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Congratulations to our AdviceFirst Wellington Scholarship recipient

Ex-aid worker and high school Geography teacher, Phillip Robinson is the regional recipient of the AdviceFirst Wellington Regional Scholarship, receiving $5000 towards his flood education project. Phillip was selected from 62 other applicants across the Wellington region.

Mark Ennis, Chief Executive Officer at AdviceFirst, says: “New Zealand has witnessed first-hand the devastation and long-lasting consequences of natural disasters. We're proud to be able to contribute towards Phillip's journey to help Cambodian schools prepare for flooding disasters through community education.”

"As a teacher, I have witnessed my teenage students feel powerless when faced with increasing global problems. I am passionate about encouraging them to be the change they want to see in the world and I want to inspire them by being a role model,” says Phillip. “I’m thrilled to receive the AdviceFirst Wellington Regional Scholarship and will use the money towards both creating positive change and inspiring my students to do so.”

AdviceFirst Director Peter Chote with recipient Phillip Robinson WEBAs an ex-aid worker, Phillip witnessed the dire health consequences of extreme flooding in South Sudan. He also saw the power of community education campaigns in improving health outcomes.

"In Cambodia, seasonal flooding affects half a million people each year," says Phillip. "I want to use knowledge gained during my 2013 GNS Royal Society Teacher Fellowship on natural disaster preparedness to help Cambodian schools become effective civil defense centres."

The AdviceFirst Wellington Regional Scholarship will enable Phillip to visit ten flood prone schools (ten days each) in high risk areas throughout the basin of the Mekong River between March - October 2015. Kiwi students will be able to web-link directly with flood prone communities in the project's Cambodian schools, as well as follow Phillip's progress on his blog.

Young business graduate receives AdviceFirst Scholarship

Young business graduate, Alana Scott is the regional recipient of the AdviceFirst Auckland Regional Scholarship, receiving $5000 to help make the daunting Low FODMAP diet simple and tasty for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers.

At just 23 years of age, Alana was selected from 39 other applicants across Auckland to receive an AdviceFirst Auckland Regional Scholarship.

Alana has been awarded one of 12 Regional Scholarships across the country.  Each Regional Scholarship recipient is awarded $5000 to ‘do their thing’, and AMP will provide an additional top up of up to $5,000 to one of the Regional Scholarship recipients at the AMP Scholarships National Awards evening on 4 December.

Auckland scholarship recipientMark Ennis, Chief Executive Officer at AdviceFirst, says: “Alana is a very driven and inspirational young lady who wants to go that extra mile to help those suffering from IBS, to improve their quality of life.”

“I’m so thrilled to be awarded an AdviceFirst Auckland Regional Scholarship.  I suffer from IBS and understand first hand the problems it causes.  Through my online business, A Little Bit Yummy, I want to help others that have the condition, by making the Low FODMAP diet more simple and delicious for people to enjoy and follow,” says Alana.

“One in five New Zealanders suffer from gastrointestinal problems and research shows the Low FODMAP diet works – helping 70% of IBS sufferers symptoms’ disappear.  Unfortunately it’s incredibly complex and makes remaining on it feel impossible.”

“A Little Bit Yummy aims to help IBS sufferers control their symptoms of discomfort, pain and in some cases, depression, by removing the stress from the Low FODMAP diet, so they can simply follow and enjoy the tasty recipes featured.”

“The Scholarship will help fund improvements to the A Little Bit Yummy website, so that I can provide customers with meal planning services, an online shop, Low FODMAP friendly supplies, and within the next year, a door to door food delivery system.”

Passionate foodie receives AdviceFirst Regional Scholarship

Waikato food enthusiast, Vicki Ravlich-Horan is the regional recipient of the AdviceFirst Waikato Regional Scholarship, receiving $5000.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, the passionate foodie was selected from 47 other applicants from the Waikato, to receive an AdviceFirst Waikato Regional Scholarship.

Vicki has been awarded one of 12 Regional Scholarships across the country. Each Regional Scholarship recipient is awarded $5000 to ‘do their thing’, and AMP will provide an additional top up of up to $5,000 to one of the Regional Scholarship recipients at the AMP Scholarships National Awards evening on 4 December.

Mark Ennis, Chief Executive Officer, at AdviceFirst says: “Vicki has a very impressive background in the hospitality industry and we admire the drive and passion she has provided to help generate recognition for the great work this region contributes to the food industry.”

“I want to see the Waikato celebrated as one of NZs best food regions so I’m thrilled to be awarded the AdviceFirst Waikato Regional Scholarship. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to create an organisation that can help the Waikato food businesses grow, flourish and promote the region further,” says Vicki Ravlich-Horan.Waikato scholarship recipient

“Having worked in the hospitality industry for many years, I sold my business five years ago to set up a local magazine. My days are now spent talking to people in the food industry - from cafes and restaurants, to producers and the public.”

“Soon after I set the magazine up, I realised many of the struggles I faced as a business were shared by others, and it seemed so much time and money was wasted by people making the same mistakes. I also discovered the Waikato, a place I love, is often overlooked as a food producing region with world class restaurants, so I want the world to know that this region is amazing!”

“In September last year, I held a public meeting to gain support and elect a committee for Waikato Food Inc. We have since set ourselves up as an incorporated society and are about to publish a Waikato Dining Guide.”

“The Waikato Dining Guide is going to be a great publication. As well as promoting the region, it will help local businesses grow and up-skill themselves in the industry.”

“The money received from the AdviceFirst Waikato Regional Scholarship will be put towards hiring staff and creating a website that will inform our members, and those wanting to learn about food in the Waikato.”

Ennis concludes: “We’re delighted the $5000 AdviceFirst Waikato Regional Scholarship will be put to good use with a person whose values of passion, hard-work and determination aligns with that of our team.”

Announcing our AdviceFirst Canterbury Scholarship recipient

Cantabrian dancer Olivia Russell is the recipient of the AdviceFirst Canterbury Regional Scholarship, receiving $5000 towards her Dance Outreach NZ business, a dance company for the Christchurch community with a focus on the elderly and the disadvantaged. Olivia was selected from 43 other applicants across Canterbury.

Mark Ennis, AdviceFirst Chief Executive Officer, says: “Olivia has been a dancer since the age of four and her passion has never wavered. Now she wants to support her community here in Christchurch through her Dance Outreach programme. We look forward to watching her move this dream forward.”

Olivia RussellOlivia Russell says: “I believe that establishing a dance company and providing Kiwi dance students a place to gain the experience required for the profession would help keep more of New Zealand’s talent here on our home turf.  Through Dance Outreach NZ, our community will receive world class performances, classes and scholarships for further training.”

“I’m thrilled to receive the AdviceFirst Canterbury Regional Scholarship and will use the money towards providing a theatre venue to launch Dance Outreach NZ into the community.”

“Dance gave me hope, life, love and focus through a traumatic childhood. I believe it can do the same for so many and I will not rest until I see that made possible,” says Olivia. “The money received from the scholarship will be put towards furthering that dream.”

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