Scholarship recipient Awatere Douglas.

Rotorua local Awatere Douglas received the Sudima Hotels and Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board Scholarship in its inaugural year, back in 2014. Now he works as Hotel Duty Manager and Group Cultural Ambassador at Sudima Lake Rotorua and is eager to get more locals and members of his iwi involved.

“A lot of young people don’t know what they want to do when they finish school, it can be difficult to choose a career path, let alone know what scholarships like this are on offer,” said Awatere Douglas.

“I want to let others in my community know that there are great opportunities out there waiting for them. This scholarship opens a lot of doors for a school leaver, providing the opportunity to fast-track a career they may have not thought possible.”

Douglas said that hiring locally also helps the industry, as it’s the locals who have the deepest knowledge of the area.

“Hiring locally is great because after all, it’s our locals who know Rotorua and its history best, and our employees’ cultural knowledge is what makes our guests’ experience all the more special.”

The Ngati Whakaue Scholarship is designed to help young Maori students find a path in the hotel industry. As part of the scholarship, graduates will have the chance to be part of an internship programme at Sudima Hotels, where the trainees will get to experience a variety of departments in the hotel industry, from the front desk to sales and marketing.

For Ngati Whakaue descendants interested in studying a Diploma in Hotel Management, Diploma in Hospitality Management, or a Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management, applications for the 2018 Ngati Whakaue Scholarship are open now and close on November 4.