Freemasons Scholarship recipients 2020

09 Sep, 2020
Freemasons Scholarship recipients 2020

The Freemasons Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for AUT students to get financial support for their study. Available to AUT students who are active in their involvement in the community, the deadline for applications is 1 October.

Offered annually, there are two types of scholarships:

  • The University Scholarships (award value of $6,000), are available for students entering their final year of a full-time course of study for a Bachelor degree or Bachelor degree with Honours.
  • The Postgraduate Scholarship (award value of $10,000), are available for students studying full-time in a postgraduate qualification including a Postgraduate Diploma, Masters degree or Doctoral degree.

Meet the two AUT students who received the 2020 awards:

Joshua Iosefo, recipient of the Freemasons Postgraduate Scholarship

Joshua Iosefo is in his final year of his Master of Philosophy in Communication Studies. His research looks at the idea of Pasifika queer lineage, where he explores experiences, stories and relationships shared by him and his aunty, who both identify as queer.

Two years ago, Joshua founded Odd Family, an artist collective made up of storytellers who raise awareness of mental health in the LGBTQI+ Pasifika community through theatre and film.

Joshua says this Freemasons Postgraduate Scholarship will allow him to continue a project that is close to his heart. “The scholarship has definitely helped me meet my needs, but in terms of the research that I’m doing, part of that is writing a film script. I really want to make that script into a film, so I’m hoping with the funds I’ll be able to contribute to that project.”

No stranger to the scholarship process, this is Joshua’s fourth scholarship since he began his studies five years ago. Although he’s submitted many applications that were not successful, he encourages everyone to give it a go because it’s incredibly rewarding when you do get it. “The worst answer you can get is no, and the best is yes. Try to switch your mindset to believe you are worthy, capable and qualify and just go for it.”

Olaf Wrieden, recipient of the Freemasons University Scholarship

Fourth year computer science and business student Olaf Wrieden has always been interested in entrepreneurship and creating innovative solutions to real world problems. Over the past few years, he has worked on several start-up ideas and also volunteered as a Peer Mentor at AUT. In 2018 he was brought on as the lead software engineer for Save Nemo Foundation, a project focused on deploying ‘smart’ mooring buoys to measure the impacts of climate change in some of our world’s worst affected regions. This earned them the Google Social Impact Challenge Award that year.

Currently completing a year-long internship with Microsoft, he has been driving innovative cloud strategies with universities to help them become future ready and industry-aligned.

Olaf says, “the Freemasons University Scholarship has been a great help financially, but it’s also fantastic to be recognised for this impact I’m trying to create and evolve over time”.

He encourages everyone to just go for it and apply, as there are a lot of scholarships and opportunities out there. “Don’t limit yourself by thinking it’s not for you, just apply. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Selection criteria

Applicants for the scholarships must:

  • Have a good academic record
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or hold a permanent New Zealand residency
  • Demonstrate good citizenship
  • Show leadership potential
  • Have proven community commitment

Applicants do not need:

  • A family association with the Freemasonry is not a criterion for the award of a scholarship.

For further information and to apply, visit AUT’s Scholarships page and enter the keyword “Freemasons” in the search box.