Myanmar refugee wins Wintec’s Gordon Chesterman Scholarship

Issue: Volume 95, Number 6

Posted: 11 April 2016
Reference #: 1H9d1B

Myanmar refugee and Wintec Bachelor of Applied Information Technology student, Phyu Phyu Lwin Kyaw, has been awarded Wintec’s Gordon Chesterman Scholarship.

Phyu Phyu, 27, fled to Malaysia in 2008, leaving behind her widowed mother, before being resettled in New Zealand in 2013.

She spoke just some English when she arrived in New Zealand. She says this, along with being away from her family, was one of her biggest challenges. To help her improve her communication, she enrolled in Wintec’s English language programme and now speaks fluent English.

Having already completed a Bachelor of Computer Science in her home country, Phyu Phyu was keen to pursue that field of study further and in 2015, enrolled in Wintec’s Bachelor of Applied IT.

“I know that job opportunities are good in this field and although I already have a background in computing, the education system is very different in Myanmar."

“My dream job is to become a web developer and I would love the chance to contribute my skills here in New Zealand as it now feels like home."

“This scholarship will change my life. It’s given me the confidence and encouragement that I need to push through and finish my studies.”

Gordon Chesterman, who formally presented Phyu Phyu with the award last month, said he was impressed with her passion for the industry as well as her contribution to the community and leadership qualities that are evident in her many volunteer and community roles.

“She’s hard working, committed and intelligent and the organisations she has worked and volunteered for, including Red Cross and Burmese Community Radio, demonstrate her strong social and environmental ethic.”

The scholarship, worth up to $15,000, was presented to Phyu Phyu during Wintec’s Centre for Business, IT and Enterprise Special Awards last month.

It’s offered annually in recognition of the significant contribution made by former Wintec chair Gordon Chesterman and is awarded on the basis of academic merit, personal character and community involvement. All students enrolled in Wintec’s School of Media Arts or Centre for Business, IT and Enterprise are eligible to apply.

Gordon Chesterman was chair of the Wintec Council for more than 10 years and is currently Hamilton’s deputy mayor. He is a strong advocate for Wintec’s School of Media Arts as well as for the business and arts community.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:04 pm, 11 April 2016

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