In an effort to recognise the value of volunteer work in the rainbow community, the ASB Unity Network and RainbowYOUTH have teamed up to offer a $2,500 scholarship to one tertiary student for 2016, with a further $2,500 scholarship to be offered again in 2017.
Note: This scholarship has now been awarded.
The scholarship comes after the ASB Unity Network was awarded the Australia/New Zealand award for promoting diversity from parent company, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The ASB Unity Network then approached LGBTIQ youth charity RainbowYOUTH to develop a tertiary scholarship that would reward individuals in Aotearoa whose volunteer work promotes diversity for the rainbow community.
“Volunteers provide an enormous range of important support services to the LGBTIQ community, often for little in return in terms of official reward or recognition,” says ASB’s Carl Ferguson who heads the bank’s Unity Network. “By offering this scholarship, we hope to help acknowledge and support the critical work that volunteers do every day across the country.”
The scholarship is open to any student who is enrolling/enrolled in full time study at any tertiary level, has volunteered within the Rainbow community in the last 12 months, and intends to continue volunteer work while studying.
Duncan Matthews, General Manager from RainbowYOUTH says that the scholarship recognises volunteering as one of the key ways that the Rainbow community promotes change and diversity. “The number of paid workers in the Rainbow community in Aotearoa is tiny,” he says. “The majority of support, advocacy and change is made by passionate volunteers in charities, schools, workplaces and government across the country.”
The ASB and RainbowYOUTH scholarship represents the ongoing relationship between ASB and RainbowYOUTH, which began with ASB’s support of RainbowYOUTH’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 2014, and ASB hosting RainbowYOUTH’s rainbow ribbons in their central branches during the 2015 Auckland Pride Festival.
“ASB has been a huge support to RainbowYOUTH over the last 18 months, allowing us to do more for young people,” says Matthews. “Being able to offer a joint scholarship is very exciting, and recognises some of the other work being done for the Rainbow community in New Zealand.”
Congratulations to the recipients
The ASB and RainbowYOUTH Tertiary Scholarship was awarded to Brodie Fraser. Brodie has spent over three years volunteering in the community, starting when she founded a rainbow support group at her High School. She later went on to do volunteering work with queer and gender diverse specific organisations in Wellington: InsideOUT and Schools Out. She is working towards a Masters in Political Science at Victoria University – with a particular focus on political participation and intersections of inequality.
Two generous ASB customers, Dr Lee and Paul Garlington, matched the amount of the Tertiary scholarship, allowing us to award two scholarships instead of one.
The second winner and recipient of the Dr Lee and Paul Garlington scholarship was Caitlyn Drinkwater. She been involved as a volunteer for a number of years with RainbowYOUTH, OUTLine and the Anxiety Trust. She was one of only 11 students selected into the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology programme at the University of Auckland, where she plans to research the relationship between transgender people and health services.
We’re excited to announce we'll be offering the ASB and RainbowYOUTH Tertiary Scholarship again in 2017.