For those of you who missed it, the NZ Herald recently wrote a wonderful piece on Dr Mataroria Lyndon, a clinical fellow at Ko Awatea, who is off to do amazing things at Harvard University in Boston. Mataroria was one of three winners in this year’s Rose Hellaby Awards – a fund established by the late Rose Hellaby to celebrate and support Māori education. Mataroria will receive $30,000 to go towards his master’s degree in public health at Harvard and while we wish him well on his journey, we also look forward to the day he returns. Also receiving an award was Dr Marinus Stowers an Orthopaedic Registrar and Research Fellow at Ko Awatea.
I’m incredibly proud of Mataroria and Marinus and their passion and drive for improving Maori Health in their communities. They are both great examples of our future leaders and strong advocates of our ‘Grow our Own programme’, which encourages more Maaori and Pacific people to consider health as a career.
Harvard, ‘Maori spice’ in the mix
Written by Vaimoana Tapaleao – New Zealand Herald’s Pacific Affairs and People reporter
Making a difference in Maori health and pushing to get more young Maori into medicine has led one young doctor to the steps of Harvard.
And Dr Mataroria Lyndon hopes to learn as much as he can from some of the world’s top health professionals and add some “Maori spice” to the mix to help in his homeland.
Dr Lyndon – who hails from Ngati Hine, Ngati Whatua and Waikato – was born and raised up north before his family moved to South Auckland and he went to Tangaroa College.
Last night the 29-year-old was named one of three winners in this year’s Rose Hellaby Awards and will get $30,000 towards funding his masters degree in public health at the prestigious American Ivy League university in Boston.
“I don’t want to be one of those ones who goes and never comes back,” he laughed.
“There’s so much that needs to be done in my own community, my own whanau and iwi.
It’s really about going over to Harvard and seeing what the different ideas and strategies are … learning what they’re doing, their ways of improving health and then bringing it back here.
“It’s about adding a bit of Maori spice to it and bringing it back home.”
Dr Lyndon works as a clinical fellow for Ko Awatea, at Middlemore Hospital and holds a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery from the University of Auckland. He is due to finish his PhD in medicine (medical education) within four weeks. That doctorate degree focused on the motivation behind Maori and Pasifika medical students choosing to become doctors.
He said for many non-Maori and Pacific students, their reasons for getting into medicine were based on an interest in the sciences or wanting to help the community. “Whereas for Maori and Pacific [students], it was very much about trying to help their whanau, either because of the health problems they have within their family or because of the role models that they’ve seen.”
The Rose Hellaby Awards, set up with the Maori Education Trust and Perpetual Guardian in 1977 to help Maori education, have distributed $3.79 million to students since.
Other winners announced last night were Victoria University’s Natasha Bukholt and Marinus Stowers, of Auckland University.
Dr Lyndon said he was grateful to be given a chance by a programme that was created specifically to encourage young Maori to better themselves.
“It’s been awesome being able to set that path.”
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