Successful Applicants

Successful Vic Davis Memorial Trust Scholarship and Grant Recipients

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Rebekah Doherty

Rebekah is from Gisborne and has strong family connections within the Eastern Bay of Plenty.   She received funds from the Vic Davis Trust for her 2017 and 2018 study for her study at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science.   The Trust continues to support her study towards her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2019.  Once that degree is achieved Rebekah’s intention is to undertake further study to specialise in Psychiatry and Maori Mental Health.   This has been a steadfast goal for Rebekah since 2014.   “My motivation to help those affected by mental disease continues to increase as I move through this degree.”

Jesse Wood

Jesse was born and raised in Whakatane, attended Trident High School was very active in local surf lifesaving.   Jesse was awarded a Vic Davis scholarship for his 2017 study at Victoria University, majoring in psychology and sociology and minoring in criminology.   His award for the 2018 academic year supported him in his honours year and this support continues for his 2019 study, for his master’s in forensic psychology, on his pathway to becoming a qualified clinical psychologist. Jesse continues to be an active volunteer, with Youthline, Manawa Ahi, Street City Church kids group and tutoring Maori and Pacifica university students, alongside his studies.

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Kimberley McClure

Kimberley has lived and worked in the Eastern Bay of Plenty since 1997.  She is a specialist social worker in the Child Development Service at Whakatane Hospital and has been an active community volunteer.  She is a long-time advocate for children and people with disabilities.   The Vic Davis Trust is pleased to support Kimberley’s 2019 study for the Post graduate Certificate in Health Sciences in Addiction and Co-existing Disorders through the University of Otago.   Once she has completed this training Kimberley is interested in establishing a project that addresses early intervention and support for pregnant women who have substance misuse problems.


Melissa Adam

Melissa is studying for her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology through University of Auckland, which she plans to complete by March 2021.   Her family are from Galatea.  
Melissa was a police officer in Tauranga, involving general duties and Youth Aid Officer role, from 2005 – 2015.   She then went back to university as a mature student.  “Having worked in the New Zealand Police for so long I witnessed first-hand the devasting consequences of abuse.   Many of the young people that I worked with in youth offending had terrible stories of neglect and abuse,” she says. “I hope that my research will contribute considerable improvements in dealing with sex offenders with the overall aim of increased protection and safety.”


Jan Hudson

Jan works as a counsellor/psychotherapist in Whakatane and has also worked as a palliative care nurse for Hospice.  She has lived in Whakatane since 1979 and, with her late husband, raised her children there.   Her Vic Davis scholarship in 2018 was to support her study through the Centre for Self-Leadership (USA) for the Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy Level One programme.   The Vic Davis Trust is pleased to be able to continue to support her study in 2019, for the Level Two programme. The Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) is a cutting-edge psychotherapy approach which is widely used internationally in the treatment of trauma as well as a wide range of other psychological issues.

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Taylor-Jane Cox

Taylor-Jane is studying for her Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy through University of Canterbury and the Vic Davis scholarship is to support her study in 2019.   Her study will examine the well-being and resilience of young rural men, chosen because they are a known at-risk group on one that is hard to reach both geographically and emotionally.  “The over-arching aim of my research is to develop a resilience-based intervention programme to prevent young male suicides in rural communities. To do this, an in-depth investigation is essential to identify the unique risk and protective factors that contribute to and protect against this cohorts’ choice to take their life.”  

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Noema Arnold

Noema was born and raised in Whakatane and has a strong passion for the area.   She is currently nursing in Tauranga, in the Mental Health service and primarily with young adults, with the hope of returning to Whakatane when she has achieved her academic goals and gained more experience in her chosen field of mental health.   Her 2019 study is for her first year of her Master of Nursing, specialising in Mental Health, through the University of Auckland.
“As a young Maori nurse, I recognise the importance of addressing the rising mental health issues within Aotearoa specifically for our youth and young adults within the Eastern Bay of Plenty.  My motivation is to empower young adults to live well and confidently despite the challenges they face due to mental health vulnerabilities.”

