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Georgetti scholarship recipients boost research important for New Zealand

27 June 2022 | news

The nine recipients of a 2022 William Georgetti Scholarship are addressing everything from healthcare delivery inequities experienced by refugees to the best use of agricultural land to keep within the Earth’s environmental limits while contributing to global food security.

The William Georgetti Scholarship encourages postgraduate study and research important to the social, cultural or economic development of Aotearoa New Zealand. It was established from the Estate of William Georgetti, a Hawke’s Bay farmer who died in 1943. 

With the support of their 2022 scholarship:

Allanah Colley, aged 29, will study for a Master of Laws at New York University, focusing on the intersection between gender justice, criminal law and critical legal theory. Allanah graduated from Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland in 2017 with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and Bachelor of Arts. From 2019–2021, she was an Assistant Crown Counsel in the criminal team at the New Zealand Crown Law Office, including acting as second counsel in the Peter Ellis conviction appeal in the Supreme Court in October 2021. She has most recently been senior researcher for Professor Petra Butler at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. As co-founder of the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal – Te Aho Kawe Kaupapa Ture a ngā Wāhine, an active member of culture-change initiatives in the legal profession and a published author, Allanah has extensive experience advocating for gender justice as well as for the wellbeing and success of women in the law. She looks forward, through her Master’s, to gaining a new perspective on these issues.

Maple Goh, aged 27, will study for a Master of Public Health at Harvard University in the US, where she aims to write a thesis on healthcare delivery inequities for refugees, with an ultimate goal of helping to create a multidisciplinary facility in New Zealand that embodies a holistic approach towards refugee resettlement. Maple graduated from the University of Otago in 2018 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Travel Medicine at the university, specialising in refugee and migrant medicine. She is also working as an urgent care registrar at Kenepuru Community Hospital in Porirua, having previously been a medical registrar for Hutt Valley District Health Board, a general practitioner at Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre and a senior house officer for Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā District Health Boards. Maple is founder and host of Doctor NOS (Doctor Not Otherwise Specified), a not-for-profit podcast to aid networking, improve accessibility and increase diversity and representation in medicine. She is a past member of the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association’s national executive.

Caroline Hope, aged 26, will study for a sustainability-related Master’s where she aims to write a thesis on the best use of agricultural land if New Zealand is to keep within planetary boundaries while contributing to global food security. For her study, Caroline will draw on her rural upbringing, sustainability engineering experience and passion for driving systemic change. Caroline graduated from Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland in 2017 with a Bachelor of Chemical and Materials Engineering with Honours. She currently leads the sustainability specialist service for the water team at Beca, providing specialist climate change input for water sector projects. Seeing carbon as the starting point, she promotes transdisciplinary thinking to enable solutions that regenerate social and Earth systems. Caroline is also a volunteer with the Planetary Accounting Network, an independent not-for-profit research centre that helps organisations quantify how to stay within planetary boundaries.

Ihlara McIndoe, aged 24, will study for a Master of Arts in Musicology at McGill University in Canada. Combining her experience as a solicitor and barrister as well as a classical music composer, performer and administrator, Ihlara will explore how New Zealand can build better policy and legal frameworks for classical music organisations to ensure more sustainable and inclusive artistic futures. Ihlara graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and Composition in 2019, a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Gender Studies in 2020 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2021. She was composer-in-residence for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) National Youth Orchestra last year, an Inspiring Explorer with the Antarctic Heritage Trust in 2020 and a finalist in the NZSO’s Todd Young Composers Award in 2019 and 2018. Her compositions have been performed around New Zealand and in Australia and Japan. Ihlara is a former administrator and co-conductor of the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra Academy, where she initiated an Aspiring Composers workshop for school-aged composers. She works as a solicitor for the Russell McVeagh practice in Wellington.

