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Each year, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Māori Accountants Network or NKMoA) award the Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship and Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship to Māori tauira to support and encourage them on their education journey to becoming professional accountants.
"What we look for in a successful scholarship application is the contributions they are making, not only in the accounting and university environment but outside of that. Discovering what they are doing outside of their studies, and how they are contributing to Māori economic growth," says Jamie Mariu, scholarship judging panelist and executive board member of Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa.
"Being part of the judging panel is such a rewarding opportunity, and I am inspired by the passion that each of the recipients have to not only become an accountant, but to contribute to their Māori communities."
Aulo Barclay, a student at the University of Auckland, is the 2020 recipient of the Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship.
"The scholarship is an opportunity to support my Māori community, and it is such a privilege to receive such a prestigious award and be recognised by the wider community of accountants," says Aulo.
"I believe numbers hold the power to help people turn their passions and dreams into economically viable businesses."
Aulo has always been involved in Māori community events and initiatives, and was the Secretary for Atawhai Kotahi Oranga; a Tāmaki Makaurau branch of the Māori Women's Welfare League, of which her mother is president.
She says that the scholarship application process prompted her to think about what she would like to achieve in her future career as a Chartered Accountant.
"I think my passion for my local community made me stand out in the application process, as well as my genuine desire to help others with the tools and skills afforded to me by an accounting degree. I don't just want to become an accountant to make money, I want to use my knowledge to support the next generation of Māori homeowners, and help small Māori businesses to grow," says Aulo.
"To me the scholarship means recognising that there is so much potential in young Māori professionals and removing any inequities or barriers to fulfilling our full potential. The scholarship provides opportunities for those who are capable of achieving great things in the accounting profession."
Cherie Watene from The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) was awarded the 2020 Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship. The scholarship honours the legacy of Suzanne Spencer, NKMoA's first deputy chair and visionary Māori CA of Dunedin firm Polson Higgs.
"It was such an honour to receive this scholarship. Being recognised by Chartered Accountants ANZ is important for me as it has reassured me that I am on the right path as I have aligned myself with the same passion that Suzanne Spencer committed to the accounting field," says Cherie.
For Cherie, the scholarship process served as an opportunity to establish relationships with Chartered Accountants ANZ and its partnerships. She says that receiving the scholarship has encouraged her to inspire the next generation of students to never give up and work hard to achieve their dreams.
"You can sit behind your computer and talk about the importance of educating yourself and making a difference, or you can get up and make a real difference by paving a path for others to follow. I am excited to be able to take on a mentorship role with younger students, and encourage them to pursue an accounting career too,"says Cherie.
"Don't underestimate the value of building relationships through the scholarship application process, even if you are unsuccessful. If something is holding you back, this is an excellent opportunity to overcome your fears and reach out to people in a position of leadership like your mentors."
Learn more about the Ngā Raumanako and Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarships.Go here