Pegasus 2025 – 2023 Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarships

The 22nd annual Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarship ceremony was held at Tūranga (Christchurch Main Library) on the evening of 8 June. The scholarships were established by Pegasus Health in 2001 to support Māori, Pasifika and CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) students who are currently studying towards a health qualification. This year, a total of 15 scholarships were granted, and the evening was brimming with laughter and a strong spirit of kotahitanga.

Pegasus Board Chair, Barry Bragg welcomed the recipients to the Pegasus whānau.

“You’ve been selected for a number of reasons, but in particular, your leadership potential and capability and your commitment to your community,” Barry said.

Keynote speaker Hector Matthews, Director Consumer Engagement and Whānau Voice, Te Whatu Ora, spoke about the importance of commitment to creating change. He implored the scholarship recipients to commit to making the health system in Aotearoa a place where Māori, Pasifika and CALD voices are heard and honoured.

Fijian recipient Esther Vuluma is studying towards a Bachelor of Counselling. She spoke from the heart and shared her feelings of not being able to find her place in a social services setting built by and for Pākehā.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I hold onto this passion because I feel this is my purpose. It’s not easy, but I’m not just doing it for myself and my community… I’m doing it for other indigenous cultures. And I know that our voices are of value, our culture is of value, and our heart is of value,” Esther said.

Two-time recipient Kirstyn MacDonald (Ngāti Kahungunu), spoke highly of Pegasus Health when passing on some words of advice to her fellow students.

“I highly encourage you to take any opportunity that Pegasus Health give you. They truly honour their word and support the transition of tauira into the workforce,” Kirstyn said.