Governance NZ

Vera Halligan Trust Study Grant

2023 Applications Close 31 October.



Applications are now open for the 2023 Vera Halligan Trust Study Grant.


The Vera Halligan Trust provides grants of up to $2,000 to recipients who ordinarily reside in Canterbury, other than for the purpose of study to:

  • A person who is studying full or part-time for any management, business or accounting degree or diploma;
  • A person who has worked or practised in the business management or accounting field for a period of less than two years; and/or
  • A person who is enrolled in the Governance New Zealand International Chartered Governance Programme studying towards gaining Associate Membership

The Trustees are looking to make up to one award in 2023 of $2,000.

How to apply

All applications should be emailed to Sandra Cohen at Governance New Zealand ( and include:

  • Covering letter containing your contact details, your current course of study, and future study plans
  • Brief CV (2 pages)

Applications are particularly welcome from persons who can demonstrate hardship of a financial or personal nature.

Application process

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a short interview with one or more of the Vera Halligan Trust Trustees (on 6 November 2023). Applicants will be advised of their results personally during the week commencing 13 November 2023 and the Grant will be presented to the successful recipient at the AGM of the Canterbury Branch of Governance New Zealand on Friday 24 November 2023.

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2023.

2022 Vera Halligan Trust Award Recipient

Kate McIlroy

Kate is a student at the University of Canterbury currently studying a Master of Applied Finance and Economics. Kate was born and raised on a farm outside of Ashburton and has lived in Christchurch since starting university in 2020. Kate was encouraged to apply for the Vera Halligan Trust Grant as it would provide financial support for her post-graduate studies.

Kate says she ‘was honoured to the recipient in 2022, not only winning the award but being introduced to the world of corporate governance. I have met so many amazing people within Governance New Zealand! In terms of my future plans, I am beginning my post-university life in a Grad role at KPMG with the deal advisory team in February 2024’.

Kate McIlroy (2nd from left) with Canterbury Branch Committee members Dr Denis Mowbray, Jodie Flowerday, Kate Reid and President Julie Hardaker

2020 Vera Halligan Trust Award Recipient

James McPherson

This year’s recipient, twenty-year-old James McPherson, has lived in Canterbury all of his life, growing up on a farm in Leeston, just outside of Christchurch.

He is currently completing his Bachelor of Commerce at Lincoln University majoring in accounting and finance which he is due to finish at the end of the year. Following graduation, he plans to return to Lincoln University to study his Masters in Agribusiness. Once his studies are complete, James intends to pursue a career as a chartered accountant employed in farm advisory services working closely with the agricultural sector he is so passionate about.

James says that he is extremely honoured to be presented with the Vera Halligan Trust Award and added that, “In a practical sense it has added insight into the corporate governance world which interests me highly and I wish to be a part of.”

2019 Vera Halligan Trust Award Recipient

Levana Jackson

Lincoln University student and busy mum of three, Levana Jackson, is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in accounting and finance.

“I am very honoured to receive this award and have all my hard work recognised,” says Levana, “Financially it is a huge help as my husband and I have three children ranging in age from 8-13 years.”

Although Levana’s main job currently is being a mum to her three children, she also works part time in the University Library as well as marking tests and exams, mainly for the Introduction to Commercial Law course. She has been involved with the Lincoln Primary School PTA for many years in various roles and has now undertaken the treasurer's position. She grows hedging plants to help fund her studies and has previously worked on the Autism New Zealand Holiday Programme.

Levana says her dream job would combine the skills she has learnt at University with her life experience and her interest in business and property. Once the children have grown up, she hopes to complete her Chartered Accountant qualification.

Levana was presented with her certificate at the 2020 Canterbury AGM by Board Member Rosanne Hawarden FCG (pictured right)

View gallery of past Vera Halligan Trust Study Grant recipients

History of the Trust

Percy Halligan was a long-standing Fellow and Canterbury Branch Chairman who passed away in 1997. His widow, Vera Halligan who passed away in 1999, made a significant bequest to honour her husband and the organisation which had been important to both of them for so many years. Their own memories of financial hardship while Percy was a student of our organisation prompted her to leave a bequest to provide financial support for tertiary students living in the Canterbury area though the Vera Halligan Trust.