Conrad Goodhew, Shannon Tumataroa, Anna Charles-Jones and Dayle Keown celebrate their Masonic scholarships as all good students do – with a cup of tea(!)
Twenty six of the country’s top students were awarded $184,000 in Masonic University Scholarships this year. Seven received $10,000 postgraduate scholarships and nineteen each received $6,000 university scholarships.
One of the lucky recipients was ex-St. Hilda’s Collegiate School boarder, Shannon Tumataroa. Currently studying for a PhD at the University of Otago in Auckland, Shannon is examining financial decision-making in low-income families in Auckland and its regions, and also investigating how such families might be taught to develop resilience to the “often exploitative marketing” that frequently targets these poor households. Shannon told us, “The Freemasons’ Postgraduate Scholarship is assisting me to cover my expenses when travelling to meet with participants all over Auckland and its far-flung outer reaches.” Understanding how people made financial decisions was, she said, “vital to ensuring economic equality and fair access to financial tools such as micro-loans, insurance and saving accounts.”
The burden of everyday financial pressure triggers many impoverished families to make bad budgeting decisions. Shannon, however, is doing everything she can to minimize that trend. As a volunteer Budget Advisor with the west Auckland Budgeting Service, and the representative for the Auckland North West District of the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services, she maintains point-blank links with the community.
Members of the Otago Masonic Charitable Trust (OMCT) discovered just how extraordinarily committed she is within whatever community she lives. During her time in Dunedin she told us, “I was part of the Dunedin Budgeting Service, and spent time doing all kinds of volunteer work in the City; at the Dunedin SPCA, the Special Olympics, mentoring an ‘at risk’ youth, and I also spent time at the Dunedin hospital helping to bring patients down to the chapel for church services.”
Brought up in Invercargill and Edendale, Shannon is already a highly qualified individual; following St. Hilda’s, she went on to Otago University, where she gained a BCom in Finance and a BA Honours in Psychology. Just a year out from completing her PhD, she said that the $10,000 Masonic scholarship would make “an enormous difference” to her studies.
Yet Shannon is not alone; also present at the presentations in Parliament were recent Dunedin Masonic Centre visitors, Conrad Goodhew, Anna Charles-Jones and Dayle Keown (pictured above). All three received $6,000 scholarships to assist them with the completion of their degrees. This will involve a Master of Dietetics degree for Conrad (who is aiming to become a sports dietitian); medical qualifications and a trainee intern role at Dunedin Hospital for Anna; and final-year medical study, undertaken partly at Nelson Hospital, for Dayle Keown.
Dayle, who was born and raised in Christchurch, has been a volunteer ambulance officer with St. John Ambulance
for the past six years – that’s one tough job for which to ‘volunteer’. The OFC is proud to be able to assist such talented, plucky young people.
While on the subject of ‘plucky’…Anna Charles-Jones will undertake a three-month elective this year in the Orkney Islands, an archipelago in the North Sea off the north-east coast of Scotland. Gosh but Dunedin’s climate must have hardened her up!