The Trust was established in 1965 with funds from both the government and the public. Since then, net income earned from investments has been used to award up to fifteen Churchill fellowships each year. There are also Winston Churchill Memorial Trusts in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Sir Winston Churchill believed that world peace and greater international understanding could be promoted through ordinary people travelling to other countries and experiencing other cultures. In his honour, the Memorial Trust assists New Zealanders to travel overseas to learn and to investigate topics that will help them to increase their contribution to the community and their trade, industry, profession or business. In 2012, the Trust received a generous donation from Sir James and Lady McNeish, who wanted to encourage promising young writers and journalists to travel and live in other cultures. A McNeish Writer’s Fellowship will give promising writers a unique opportunity and launching pad for their careers. The first of these was offered in 2013 for travel in 2014.
Patron of the New Zealand Trust is His Excellency Lieutenant General The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand. Every two years the Governor-General hosts an award ceremony for Fellows who have recently completed their Fellowship. The latest event was held on October 3rd.
The Trust Board encourages applicants from all sectors, regions and cultures, and is keen to encourage more applications from beyond the three largest New Zealand cities. When developing their proposals and planning their itinerary, applicants for Fellowships are encouraged to think about the learning potential from cultures not only in Europe or North America but in the Pacific and Asia. The aim is that a variety of New Zealanders from all walks of life may bring back with them new insights and understanding that will enrich their community and New Zealand as a whole.
Churchill Fellowships are intended for overseas travel between three weeks and three months in duration, and are awarded in the year immediately after the year of application. Fellowships are granted for travel outside New Zealand only. Short courses which form part of an eligible project may also be considered.
Winston Churchill and Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship applications close on 31 July each year. The Board places great importance on the benefits of the project to New Zealand. Applicants must therefore state clearly what the benefit will be, and how they are qualified to discover and promote that benefit.
The Trust will make a contribution to the all-inclusive costs of travel of successful applicants, who are expected to meet not less than 20 percent of the total estimated costs, and to contribute more if they are able. While consideration will be given for Fellowships of up to $10,000, the average is from $5000 to $7000.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of New Zealand is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, 46 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington 6011, N.Z, email address [email protected]
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