Pete McKenzie, aged 23, will study for a Master of Arts in Journalism at Columbia University in New York. Pete graduated from Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington in 2022 with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mandarin. Both before and since graduating, he has been a prolific freelance journalist. He is looking forward to furthering his passions for long-form feature and investigative journalism by studying under such journalistic heroes as The New Yorker magazine’s Jelani Cobb and Steve Coll. Pete has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, North and South, Newsroom and The Spinoff, among other publications. He has also covered New Zealand for Deutsche Welle TV in Germany. His current day job is as a Judge’s Clerk in the High Court. Pete says he inherited two core values from his Anglican vicar grandfather: curiosity and empathy. Beyond his studies and journalism, he channelled both through weekly voluntary work for the Wellington City Mission and service as an officer in the New Zealand Army Reserve. Pete has also received a 2022 Fulbright New Zealand Award to support his studies.

Harvey Merton, aged 22, will study for a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. Harvey’s research will focus on developing algorithms to coordinate multiple drones carrying measurement devices to map real-time methane emissions from ruminants such as cows and sheep. Harvey graduated from Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland in 2021 with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours. He was chief engineer in the university’s 50-strong teams for the 2020 and 2021 Formula Society of Automotive Engineers international competition to design and build a $200,000 electric race car, and won the university’s 2019 Bruce McLaren Automotive Award, which each year enables a student to travel to and work at McLaren Automotive in the United Kingdom. Harvey is also recipient of a national Kupe Leadership Scholarship. He currently works as control systems engineer at EnergyBank, a New Zealand-based start-up developing scalable, low-cost, environmentally friendly electricity storage technology.

Beth Schuck, aged 21, will study for a Master of Science in Climate Change Finance and Investment at the University of Edinburgh in the UK. Beth aims to research incorporating social and cultural development goals into climate change mitigation and adaptation policy. She graduated from Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland in 2021 with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Engineering Science. Her honours research project focused on improving transport emissions modelling approaches for New Zealand in order to improve social outcomes. She is a member of the Koi Tū Rangatahi advisory group: a group of young people contributing to research projects through the University of Auckland’s Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures. In 2021, Beth received the People’s Choice Best Oral Presentation Award at the national Transportation Group Conference on Decarbonising Transport, where she shared her findings from a transport emissions model she created for the Auckland region. As part of her climate work, she provides calculations and research to advocacy groups, to contribute to national conversations. Beth works at MRCagney, a sustainable transport consultancy, where she focuses on sustainability analysis, equity research and emissions modelling. Last year, Beth was a recipient of a Kupe Leadership Scholarship.

Briana Steven, aged 21, will study for a Master of Engineering in Bioengineering at the University of California Berkeley in the US, focusing on topics such as biomechanical movement, prosthetics design and development and medical imaging technologies. The knowledge and skills Briana gains will help to uplift not only research in New Zealand “but also the tangible outcomes in relation to patient health and New Zealand’s overall health statistics, for example in the areas of diabetes or cardiovascular disease”, she says. Briana graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2021 with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Engineering. On entering the university, she was selected for its Emerging Leaders scholarship and programme and for an Engineering High Achievers scholarship. As well as winning multiple academic awards and scholarships, Briana has a strong sporting history, representing New Zealand in orienteering and coaching to a high level. She has also received a 2022 Fulbright New Zealand Award to support her studies.

Sarah Tallon, aged 22, is in her first year studying for a Master of Crop Sciences in Plant Nutrition and Plant Protection at Universität Hohenheim in Germany. For her thesis, Sarah aims to research ways to improve the efficiency of agricultural nutrient use while still being sustainable and resilient to climate change. She says that already at Universität Hohenheim she has “learnt so much about international agriculture and can see many exciting avenues for future research applicable to the agriculture and horticulture industries in New Zealand”. Sarah graduated from Massey University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Plant Science. In her final year, she won a New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science Leading Student Award and a Massey University Scholar Award for placing in the top 5% of the 2020 cohort. Sarah has interned with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and Corteva Agriscience.

Applications for the 2023 William Georgetti Scholarship open on 1 October and close on 1 February. Details are available on the scholarship’s page on the Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara website.

The scholarship is one of around 40 administered by Universities New Zealand.