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2011 AMP Scholarship Programme Recipients Announced

November 25, 2011

2011 AMP Scholarship Programme Recipients Announced

The 13th annual AMP Scholarship Programme award ceremony was held at the Auckland Museum last night.

The New Zealand Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, presented the 20 highly anticipated 2011 National, Study Start and People’s Choice AMP Scholarships.

AMP’s General Manager Marketing and Distribution, Blair Vernon is thrilled with the calibre of this year’s recipients and humbled that AMP is responsible for a programme that seeks out New Zealand talent and continues to change lives as a result.

“For 13 years the AMP Scholarship Programme has helped Kiwis become one step closer to making their dreams a reality, and the competence of applicants never ceases to amaze us.”

He goes onto say, “with so many talented finalists, this programme reinforces the ability and determination within this country and AMP is thrilled to help identify and celebrate it.”

The 2011 AMP National Scholarship Recipients:

• Divya Dhar is a medical doctor who will use her award from AMP towards a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at the prestigious Harvard University. Divya who was Young New Zealander of Year in 2010, plans to use her skills to promote research and development of drugs for neglected diseases.

• Dylan Schmidt is a trampolining athlete who will use his AMP Scholarship to travel to the Olympics in London 2012. Dylan was the 2010 Senior Men’s National Champion and this year qualified for the World Age Championships.

• Manihera Forbes will use his award from AMP towards achieving his dream of using the art of Polynesian celestial navigating instruments to guide a waka across the pacific.

• Bryall McPherson is a Paralympic swimmer who will use her AMP Scholarship to fund her travel to the Paralympics in London 2012. She holds 11 New Zealand records and has won a Gold and Silver Medal in the Queensland Interstate Swimming Championships in Australia in 2010.

• Tasman Davids is a keen ballet dancer who has been accepted to study full-time at the Vaganova (Kirov) Academy of Ballet in St Petersburg. As the first New Zealander to ever receive this privilege, he will take advantage of it thanks to AMP.

• Marlena Devoe is currently studying her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and she will use her award from AMP to continue her dream of studying at the Julliard Opera centre. Before leaving New Zealand to study Marlena received the Opera Australia Award at the New Zealand Singing School 2011.

• Andrew Watson is dedicated to the New Zealand building industry and his award from AMP will assist him in becoming the country’s best carpenter for his age (22) by allowing him to attend the World Skills Championships 2011.

• Curt Perano is a passionate sled-dog dog racer who will use his AMP Scholarship to qualify and compete in Iditarod, Alaska. Curt recently came 1st in the 2011 Race to the Sky 350 mile Race and was awarded Best Kept Team Award for the 2011 Beargrease Marathon 400 mile Race.

• Jack Gray’s “thing” is Maori Contemporary dance and choreography. He will use the AMP award to tour Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia, where he will collaborate with indigenous dancers and composers as research for an innovative intercultural dance project.

• Corrina Hoseason is New Zealand’s first young participant in a residency at the EKWC for technical and artistic development in Holland, she will use her AMP Scholarship to take art to the world. Corrina was a sponsored entrant at MoAD NZ Art and Design week 2010 and was also awarded a mentor through Artists Alliance mentoring programme 2011.

• Tanya O’Neil is passionate about preserving invisible Antarctic microbes and plans to use her award from AMP to fund research for her PHD. Tanya was the 1st “Virgin Atlantic” PhD student to have her research funded by FoRST (NZ Govt Science/Tech Fund) and successfully completing two Antarctic campaigns.

• Jessica Pearless is a professional visual artist specialising in Geometric Abstraction. She plans to use her AMP Scholarship to showcase her vision and work throughout NZ and Internationally

• Sarah Harpur’s “thing” is stand-up comedy, and funnily enough she will use her award from AMP to assist in the development and tour funding of her third solo show around the world.

• Keri Kaa wants to save her native tongue, Ngāti Porou reo Māori, and has written a children’s book which incorporates the language. She will use her award from AMP towards translating the book into a speaking book.

• Katie Brown has a dream of taking sewing patterns into the 21st Century and thanks to AMP she will expand her business to meet the demand for international wholesale and promote NZ fashion. Katie most recently won the “Most Innovative Business Idea” in the Business Awards Marlborough 2011.

• Liam Friary wishes to inspire New Zealand youth to lead healthy active lives and beat obesity. He will use his award from AMP to take a nationwide tour of schools to communicate his message to the nation. Liam himself lost 56kg over 3 years through fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. He has since the competed in many Half Marathons and Triathlons and Full Ironman.

• Jarrod Burton from Hamilton is an inventor and his ‘thing’ is to construct a machine for rescuing victims of natural disasters. His AMP Scholarship will go towards designing and building a prototype for an excavator specifically designed for removal of building components to aid rescue teams.

The 2011 AMP Study Start Scholarship recipient:

• Chennoah Walford’s “thing” is Human Rights and she plans to study Law at the Victoria University of Wellington in 2012 using her AMP Study Start Scholarship.

The 2011 AMP People’s Choice Scholarship recipients:

• Mark Banicevich believes in the societal benefits of the discipline of taekwondo. He will use his award from AMP to travel abroad and learn the industry best practices at pro-school in Canada, which he will bring back to share with New Zealand schools.

• Priyanka Sareen will use her AMP People’s Choice Scholarship to help New Zealand charities understand and utilise the power of Social Media. She believes it can help charities with their fundraising and social media which will help by connecting donors and providing campaign support at no cost.

For more information about the AMP Scholarships Programme visit


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