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Professor Julia Rucklidge

The Vic Davis Trust has supported Julia’s research, through the University of Canterbury, in the periods 2010 – 2012 and 2014 – 2016.   The trust is pleased to be able to continue this support for 2019.  
Anxiety disorders are a growing concern in the modern world. Not all people respond to medications and many cannot tolerate the side effects. Psychologically-based treatments can be expensive and difficult to access. Micronutrient interventions hold promise as an avenue that may be more cost effective and accessible. This study aims to establish, using randomized placebo-controlled methodology, whether zinc and vitamin B6 are an effective treatment for anxiety.    It will also explore a urinary biomarker believed to be associated with zinc and B6 depletion with the aim of establishing a low-cost screen and treatment for some people with anxiety.Participants for the research will be recruited via their GP throughout NZ.  


Lauren Bryce

Lauren’s scholarship from the Vic Davis Memorial Trust is to support the third and final year (2018) study for her Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology through Victoria University, and PhD in Psychology. She started PhD in 2014, her research having a strong focus on the mental health of young people and their families, with a specific focus on anxiety. She has presented at three conferences (2 of which were international) and also is active in tutoring and teaching. In 2017 she helped run an anxiety programme helping young people develop skills to better manage their anxiety. Lauren has a volunteer history with Presbyterian Support Services, Rape Crisis and more recently as a mental health support worker.  


Ruth Papuni

Ruth’s scholarship is for her 3rd year of study, in 2018, towards a Bachelor of Addiction Studies, through the Wellington Institute of Technology. Ruth grew up in Opotiki where she still has family. Her iwi affiliations are to Whakatohea and Tuhoe and her marae are Omarumutu and Opape. She began her career as a Nurse Aide then undertook her nurse training, becoming a registered Comprehensive Nurse. Ruth has been working in Mental Health and Addiction since 2011, including working with children and youth and taking on leadership roles. She has a particular interest in working with those who have co-existing issues. 


Julia Wikeepa

Julia has strong family connections to Whakatane, through her father. Her hapu is Ngati Pukeko and her marae is Poroporo. Her scholarship from the Vic Davis Memorial Trust is to support her 3rd year of study, in 2018, for a Bachelor of Social Sciences, double majoring in Psychology and Human Resource Management at University of Waikato. Julia has a strong interest in helping address issues of eating disorders and also in Maori mental health.   She is actively involved in volunteer work. Julia has been invited to join the University of Waikato Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society.    

Gillian Brebner

Gillian is a third-generation resident of the Eastern Bay of Plenty and is very active in the community and in her church.   She has been studying for her Bachelor of Counselling at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute and has received the Dean’s Letter of Commendation for excellent results.  Her scholarship is to support her third year of study in 2017.   Gillian’s goal is to complete her degree by the end of 2017 and seek a position in the field of counselling in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Hollie Oswald

Hollie lived in Whakatane for 19 years and was Head Girl at Trident High School in 2013. She has been heavily involved in community life and played a lot of sport at representative level, including representing NZ in volleyball.   After having completed her Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University in 2016 she received a Vic Davis Memorial Trust scholarship in 2017 to support her study in Auckland University’s Master of Social Work programme. She has also received a scholarship to support her 2018 study and she has chosen to specialise in working with youth, with the intention of returning to the Eastern Bay to work.

Siobhan Wilson

Siobhan was born and raised in Whakatane and after travelling, working and studying overseas she now works for the Bay of Plenty DHB and is based in Whakatane.   She first received a Vic Davis Memorial Trust scholarship in 2012 to support her in her study for her Post Grad Certificate in Health Science in Mental Health, through AUT.   The trust is pleased to support her further on-line post graduate study in 2017 in the field of sensory modulation and its application in every day practice.   “Study and ongoing education and knowledge acquisition are very important to me and my clinical practice,” states Siobhan.

Katharine Preston

A Vic Davis Trust recipient since 2014, Katharine is studying for doctorate in Clinical Psychology through Massey University, based at the Wellington campus. Katharine is from Ohope and travels from there for her study and placements. Her passion is to work with child and youth in the area of mental health, with an aim of reducing the incidence of child maltreatment in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.  The research Katharine is conducting within the doctoral programme works with high and complex needs child and youth. Katharine embarked on her study pathway eight years ago and has undertaken all her studies extramurally whilst working and raising her family.

