impact, a Maori and Pacific Island Performing arts group that works with at risk youth.


“It’s awesome to see a company investing so much in people through the scholarship programme. It’s a great incentive for people with dreams to achieve their goals.”

Rotorua’s Sam Hunt, 16, has been playing golf since he was nine, lowering his handicap from 36 to 2 under. His dream is to qualify for the 2004 US Masters in Augusta before following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win the US Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championships.

Sam has won the individual trophy at the World Intercollegiate Championship and qualified to play in the NZ Open as an amateur. He also finished fourth in last year’s Junior British Open

Other golf successes include being a member of the New Zealand under-18 golf team for the past two years and winning several Bay of Plenty titles. Sam is also a member of the AMP Rotorua Boy's High School golf team that won the last two World Secondary Schools Championships.


“Success requires the vision to see, the faith to believe and the courage to do.”

Thirteen-year-old Scott Boyd has been running his skate boarding business for two years. Scott, who is in the third form, is owner and director of ETAKS (‘skate’ spelt backwards). He has designed his own logo and sells a brand of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, key rings and stickers to 16 shops within the North Island.

From an early age Scott sold face paints, fruit and darts from the roadside. His long-term plan is for the ETAKS label to join the world’s most popular skate boarding labels and to create local employment through top quality exports.


“I hope the book will make people think more effectively, not just about maths but about other areas of their life.”

Forty-two-year-old Sergiy Klymchuk is currently a lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology. The runner up at the USSR Maths Olympiad in 1974, he has spent over 20 years as a university maths lecturer and researcher in maths education.

Sergiy plans to develop and publish an educational book on financial literacy and critical thinking which will be sent to every New Zealand school, college, major community centre and library. The aim of the book is to motivate teenagers to look at maths from another angle and provide a “brain gym” for professional managers.

Readers can improve their effective thinking skills and have fun with simple interesting mathematics through solving tricky but practical money puzzles.


“Why cling to earth when you can reach for the stars?”

Twenty-three-year-old Auckland student Stuart Laurence plans to study for a PhD in astronautics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Stuart was awarded the top fellowship from the Department of Aeronautics at Caltech, the latest in a series of prizes he has received during his research career to date.

While studying at Caltech, Stuart will have the opportunity to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the facility responsible for NASA’s unmanned space exploration programme. Stuart hopes this experience will put him in a good position to pursue further work in the field of space exploration once he has graduated. Long term, Stuart dreams of being part of the team at NASA that sends the first person to Mars.

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