Nelson Soroptimist Education Trust


What does NSET do?

NSET empowers women by supporting their access  to tertiary education and training. 

We do this by awarding scholarships each year to women and girls who are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents living in the Top of the South Island (Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman). They must be facing financial hardship while undertaking or continuing tertiary education, training or an apprenticeship. 

The scholarships are funded by revenue from the hire of academic regalia to local graduates and graduate staff of academic institutions for formal occasions, such as graduation ceremonies, as well as for school prize-giving and individual photo shoots.  

Soroptimists International Nelson took over the Federation of Graduate Women’s academic regalia hire business in 2017 and the business has since grown, boosting income and the number of scholarships awarded.


How do we raise the funds?

Most of our funds come from the Academic Regalia Hire business, which involves maintaining, organising and hiring out the graduate gowns. The gowns are hired out for formal occasions such as graduation ceremonies,  school prize-giving and individual photo shoots.


What else does the Trust do?

Additional functions of the Trust are to:

Manage the Trust’s capital investments prudently.

Monitor the funding process to ensure it is meeting the varying needs of women who face barriers in accessing quality education and employment opportunities.

Recognise and celebrate the achievements of scholarship recipients.

Oversee the work of the Trust sub-committees, namely the Academic Regalia Hire Committee and the Awards Committee.

Work in partnership with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology – Te Pūkenga (NMIT) to deliver academic regalia hired by staff and students.

• Collaborate with schools and other tertiary education and training providers throughout the region to provide academic regalia for use at their prize-giving and graduation ceremonies.

Honour the vision of Graduate Women International which was founded in 1919 to advocate for gender equity in higher education, and the core values of Soroptimist International. NSET builds on the work and resources of the former Nelson Branch of the Federation of Graduate Women. 


Current Trustees of the Trust

Joy Oakly, Chair

Wendy Logan QSM

Mary Gavin QSO

Sandy Stephens, MNZM

Caroline Henderson, Web manager

Megan Ward, Secretary

Belinda Curtis-Sullivan, Treasurer