Third annual awards on 17 July celebrate Māori educational achievement; Top three 2014 scholarship recipients aim to contribute effectively to their community in their respective fields
Diane Koti, Aidan Joblin-Mills and Robert Brooks, recipients of the 2014 Rose Hellaby Māori Education Postgraduate Scholarships all have two things in common – the passion to succeed and a deep sense of love for their whānau.
From gaining insights into Māori needs when accessing palliative care and hospice services, researching into methods to benefit the quality of living amongst people easily susceptible to lipid associated diseases and encouraging and promoting the sciences amongst the young Māori community, Diane, Aidan, and Robert are each respectively leading the way in being Māori leaders of tomorrow.
The three postgraduate students are among this year’s 42 recipients of an education grant from the Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund. The charitable trust, for which Guardian Trust is sole trustee and investment manager, has distributed more than $3.4 million via the Māori Education Trust to nearly 5,000 Māori students since its establishment in 1969.
Andrew Barnes, Managing Director of Guardian Trust says, “The Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund showcases the generosity of New Zealanders, and the ability to create an enduring legacy that will continue to support future generations of Māori leaders. Diane, Aidan, and Robert are prime examples of such talent and we are privileged to enable them, as well as the other scholarship recipients, to continue to grow and prosper.”
Evelyn Newman, Manager of the Māori Education Trust, says, “Along with the other applicants for this year’s awards, we are incredibly proud of not only the outstanding academic accomplishments that Diane, Aidan, and Robert have achieved, but also been touched by their stories and their fervent commitment to their community.
“Kia hora te marino; kia whakapapapounamu te moana; kia tere te kārohirohi i mua i tō huarahi. [May the calm be widespread; may the seas glisten like greenstone; and may the sunlight dance before you on your journey].
“We’re also privileged to work alongside the team at Guardian Trust, who possess a passion for and focus on directing these scholarships to people with leadership ability and who provide support to others in their field and communities,” concluded Evelyn.
This year’s awards event will take place on 17 July at the Auckland Art Gallery. Guest of honour, Minister of Māori Affairs and Associate Minister of Education, Dr Pita Sharples, will be in attendance and will be addressing the scholarship recipients.
About the inspirational stories of Diane Koti, Aidan Joblin-Mills and Robert Brooks:
Diane KotiDiane Koti (Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund Scholarship Recipient – $15,000)
Passionate about Māori mental health, wellness and development, Diane Koti has a dream of establishing a tikanga and kaupapa Māori based, end of life care facility.
She is a firm believer of leading by example, which shines through in the strong relationships she has with her whānau, hapu, iwi and community. From Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Maniapoto iwi, Diane currently lives in Otaki.
Diane attained a Bachelor and Masters of Arts at Massey University’s Palmerston North campus, and throughout her studies, she received love, help, spiritual and emotional support from her family and friends.
Diane will complete her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Massey University, where she will focus on the relationship and communications between clinical staff and terminally ill Māori patients and their whānau, at palliative care services.
“Palliative care is certainly a silent area of New Zealand health, and it has been built on very limited understanding of Māori patients and whānau perceptions,” said Diane.
“Māori needs are diverse and health disparities in minority groups continue to be apparent, so I believe my research will be beneficial in changing perceptions amongst our communities.”
This will provide Diane with the skills and understanding she needs to establish an end of life care facility in Gisborne – which is her ultimate goal.
Aidan Robert-MillsAidan Joblin-Mills (Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund Scholarship Recipient – $15,000)
Born to a young single mother in Wanganui, Aidan was put in his grandmother, Rose’s, care. Rose did everything in her power to care for Aidan, by the time he was an active toddler, Aidan was placed up for adoption. Through the St Mary’s church community, Aidan went through a few caregivers until he found a beautifully accepting and loving family – the Joblin-Mills Whānau.
Aidan said that being placed into this family has made him into the man he is today. “I owe them everything I could ever give in this world,” he said.
