Sealord employee scholarship winners

The judges for this year's Sealord Scholarship were highly impressed at the calibre of applicants.


Former Sealord executive Terry Horne and former Sealord Board Chair Sir Tipene O'Regan commented on how impressive the standard was across applicants.


Making their final decision was challenging due to the high level of excellence of the four invited for interview. As well as their academic achievements, the judges also considered the nature of any community service the candidates had been involved in, their passions in life and the breadth of activities they were engaged in.


"They were all remarkably evenly matched in terms of quality and performance although quite different in their subject areas and we had some difficulty making a choice," says Sir Tipene.


"We talked with them about their aspirations, their passions and ambitions but the primary concern when making the final decision was to consider performance and likelihood of success."


Michelle Gauler of Garin College and Olivia Deakin from Nelson College for Girls will share the scholarship between them, each receiving $5,000 a year towards their study, for up to four years.


"It's an exciting prospect for me because the award opens up new pathways that I have worked hard academically to try and prepare myself for," says Michelle, who intends to study a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in politics and economics, at Otago University and who aspires to pursue a diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the UN. Michelle's father Michael Gauler works in Nelson's IT department as a Service Analyst. "I feel honoured to receive this Scholarship, especially because it is symbolic of the belief and confidence others have in my ability, so this is encouraging to me," she adds.


And Olivia Deakin - who's mother is Nelson-based Business Analyst Michele Deakin - plans to study a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University of Wellington. News of her success came as a lovely surprise. "I am very happy to receive the award," says Olivia, who's looking forward to broadening her knowledge of New Zealand culture and art history, with a view to a career in government ministries or cultural and heritage organisations. "It's going to make such a difference because it will mean I can focus on my studies and continue with my volunteer work in the community."

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