08 Dec 2021

FAME Trust awards first scholarship at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

The Trustees of the FAME Trust and the team at the Acorn Foundation are proud to announce that Sebastian Hunter has been selected as the first Emerging Practitioner Award winner at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Te Herenga Waka is one of six premier performing arts schools located throughout New Zealand which have each been provided with a $10,000 award for a talented student who has completed at least the first year of university study.

Sebastian, who is of European, Māori, and Tongan descent, comes from the Manawatu-Wanganui region and completed secondary school at Feilding High. He is proud to be the first in his family to attend University. Sebastian is also Takatāpui and aims to be a positive influence within the queer, trans, Māori and Pasifika communities.

Sebastian says, "This award will greatly impact my career path by providing me with the necessary resources I’d otherwise have no access to. As your average, typical uni student, the award is life-changing and I plan to make the most of it!”

Theatre and music are dual passions for Sebastian, who has landed a lead role as “Luke” in the feature film Poppy about a young girl with Down Syndrome who refuses to let her disability define her. Besides the acting credit, Sebastian composed four original songs for the movie. At Te Herenga Waka this year, Sebastian has joined his classmates in staging a full-length adaptation of John Gay’s Polly. He has participated as an actor, musician, script writer, and lighting designer. He is also currently producing his first album.

Professor David O’Donnell from Te Herenga Waka says the theatre programme is so proud of Sebastian for his outstanding application and achievement in winning this award.

"Sebastian is an exceptionally committed and multi-talented artist with a wide range of skills in theatre and music, who has accomplished much during his studies here, including acting in a feature film and teaching music theatre. Sebastian is an inspiring role model for diverse representation in the performing arts,” said David.

 

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