NEW HORIZONS FOR
WOMEN TRUST (INC.)
Media Release 9 April 2001
APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR WOMEN’S STUDY AWARD
“A fantastic opportunity for Public Service women to advance their learning.” That’s how Sharon Nelson-Kelly describes
the Ria McBride Public Service Management Award, which she won last year. Application material for the 2001 award is now
available and Sharon, a middle manager in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, is keen to encourage
Public Service women to apply.
“I realised that formal management training was necessary if I was to advance my career”, says Sharon. Now enrolled in
the Advanced Management Programme at the Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne, Sharon is considering taking the study
further and working towards the Executive MBA.
"There is absolutely no way I could have afforded this management programme without winning the $12,000 award and
receiving assistance from my employer", says Sharon. “The award provided me with an opportunity to discuss management
issues across a variety of organisations from around the world and to develop more strategic leadership and change
Sharon, who has Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu affiliations, began her career as a frontline social worker in
Napier. As one of a few Maori managers in an organisation where 45 percent of clients are Maori, Sharon sees the skills
gained from the management training as essential to meeting several of her personal goals. "My immediate focus is to
assist in the development of organisation-wide strategies to improve outcomes for Maori. In the longer term I would like
to be the first Maori chief executive of Child, Youth and Family."
Sharon competed with women from a number of Public Service departments around the country for the inaugural Ria McBride
Public Service Management Award in 2000. It was sponsored by the State Services Commission to honour Ria McBride, a
long-time public servant who began her career in the 1940s. Miss McBride achieved several 'firsts' as a woman in the
Public Service and was a strong campaigner for equal employment opportunities for women. She died in 1999.
The State Services Commission is offering the award this year and again in 2002. It reflects the Commission's desire to
encourage more women into senior management in the Public Service. The award is administered by the New Horizons for
Women Trust, which each year funds both education opportunities for mature women students and research on women's
Open to women employees of Public Service departments, the award is targeted at women who show potential for promotion
to higher-level management. Applicants must have the support of their chief executive. Women interested in applying
should contact the CE's office in their department. Details of the award and information on how to apply can also be
obtained from the State Services Commission's website at:
Applications close on 31 July.
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