GFS (Girls Friendly Society) Pasifika Scholarship

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What does the scholarship get me?

Up to $12,000

Closing dates for applications

Next: 31 October 2022

31 October

Length of award

Up to three years with evidence of satisfactory results at the completion of each academic year.  

Number of awards offered

One per year.

Purpose of award

This scholarship is offered, via the Victoria University Foundation, to a current Victoria University of Wellington Pasifika student (New Zealand citizen or permanent resident) enrolled in their first or second year of tertiary study. 


Selection criteria

Applicants must be female, domestic Pasifika students under 25 years of age who are facing financial hardship.  Applicants must be currently enrolled at Victoria University of Wellington in their first year or second year of tertiary study.  Scholarship offers are conditional on the recipient being fully enrolled in the year of tenure. 

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?

Recipients are required to write a letter of thanks to the donors. Scholarships offers are conditional on recipients being fully enrolled at Victoria University in the year/s of tenure. 

How do students apply?

A completed online application must be submitted by 4.30 pm on the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Any required supporting documentation (including references) must also be received by 4.30 pm on the closing date in order for the application to be considered.
Applications will normally open one month prior to the closing date. If no application link is provided below, check back again closer to the closing date. Contact us if you have any queries.

How and when do students learn of the decision?

Confirmation will be received by January 

Decision makers

An interview panel will include representatives from the Girls’ Friendly Society, the Office of the AVC (Pasifika), and a representative from Victoria University. 

History or background of award

GFS (Girls’ Friendly Society) was founded in London in 1875 by Elizabeth Townsend, to provide support and skills training for girls who came from the country to work in the city.  The Society is non-sectarian but it is under the umbrella of the Anglican Church.

GFS was established in New Zealand in 1881 by Lady Jervois, wife of the Governor-General.  It grew to a network of branches throughout the country and specialised in the establishment of hostels  for young women living away from home. 

With changes in society all the hostels eventually closed.   Wellington is unique in New Zealand as it is the only GFS branch which retained the capital from the sale of property.  The invested capital now funds scholarships which  mirror the ideals of Elizabeth Townsend.

The Society’s scholarships are ‘means tested’ - aimed towards students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and refugees where a large student loan can often deter students from pursuing tertiary studies.

Additional information

The scholarship is comprised of up to $4,000 per year for three years. The $4,000 will be a contribution to course fees of $3,000 with an additional $1,000 for transport costs (subject to committee’s discretion) which is paid twice a year on evidence of receipts.

For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact

The Scholarships Office
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
+64 4 463 5557


Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently. The administrator of this record last updated this information in November 2020.