Jessica Steadman

Jessica has strong family connections to the Eastern Bay of Plenty and has been involved in guiding and in volunteer work.  She received a Vic Davis post graduate scholarship for her 2016 and 2017 post graduate study and the Trust has also awarded her a scholarship for the 2018 year as she completes her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology through Massey University.   Her goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people by supporting healthy outcomes for them and their families/whanau. She has a double major in psychology and tikanga Māori, to support cross-cultural work.   She aims to contribute to the advancement of psychological knowledge through research, particularly with populations whose voice is often silenced or missing from research literature.

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Angela Sargent

Angela is currently in her final year of a 6-year study for adouble major in Law and Psychology at Victoria University.   She is interested in the neurobiological origins and causes of mental health and in the treatment of mental disorders and of those who are mentally impaired under NZ law.  She is particularly interested in impairments that arise from having schizophrenia or dementia. Her goal is to complete her Postgraduate Diploma of Clinical Psychology programme at Victoria University when she has graduated.   Angela's scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust is to support her 2016 study.

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Dr Giles Newton-Howes

The Trust will support the University of Otago’s Dr Newton-Howes work in 2016 to develop a novel intervention for early alcohol addiction in young people.  Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a major problem in NZ, made worse by a youth binge-drinking culture.   This research plans to review two existing data sets of personal accounts to generate a model of recovery, including factors that support and factors that limit recovery.  The aim is to develop a process to better support those young people with early stages of AUD and to inform/shape public policy.   At the centre of this approach is the need to support the individual to regain a state of control over their own life and the need for a collaborative approach.   The study will focus on factors that influence young, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.   Using robust qualitative methods and NZ specific data, it will synthesise the literature on personal experience and identify key themes from individual stories of recovery to better understand what helps individuals in their recovery and how to improve services to better meet their needs.   The process will also include a series of focus groups of young peoplewith emergent and developed AUD, service providers and addictions clinicians.   The intention is that improved interventions will radically alter the size of the AUD problem in NZ, bringing about significant personal developments as well as social and economic benefits to the country.   

Tiari Killeen-Townsend

Tiari is from Te Puke and was raised in Mount Maunganui. Actively involved in surf lifesaving competitions, volunteer life guarding and regional sports teams.  2016 is her third year at the University of Waikato studying towards Bachelors of Social Science majoring in Psychology.  Her long-term goal is to become a registered Psychologist and she has a particular interest in Maori mental health. She has aspirations to better the lives of those from lower socio-economic families and make a real contribution to mental health in NZ.   Her scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust is to support her 2016 undergraduate study.

Rachel Ross

While Rachel’s grant for 2016 is not for study or research in the conventional sense it does have the intention to make a difference to young people in terms of their understanding of mental health issues.   The purpose of the project is to provide a package, including a short film, as a free resource to schools, clinics and any entities or organisations that wish to use it.   The film follows 48 hours of a woman in her mid 20s, battling with anxiety.   Rachel is a successful film maker and wants her films to tell stories of hope, stories that are raw and real, that challenge people and that help bring about change. The film is being produced under the Opposable Thumb Films Trust and the Vic Davis Trust is one of a number of sponsors of this project.

Stacey ter Veer-Burke

Stacey has received her post graduate scholarship for 2016 to support her study  for her Master of Applied Psychology at the University of Waikato.   After she completes her thesis in March 2016 she will complete her Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) certification by way of an internship and additional psychology papers.  

Nicholas Allan

Nicholas is from Hawarden, a small rural town an hour north of Christchurch. A previous Vic Davis Trust recipient, Nic expects 2016 to be his final year of study for his Post graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology at Victoria University, and his scholarship is to support that study.  After this study he plans to work as a clinical psychologist, ideally with children, adolescents and their families and some time down the track he may complete a PhD, to contribute to the knowledge base regarding mental illness.   Nic’s masters thesis has focused on over-general memory and depression in youth, reflective of his strong interest in working with young people.  

