Students From Many Cultures Awarded Pegasus Health Scholarships

Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd yesterday awarded its annual scholarships to 18 students from Māori, Pacific and refugee and migrant backgrounds.

The students, studying medicine, nursing and allied health, were selected from what organisers say was “an almost overwhelming number of entries.” “The people we have chosen are of a very high calibre. They are from incredibly diverse backgrounds and will contribute greatly to the cultural and linguistic richness of the health sector,” Pegasus Health CEO Vince Barry said.

The Māori Scholarships have been awarded to seven recipients, of whom three are nursing students and four are studying medicine. This year’s Pacific Scholarships have been presented to five students. Two are studying health science, two are studying medicine and the fifth is training to be a nurse. Six scholarships have been awarded to students from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Four are training to be nurses, one is studying medicine and one is studying social work.

In applying for a scholarship, each of the winners had to write a 1000 word essay, saying how they would make a difference in their careers.

Medical student Jayden Ball, who was awarded one of the Māori Scholarships, said having grown up on the east side of the city (Christchurch), his main aspiration was to complete his degree, with the best results he could, and give back to his community by working there when he graduated.

Lurita Kurene, who is training to be a nurse at CPIT, said her personal experience of caring for her grandparents inspired her career choice and her long-term aspiration is to qualify as a Nurse Practitioner. She was awarded a Pacific Scholarship.

Fifth year medical student Uddaka Wijesinghe, who received one of the Refugee and Migrant Scholarships, said as a future Canterbury doctor he felt he could make a difference, given his

migrant background and commitment to culturally competent care, advocacy and evidence based solutions.

Pegasus Health Chair Dr Les Toop said, “It was wonderful to see the high standard of entries and to know that these students would soon be joining the health workforce in our communities.”

Scholarship Recipients

Māori Scholarships

Anika Tiplady (medicine); Kennedy Sarich (medicine); Jayden Ball (medicine); Chivala Heal (medicine); Andrea Wicks (nursing); Lilian Neena Woodgate (nursing); and Vanessa Olliver (nursing).

Pacific Scholarships

Beaudicia Carrasco (medicine); Marcus Bentley (medicine); Lurita Kurene (nursing); Noman Mene-Vaele (health sciences); and Suli Tuitaupe (health sciences).

Refugee and Migrant Scholarships

Uddaka Wijesinghe (Sri Lankan, medicine); Susan Yu Gao (Chinese, nursing); Shannon Solomon (South African, nursing); Yasmin Abdulkadir (Somali, nursing); Anna Francisco (Filipino, nursing); and Chang Hun Yu (Korean, social work).

Māori Scholarships:
Back L-R – Kennedy Sarich, Andrea Wicks, Chivala Heal, Jayden Ball and Vanessa Olliver
Front L-R – Lilian Neena Woodgate, Anika Tiplady

Refugee and Migrant Scholarships
Back L-R – Natu Rama – Chair, CALD Reference Group, Susan Yu Gao, Shannon Solomon, Uddaka Wijesinghe
Front L-R – Anna Francisco, Chang Hun Yu
Absent – Yasmin Abdulkadir

Pacific Scholarships
Back L-R – Noman Mene-Vaele, Marcus Bentley, Suli Tuitaupe
Front L-R – Beaudicia Carrasco, Lurita Kurene