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Each year, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) awards the Pacific Scholarship to two tertiary students of Pacific heritage studying towards an undergraduate degree.
Designed to boost the number of accountants with Pacific heritage, the scholarships provide students with a degree of financial independence and support during their education journey.
This year's recipients of the scholarships hope to make their families proud, become role models for the younger generation and make a real difference in their community.
Ziannah Drollett is an international student from the Cook Islands and is currently studying at the University of Auckland. She was thrilled to be named one of the 2020 recipients.
"The scholarship provided me with an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather and aunties who are all practicing accountants," says Ziannah.
"I feel so honoured to have received this scholarship, as the support from Chartered Accountants ANZ has encouraged me to keep up the hard work, and work towards achieving my goals."
Although Ziannah found the self-promotion aspect of the scholarship application process challenging, it prompted her to think about how she will use her skills as a Chartered Accountant to give back to her community.
"A lot of Cook Islanders don't have the opportunity to go to university. So although I was doing well in my studies, I think what made me stand out in my application was the fact that I wanted to give back my time to help my people," says Ziannah.
"Being the first one in my family to go to university, I wanted to show my younger brothers that there are so many opportunities available for them when they grow up, and that they can also go to university and become an accountant."
Sione Lemeki is completing a double major in Accounting and Finance at the University of Auckland, and was also awarded the 2020 Pacific Scholarship.
"As I was the first one in my family to go to university, I wanted to show my younger brothers that there are so many opportunities available for them when they grow up, and that they can also go to university and become an accountant."
"The scholarship has provided me with an opportunity to use my skills to make a difference and help the Pacific and Māori Communities," says Sione.
"Receiving the support and recognition from an accounting community like CA has definitely encouraged me to do better in my studies than I have done before."
For Sione, the scholarship process served as an opportunity to reflect on his achievements, and set career goals. He says that receiving the scholarship has encouraged him to step up as a role model and inspire the younger generation in his community to work hard and follow their dreams.
"When CA called me to let me know that I had been awarded the scholarship, I told my parents straight away. They were very happy for me, and I knew that I had to continue to make them proud," says Sione.
"I have four younger siblings who look up to me, so I want to show them that they can also study at university and become a Chartered Accountant if it's what they want. After I graduate, my goal is to secure a role at a major accounting firm and gain some experience, before returning home to help my family's business, and other small businesses in Pasifika set themselves up for the future."
Looking ahead, Sione is excited to complete the CA Program, further his studies and build on his accounting knowledge. He encourages students with Pacific heritage who are thinking of applying for the scholarship to simply do it.
"Just apply, because you never know what could happen. Receiving the scholarship not only helped me pay for my accounting studies, but it has provided me with an opportunity to expand my network, connect with other Pasifika and Māori students, and think about how I can inspire the younger generation to consider becoming an accountant."
Pacific Scholarships – New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
At Chartered Accountants ANZ, we want to inspire the next generation of accounting professionals to succeed. To learn more about the Pacific Scholarships:Read more