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Inaugural Six60 Scholars announced

Monday 15 November 2021 1:38pm

2021 Six60 Scholars image
The inaugural recipients of the University of Otago Six60 Scholarship, (from left) TJ Zimba, Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu and Emily Kerr-Bell.

Four University of Otago students with a passion for music have been selected for the opportunity of a lifetime as part of a new partnership with one of New Zealand’s most well-known music groups.

TJ Zimba, Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu and Emily Kerr-Bell have been selected as the first recipients of the Six60 Scholarships, which were launched after the band purchased their iconic Castle Street property earlier this year.

The scholarships include a $10,000 rent rebate, as well as mentoring from the band and access to the University’s new recording studios.

The flat has traditionally been a melting pot of students throughout the country, and the inaugural Six60 Scholarship recipients are no exception. While they all have a passion for music, only two are studying towards a Music-related degree, with the other two undertaking a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Six60 guitarist Ji Fraser, who along with bass guitarist Chris Mac was on the scholarship interview panel, says the band was impressed by what the candidates produced throughout the process.

“They were all really technically gifted musicians, and we are stoked that we will be able to support them over the next 12 months,” Fraser says.

“To know that our flat will have a new creative energy running through it is something we’re pretty excited about and we can’t wait to see how each of the students progress next year.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Tony Ballantyne says the intake were part of an exceptionally talented group of candidates.

“We were very impressed with how they conducted themselves throughout the process, and we are looking forward to doing what we can to ensure they succeed in and out of the classroom,” he says.

“We believe the outstanding four chosen will represent both the University and Six60 with pride, and we look forward to following their journey.”

Professor Ballantyne also paid tribute to the band, both for the generosity of their support and for their deep engagement with the selection process.

“We have been delighted to work alongside Six60, and we see this as a fantastic beginning to what has already been a great partnership.”

For further information and interviews, contact:

Matiu Workman
Communications Advisor (Māori)
University of Otago
Tel +64 3 479 9139
Mob +64 21 279 9139