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Lauren Assink (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Scottish, Dutch) - 2008


posted by Alastair McLean on 4 April 2012

Lauren Assink was a Te Apa Māreikura inaugural award winner in 2008.

Lauren had decided to become a pharmacist after considering physical education and physiotherapy as careers. She was looking forward to completing her fourth year of study at the end of 2009, before doing a year-long internship as a requirement for registering as a pharmacist.

Lauren planned to be the first of her immediate family to complete university and said the scholarship meant a lot to her, given she was just getting through by spending her summer holidays working to offset her fees and then relying on a ‘very supportive mother and father’. The scholarship helped her with her fees, allowing her to focus more on her studies, without financial restraints.

The Whakatane High School old girl also praised her college in preparing her well for university life. She left Whakatane with numerous academic and sporting achievements, a love of science and a desire to make a difference in health.

Looking back on her Te Apa Māreikura achievement, Lauren said it was definitely an integral part in furthering her career development.

‘I completed my Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Otago, and successfully completed my internship to gain registration in the profession. I am now a registered clinical pharmacist currently working towards a post graduate certificate endorsed in medicines management.

‘Winning the tohu was an extremely memorable experience and certainly propelled me forward into my career. 

‘Financially it was a massive help, allowing me to complete my studies, find balance in my life and enter a career that is challenging but extremely rewarding. From here, I hope to further my skills in clinical pharmacy and use the knowledge to make a difference to our people.

‘It is with gratitude that I give recognition to the memory of Anne Delamere, Bill Katene, Denis Simpson and Rongowhakaata Wi Repa.  Their dedication and the lasting impression each left on Māori health serves as inspiration to us all.’