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Top Toihoukura student awarded prestigious scholarship

November 23, 2018

Ruanuku Top Student scholarship winner Sophia Klinge with arts patron Dr Jack Richards (left) and Toihoukura Ahorangi/Professor Derek Lardelli at the end of year celebration exhibition last night.

The top 10 students at EIT’s School of Māori Visual Arts and Design were given an extra hand up in the form of scholarships from arts patron and educator Dr Jack Richards.

Nine received scholarships and the prestigious Jack Richards Ruanuku Top Student award for 2018 went to Sophia Klinge.

Sophia came to Gisborne from Auckland because she wanted to learn about Aotearoa from a Māori perspective. Sophia is of German and Samoan descent and moved to New Zealand when she was 16 because her mother was missing her home.

As part of the scholarship, Dr Richards will buy one of her works for the Gisborne Museum’s collection.

She was thrilled with the award which she said would be a big help towards completing her honours at Toihoukura next year.

Toihoukura Ahorangi (Professor) Derek Lardelli paid a tribute to Dr Richards for his support for the school for nearly 25 years. It had allowed Toihoukura to grow and helped fuel the passion of students studying there.

Dr Richards said he had first discussed the scholarships with inaugural tutor Sandy Adsett and it had been a pleasure to build on it.

“Every time I come to Gisborne I see the results that continue to flourish,” he said.