Development West Coast Tertiary Scholarships awarded

14 January 2022
Development West Coast
The inaugural Development West Coast Tertiary Scholarships have been awarded to Rachel Morris, Scarlett Hamilton, Clark Fountain, Jack Stead-Wilson and Ella Rae-Wood.

The scholarships are designed to grow and retain highly qualified West Coast residents on the West Coast by removing barriers to training and employment.

The scholarships are valued up to $32,500 per student, and also offer summer work and guaranteed employment on the West Coast on completion of the applicant’s tertiary study.

Chief Executive Heath Milne said DWC received 30 scholarship applications, “all of an astounding quality.”

“The key objective of DWC is to grow business to grow the Coast. What’s very obvious is you can’t grow businesses without having talented people."

He said reviewing the scholarship applications highlighted there is some amazing talent in the region.

“Many of our best and brightest have to go out of the region for university and too many don’t come back. The scholarships are about encouraging our talent to come back to the West Coast.”

“There are many interesting and diverse career opportunities here with well-established and progressive businesses crying out for skilled staff.”

Chair Renee Rooney said it was a significant occasion for DWC.

“It’s the first-time scholarships of this type and scale have been awarded on the West Coast.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank all the applicants who put the time, thought and effort into applying for the scholarships.

“It reconfirmed what we already know – we have some incredibly talented and fine young people here on the Coast.”

Based on the quality of the scholarship recipients, Mrs Rooney said the future of the West Coast is in very good hands.

"DWC is absolutely privileged to be part of their journey into the future.”

Renee Rooney, Chair, Development West Coast Chair

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Clark Fountain

Clark will be pursuing his Mechanical Engineering Degree majoring in Humanitarian Science at Canterbury University.

Clark attended Greymouth High School where he represented the school in Cross Country, Coast to Coast, Basketball, Futsal and Volleyball. During Clark's High School years he also helped organize and run the 40 hour famine and in his senior year was named the head student. Clark also volunteers in the local fire brigade in the community. With his passion for volunteering and helping, Clark hopes to try to solve some of the many large humanitarian problems in the world.

Clark considers the changes facing the West Coast an opportunity and is intending to return to the West Coast once he completes his studies to make a difference in a place that means so much to him.

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Ella Rae-Wood

Ella will be pursuing a Bachelor in Veterinary Science at Massey University.

Ella attended Greymouth High School where in her senior year was the Deputy Head Girl. In High School Ella has taken part in organizing the Athletics House activities, and also represented the High School in Basketball. Ella enjoys riding horses and has taken part in New Zealand level Equestrian Events.

Ella is interested in becoming a large animal veterinarian and contributing to the farming sector and working with the West Coast equine community. Ella describes the West Coast as a place of opportunity and one of the best places to live in the country and because of this, Ella is committed to coming back and gaining employment while supporting our area.

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Rachel Morris

Rachel will be pursuing a Bachelor of Nursing through Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Rachel attended boarding school at Dunedin’s Columba College where over the years was the Deputy Form Captain and School Guide. Rachel also represented the school in Basketball, Netball and Touch.

Rachel has volunteered over the past year at Abbeyfield Retirement Home which combined with seeing a close relative deteriorate from dementia has led Rachel to pursue studies and a future career in nursing.

Rachel loves the West Coast and is keen to become a registered nurse on the West Coast, helping to support the West Coast medical team by providing care and support locally.


Scarlett Hamilton

Scarlett will be pursuing her double Degree in Law and Arts majoring in Cultural Studies at Canterbury University.

Scarlett attended Buller High School where she became a prefect in her senior year. In High School Scarlett was a member of the Student Volunteer Army, SVA Youth Advisory Group, Rainbow QSA Group and the Buller High School Barista Programme. Scarlett also volunteers with the Westport SPCA and the Public Library.

Scarlett is hoping to have a career in law or governance. Scarlett is motivated to help her community as a result of her studies and intends to work as a practicing lawyer on the West Coast on completion of her studies. The breadth of her double degree means she will also gain valuable understandings on people and culture.

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Jack Stead-Wilson

Jack will be pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering with honours majoring in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Canterbury University.

Jack attended Greymouth High School where he represented the student council as Treasurer. Jack also volunteers with the Hokitika Lions Club where he is helping promote the community.

Throughout secondary school Jack has always had a strong passion for Physics which has driven him to study a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Canterbury.

Jack is committed to returning to work on the West Coast in the field of electrical engineering and hopes to be part of the electrical revolution and address the impacts of climate change.