HomeNewsUCOL Te Pūkenga and THINK Hauora introduce Rainbow Health Scholarship

UCOL Te Pūkenga and THINK Hauora introduce Rainbow Health Scholarship

By UCOL on Friday, 19 January 2024

Rainbow Health Scholarship

THINK Hauora and UCOL Te Pūkenga are proud to announce the first Rainbow Health scholarship for ākonga who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community and are studying in an area of health, excluding nursing.

Vicky Brown, THINK Hauora's Service Manager of Primary Mental Health and Addiction service Te Ara Rau at THINK Hauora, attended a 'Business After 5' event in 2023 and was inspired after hearing Mel Meates share their lived experience and announcement of the UCOL x Te Whatu Ora MidCentral Rainbow Nursing scholarship.

"After hearing that MidCentral could come to the party for a scholarship aimed at LGBTQIA+ ākonga, I thought that would be a fantastic opportunity for THINK Hauora to offer a scholarship and capture rainbow ākonga studying other health subjects that often lead into primary healthcare."

"Within our Te Ara Rau umbrella of services, THINK Hauora has a gender affirming care programme called 'The Tūturu Service: True to your authentic self', which ties in directly with this scholarship. One of our kaimahi within this service is trans and is also an ex-UCOL student who was very aware of the gap in available financial support for LGBTQIA+ ākonga," Ms Brown explains.

Megan Smith, ex-UCOL Scholarships Coordinator now THINK Hauora Communications Manager, says that by having this scholarship available specifically for rainbow ākonga of health subjects, it is the first of its kind in Aotearoa.

"It was important to THINK Hauora that an opportunity was provided for all the other rainbow ākonga studying health subjects in the same way MidCentral created an opportunity for the Bachelor of Nursing ākonga with UCOL Te Pūkenga.

"These ākonga will become our future workforce, and it's so important that our minority populations see themselves in those who are caring for them – it comes back to representation. We are thrilled to be able to support ākonga in this way, and hopefully other health providers around the country can be inspired by these scholarships that have been developed here in the MidCentral district and look to create their own rainbow scholarships too," she says.

"Due to range of courses this scholarship covers we decided it would be best to split the scholarship in half and run two rounds to capture ākonga in both semesters. This means UCOL Te Pūkenga will award $1,500 in semester one and again in semester two."

The first scholarship round will open on Thursday 1 February and close on Friday 8 March 2024. Visit UCOL Te Pūkenga Scholarships for more information and the application form.