18 Dec 2023

Seven students have been awarded the prestigious Owens Scholarship for 2023

Seven students have been awarded the prestigious Owens Scholarship for 2023

The highly competitive Boy & Joy Owens Scholarships have been awarded for 2023 to seven college and high school students across the Western Bay of Plenty. These awards provide a $5,000 payment per annum for three years to the brilliant students selected. The Owens Scholarship winners, along with 15 additional scholarship recipients, were honoured at a scholarship celebration hosted by the Acorn Foundation on 12 December at The Kollective.

The Owens Scholarships have been supporting young people in our region for 30 years. These award winners have shown a significant commitment to their schools and the community, with a strong idea about their future goals. The Acorn Foundation administers the awards while volunteer Owens Scholarship Committees work with each school’s administrators to choose finalists who are then interviewed by the panellists.

The following individuals have been awarded the 2023 Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship:

Aquinas College: Mia Thomas, who will study a Bachelor of Communication at Victoria University.

Bethlehem College: Connor Settle-Smith intends to pursue a conjoint degree in Law and Psychology at The University of Auckland.

Mt. Maunganui College: Abby Lindsey is planning on either undertaking a Bachelor of Health at Victoria University or a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Auckland.  

Otumoetai College: Sofia Camila Arias is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science Conjoint, majoring in Pharmacology (Science) and Psychology (Arts).

Tauranga Boys’ College: Byron Bunning will study at Massey University toward a Bachelor of Screen Arts, majoring in Film Production.

Tauranga Girls’ College: Sara Esterman is undertaking a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree at University of Canterbury.

Te Puke High School: Adam Williams is going to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering Hons majoring in Mechatronics Engineering at University of Canterbury.

In addition to receiving the Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship, Byron Bunning was awarded the Jann Medlicott Creative Arts Award. Byron has participated in national filmmaking competitions and worked with Bafta Winning screenwriter and author, the late Jeff Murphy. He has been awarded the Brook Walford Memorial Cup for Service Contributions to the Arts at TBC and has founded his own media creation business.

Tertiary study will enable him to refine his craft, gain exposure to cutting-edge techniques, and facilitate collaboration with artists and industry professionals. Byron hopes to direct films of the profound impact that consider things we ignore in society, and being able to feed this perspective back into the community fuels his desire to pursue a career in the creative arts.

The entire Acorn team congratulates these outstanding students and wishes them every success as they prepare for university.

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