24 year old Aidan reigns from Ngāti Porou heritage and currently lives in Wellington’s Aro Valley. Armed with a Bachelor Degree of Science in Biology and a Graduate Diploma in Cell Molecules, Aidan is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Biomedical Science at Victoria University, majoring in Chemical Genetics and Cell Molecular Bioscience. His studies will enable him to give back to Ngāti Porou and the community that helped raise him. His adoptive grandparents had health issues relating to cholesterol and cardiovascular conditions and he is determined to find a way to benefit the quality of living of his whānau through his studies.
As of mid last year, a significant change occurred in Aidan’s life. His biological father found him and connected him to his Māori side and his newly found Whakapapa which has had a large impact on how he sees himself within this world and continues to lead him down new avenues in life that he is eager to explore.
Robert BrooksRobert Brooks (Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund Scholarship Recipient – $30,000)
Born in Auckland to a large Māori family, what they lacked financially, Robert Brooks’ family certainly made up for in love, encouragement and hard work.
Robert was encouraged to explore the curiosity he had for the world around him by his whānau, and this trait has stuck with him through life. At the ripe age of 13, Robert gained entry to the University of Waikato making him the youngest graduate from the School of Science & Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s Degree at the age of 17. Here, he won the inaugural Sir Robert Mahuta Memorial Scholarship to attend Oxford University where he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Organic Chemistry.
He faced various ups and downs associated with moving overseas, and noted the difference in culture and class structures when he arrived at Oxford. Though at first he felt like he could never fit in, Robert soon used values he learnt from his whānau to transfer into this alien world.
Currently studying at Oxford, Robert remains passionate about promoting science amongst young Māori and is motivated by a desire to show young people that they have the ability to succeed at an international level.
“The lack of Māori scientists is certainly a shame, and something we should be aiming to change. The funding cuts to Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga might be perceived as a brick wall to many students, and I want to help spread the word that there are many opportunities available to Māori students,” he says,
Robert is from Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui and Ngāpuhi iwi, and lived in Hamilton. He is proud to represent his whānau in the northern hemisphere, and says that he would not be where he is today without the love and support from his whānau.
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About the Hellaby Family Trusts
In 1969, Rose Hellaby, a descendent of the Auckland meat dynasty, established her eponymous Māori Education Fund with the goal of creating educational opportunity for Māori children and young adults. It is believed her motive for doing so came from the staff at her family’s meat factory, among which she observed the lost opportunities for higher education.
The Rose Hellaby Māori Education Fund is just one of a number of family trusts established by the philanthropy-minded Hellaby family for which Guardian Trust serves as trustee and investment manager. The company also manages the Rose Hellaby Medical Scholarship Fund and has administered this since its inception. The Trust Board has distributed over $2 million in research grants to 130 recipients over the past half-century.
Rose’s brother Joseph Hellaby established a trust to provide bursaries for boys attending Kings School who have a good level of academic achievement and come from families with limited financial resources. Rose’s sister Lilly Hellaby set up the Grasslands Research Fund in 1958 for research into indigenous grasses to benefit the primary industries of New Zealand. Guardian Trust serves as trustee and investment manager, and through the Trust Board has distributed more than $6.1 million in research grants to 466 recipients.
About Guardian Trust & Philanthropy
Established in 1882, Guardian Trust (The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited) is the leading corporate trustee in New Zealand. Through its network of offices across New Zealand, Guardian Trust manages or administers almost $2.9 billion of clients’ assets and provides corporate trustee services for securities with over $72 billion under supervision.
Guardian Trust has been serving generations of New Zealanders for over 130 years and is a market leader in charitable trusts. As one of New Zealand’s foremost trustee companies, it specialises providing wills, enduring powers of attorney and trusts while at the same time enhancing charitable giving. Guardian Trust is the country’s pre-eminent provider of philanthropic services, administering over 460 charitable trusts and is responsible for more than $600 million in funds under management, distributing close to $30 million in funding for charities and good causes during the 2013-2014 financial year.
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