Anne Doree

Anne has lived and worked in the Eastern Bay of Plenty for many years.   Her work over the last 25 years has been focused on the wellness of Women, Children and Families and is known for her work in complex cases involving families where children’s development has been interrupted by trauma.     Anne’s initial 2014 scholarship with the Vic Davis Trust was to support her training in the Watch, Wait and Wonder Intervention.    Her 2015 funding has supported her study towards a Post graduate diploma in the Practice of Psychology.   She has been pivotal is setting up the Whakatane-based Infant Health Network which aims to regularly update community expertise in supporting the social and emotional needs of families with infants.

Tamsin Eggleton

Tamsin was born and educated in Whakatane and her family still live there.   Her 2015 scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust was to support her completing her Master of Arts in Psychology. Her papers involve an emphasis on clinical psychology and the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of various mental health problems and her thesis research looks at tertiary education practices in order to see how they comply with treaty obligations and support Maori youth. In her spare time she provides academic support for young students with disabilities and mental health concerns. In the future she hopes to expand on her masters research to complete a PHD on the popular discourse surrounding depression in New Zealand.

Setareh Zareie

Setareh’s Vic Davis Trust scholarship for 2014 was to support her study for her Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, through the University of Waikato.  She has a specific interest in working in the field of neuropsychology and neuropsychological assessment, which involves working with individuals with neurological conditions or cognitive disorders such as brain injuries and dementia. While practicing as a psychologist and working directly with individuals who are suffering from mental health conditions, Setareh also aims to remain active in scientific research in order to continue contributing to the current knowledge. 

Amy Lovegrove

Amy was bought up in Whakatane and has strong connections to the area. She enrolled in the Post Grad Dip in Clinical Psychology at Victoria University in March 2010 and her scholarship with the Vic Davis Memorial Trust is to support her as she completes this study. Amy's master's thesis examines childhood obesity and how best to engage parents in combating this. She is also a volunteer for Samaritans. Once she has completed her study Amy intends to focus on child and family psychology.

Fiona Gibbons

Currently based in Hamilton, Fiona lived in Whakatane for 24 years and raised her children there. She is a registered practitioner of DAPAANZ (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association) and has a solid background in study. Fiona's work experience is evidence of a consistent commitment in working in the mental health field and her current study is towards a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Waikato University with the intention of completing her Masters, including social research within the mental health field

Amber Barry

Amber received a scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust to help her complete her training as a Clinical Psychologist. The eight years it takes to do this training has meant a challenging time for Amber financially, and she says "For this reason I am enormously grateful to the Trustees for this scholarship." The Clinical Psychologist training programme consists of practical clinical work, course work and a research thesis and Amber's plan is to graduate in 2011 and start to practice as a clinical psychologist.


Hannah Cleland

Hannah's 2010 scholarship was to support her in her 5th year at Waikato University, studying towards a Postgraduate diploma in Clinical Psychology, a qualification which is 7 years in total. "As a Clinical Psychologist I will have the role of assessing, diagnosing and treating individuals who have moderate to severe mental health concerns. My Master's thesis is currently looking at client's perspectives of the mental health services available in Cambridge, aiming to identify any gaps in service provision." Having a passion for young adults; Hannah plans to direct her career down the path of adolescent mental health treatment and promotion.

Neville Gibbons

Neville Gibbons

Neville is undertaking his Bachelor of Alcohol and Drug studies. He began the programme in 2009 and is due to complete his study by the end 2012. He undertook some training in the mental health field prior to this study. Whakatane born, Neville has a strong scouting background. He is currently working in the field of addiction counseling as well as doing his studies. "I am now focused on furthering these qualifications to enable me to become a better counselor and to gain more understanding in the addiction field," explained Neville. 
The Vic Davis Trust awarded a scholarship to Neville in 2010, 2011 and again for 2012

Linda Hart

Linda Hart

Linda Hart has undertaken her Bachelor of Counseling, at Bethlehem as an extra mural student. She has a strong guiding background and work history and experience in the field of mental health. Alongside her study she has continued to work part-time in this field to which she is totally committed. She received a scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust for the 2010 academic year


Dianne Hartemink

Dianne worked in the CYFS office in Whakatane before finding employment at Voyagers (Whakatane) in the mental health field. Her scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust in 2010 was to support her extra mural study through Massey to complete her Masters of Social Work including two papers, a research project (based in the Eastern Bay of Plenty) and fieldwork placement.

