The Ria McBride Public Service Award helps women currently working in the New Zealand Public Service to progress their career aspirations through tertiary study.

The Award

One award of up to $15,000 to pursue tertiary study.

Key dates

Applications open Thursday1 April 2021 and close on Monday 31 May 2021. Late applications and/or supporting documents will not be accepted. The recipient of the 2021 Award will be advised in June 2021.

About Ria McBride

The Ria McBride Public Service Award honours the first woman appointed Chief Clerk of the Public Service Commission. Ria McBride worked for the Public Service Commission from 1946 to 1960 overcoming prejudice and obstacles as a woman in a then male domain. She was the first non-Māori to be appointed to the Māori Welfare Division of the Māori Affairs Department, serving as Administration Officer from 1960 to 1967, when she became head of the Housing Division.

Upon her ‘retirement’ in 1970, Ria McBride pursued equal employment opportunities for women, as a founder member of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. In this role she helped set up the Accident Compensation Commission. From 1978 to 1980 she was one of the first full-time Human Rights Commissioners.

About the Ria McBride Public Service Award

The Ria McBride Public Service Award is sponsored by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and is administered by the Leadership Development Centre (LDC).

The aim of the award is to help women currently working in the New Zealand Public Service to progress their career aspirations through tertiary academic study. The spirit of the award is to support women who demonstrate personal fortitude and leadership potential, and who generally haven’t had the opportunity or means to pursue or complete tertiary study. This lack of formal qualifications may have prevented such applicants from progressing their leadership contribution to the Public Service.

The recipient of the 2021 Award will receive funding up to $15,000 for study purposes to use over a five-year period.

The funds are be used to pursue study which supports the recipient’s potential to progress professionally and make a leadership contribution within the Public Service. The recipient is expected to pursue study leading to a recognized and reputable qualification, as appropriate to their circumstances.

The recipient may use the award for either a brief period of intensive study, or over an extended period provided she remains employed by a core NZ Government department or departmental agency.

The funds may be used for study fees and to cover study-related expenses such as:

  • transport costs
  • costs associated with disabilities
  • childcare

Who can apply?

The Ria McBride Award is open to women who are current employees of a core New Zealand Government department or departmental agency as listed on the Te Kawa Mataaho website.

An applicant must be a woman, a citizen of Aotearoa New Zealand and be currently living in New Zealand.

The spirit of the award is to help women who demonstrate personal fortitude and leadership potential, who generally haven’t had the opportunity or means to pursue or complete tertiary study.

  • Māori and Pacific women and women with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
  • Women pursuing a second chance at completing formal education are encouraged to apply.

Previous winners of a Ria McBride Award are not eligible to apply.

Supporting documents

In addition to a completed application form, applicants must provide:

  • a copy of their New Zealand birth certificate or current passport
  • a copy of their up-to-date CV
  • a letter from their agency’s Chief Executive or a senior leader supporting their application and study plans
  • contact details for two referees.

More information about these supporting documents will be available in the Ria McBride Award Application Form

Selection process

Applicants will be assessed on:

  • the quality of their application
  • their potential to honour the legacy of Ria McBride
  • evidence of leadership potential and commitment to making a leadership contribution to the New Zealand Public Service
  • return on investment for the New Zealand Public Service.

How to apply

Interested applicants who meet all of the eligibility criteria for the award should download and complete an application form, which will be available on the LDC website from 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021.

Completed applications and supporting documents must be received by the LDC before COB on 31 May 2021.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application before the end of June 2021.

Applications can be sent by email to info@ldc.govt.nz, or by post to:

LDC Ria McBride Award
Leadership Development Centre
Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission
PO Box 329
Wellington 6140

If you have any questions about this Award and/or your eligibility to apply, please email Kate Wakelin.

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