Michaela Challis, Matamata

“My goal is to gain a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in photography, film and video at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. The curriculum includes internship, field work, student exhibitions and studio research. I want to achieve excellence in this field of study so I can become involved in the New Zealand film and television industry,” says Challis.

The Year 13 student at Matamata College is confident of being accepted into the prestigious degree course in 2009. She was the top ranked Year 12 photography student at her school last year, instigated the Visual Arts committee at the College and recently received an Arts Waikato Scholarship to assist in her future studies.

The Mazda Foundation grant along with her Arts Waikato Scholarship and her own savings will cover the costs of the degree and assist with living expenses in Auckland.

Vanessa Cruse, photography teacher at Matamata College believes Michaela has the ability to excel at whatever she puts her mind to. “Michaela has consistently displayed an exceptional work ethic and has a relaxed and open learning style. Her ability to problem solve and communicate her ideas through visual language is outstanding.