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Research Fellows Honoured

Research Fellows Honoured

5th October 2017

Twenty-six New Zealanders were honoured yesterday in an awards ceremony for Fellows of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT).

The Trust patron, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand, hosted the ceremony at Government House.

Churchill Fellowships support Kiwis to undertake research overseas and bring that knowledge back to New Zealand. Those that were honoured yesterday came from a range of backgrounds and had completed a variety of research in multiple countries. However, all of their reports and experiences contribute to their communities, both locally and domestically.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was created by legislation in 1965 as a living memorial. Since then the income from investments has been used each year to fund fellowships that provide everyday New Zealanders with extraordinary travel opportunities and has funded over 870 kiwis to travel overseas.

Trust Board Chair, Dr Bronwyn Smits, said that the afternoon was a special celebration and proud recognition of the Fellows’ achievements.

“How satisfying it is to invest directly in our people. By assisting your travel, helping to grow your interests and passions, NZ gains foreign indirect investment. Those interests and passions are transformed into intellectual capital and experiential knowledge, helping you to grow NZ and inspire and drive others,” Dr Smits said.

Fellows receiving the awards have completed reports on their overseas research and returned with new networks and inspiration and their contribution will continue well into the future.

This is demonstrated in the recently received Fellowship Report from 1966 recipient Keith Begg, which gives a historical perspective of the fishing industry in NZ as well as showing contribution the Fellowship made to Keith’s career.

Other examples of the research undertaken by Fellows include:

• Lani Evans visited organisations that are involved in participatory (or citizen-led) philanthropy that could be used in Aotearoa New Zealand to actively engage communities in funding decision making.

• Nicola McDonald travelled to the UK to research the implications of an aging demographic and investigate best practice that could be applied by local authorities in New Zealand.

Also receiving an award is Waiheke Islander Carolyn Gillum, the second recipient of the Winston Churchill McNeish Writers Fellowship. Ms Gillum travelled to Norway to gather background information for an upcoming novel.

The full list of Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship recipients can be found at


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