Fleur MacRae

Fleur MacRae

A Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy with The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy,UK; is Fleur MacRae's goal.  Play Therapy provides a safe and supportive framework for children to explore thoughts and feelings through the use of creative tools. For example: artistic mediums, clay, guided imagery, masks, movement, music, puppets, sandplay and storytelling. An early intervention with Play Therapy can reduce difficult behaviour and alleviate mental health difficulties by facilitating the development of emotional awareness and recognition of values, strengths and abilities. Play therapy is complete as a specialist service or as an essential part of a multi-disciplinary child and young persons' mental health team. The Vic Davis Trust awarded a scholarship to Fleur in 2010 and again in 2011

Janie de Malmanche

Janie de Malmanche

Janie has received a scholarship from the Vic Davis Memorial Trust to support her study in Otago Polytechnic's Master of Occupational Therapy, which she is doing as a distance based learner. Her plan is to complete her Masters by mid 2012. Her thesis research examines the value of the Kiwifruit Action Initiative (KAI - based in the Bay of Plenty) as perceived by those people with mental illness who have participated in it. Ongoing support from the trust will allow her to continue working only part time to allow for study time and parenting time. 
The Vic Davis Trust awarded a scholarship to Janie in 2010 and again in 2011

Maakere Marr

Maakere Marr

While working as a clinical social worker in community mental health in Auckland Maakere has also been completing her thesis for her Masters of Social Work. She is from Matata and much of her work has been in Auckland in the field of mental health, a field to which she has a strong commitment. 
The Trust supported her study in 2010

Harata Te Amo Simeon

Harata Te Amo Simeon

Whakatane born, Harata has a passion for this field of study and work and used her 2010 scholarship for her Bachelor in Social Work, through Te Wananaga o Aotearoa She is also in the process of establishing a Maori alternative Kura to meet adolescent needs and has goals extending past that. She has served on the Iwi Liaison Committee for the Whakatane District Council and is extensively involved in her community and marae. 
The Trust supported her study in 2010

Wiremu Simeon

Wiremu Simeon

Wiremu was born and raised in Whakatane and has been working for Mental Health and Addiction Services in Whakatane as a support worker, providing cultural support. He completed his Diploma in Social Work before applying to the Vic Davis Trust for a scholarship to support his Bachelor in Social Work studies through Te Wananaga o Aotearoa. Wiremu is very involved in his community, marae committees and with local youth. 
The Trust supported his study in 2010

Scarlett Teng

Scarlett Teng

Scarlett received a scholarship from the Vic Davis Trust to support her 2011 study for her Masters Degree in Mental Health Nursing via Auckland University. Scarlett works for Mental Health Services for Older People at Tauranga Hospital. Her study, based in the Bay of Plenty, aims to evaluate the information available to people looking after the mentally ill and to gain a perspective about what help these caregivers feel they need. She is also aiming to improve her drug related knowledge and the prescription of medication and its effects. Scarlett was successful in her application to the trust for further support for the 2012 academic year.

Dr Aaron Jarden

Dr Aaron Jarden

Vic Davis Memorial Trust funding to Dr Aaron Jarden and his colleagues for 2011 was to support the establishment of The International Journal of Wellbeing. The aim of this publication to establish an open access, interdisciplinary journal to further research on wellbeing and in particular positive approaches to mental health. This online journal will centralise a whole variety of research and disseminate that to many people. The journal is website based so cost will not be a problem for those who want to access it - there is no cost to submit articles or read any of the material. The journal was launched in January 2011 and the funds from the trust will specifically support the first year's copyediting, layout design and proofreading. The journal is well supported by collaborations with institutions who have invested heavily in the infrastructure. 
There are a number of media links relating to this work in the media releases section of this website. 
The Trust has provided further funding to this work for 2012.