Waikato students perform at Himalayan Trust Gala Dinner

19 July 2019

Eight students performed at the Himalayan Trust Gala Dinner this week – an event which commemorated our greatest New Zealand hero, his remarkable achievements, his spirit of adventure, his humility, and his “can-do” attitude to helping others.

The fundraising event, at The Cordis Hotel in Auckland, is one of many commemorations happening this month to celebrate Sir Ed’s centenary. The Himalayan Trust event also raised funds to enable the trust, which was founded by Sir Ed, to continue its important work in the Everest region.

Hillary Scholar Isabella MacDonald says the fundraising event was a great opportunity to give back to the community.

“As part of the Hillary programme, we learn how important it is to give back to the community. Sir Ed was a great example of that from the work he did in the Everest region and it was a real privilege to contribute to his work which is still continuing today.”

The Waikato University has had a long connection with Sir Ed with our Hillary Scholarship being born out of a conversation between the University and Sir Ed himself.

Greg O'Carroll says the association with the Himalayan Trust means a lot to the Hillary Scholars given its role and connection to Sir Ed himself:

“It was outstanding to see, and hear, the involvement of  Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars at the Gala Dinner. Over several years Hillary Scholars past and present have made a significant contribution to the Himalayan Trust. Not only through their fundraising efforts, but also through establishing awareness of what the trust is achieving.

“I have no doubt that Sir Ed himself would be pleased with their efforts.”

Congratulations to the following students who performed at the event:

Brothers (voices): Emmanuel, Laauli, Jordan and Faamanu Fuimaono (vocalists), Tayla Alexander (vocalist), Fergus Byett (piano and Hillary Scholar), Maia-Dean Martin (violin), Isabella MacDonald (cello and Hillary Scholar), Isabella MacDonald (cello).

And a thank you to Francis Cowan (official accompanist for University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music).

Latest stories

Related stories

Ally Wollaston with a gold medal at the UCI Nations Cup track competition in Jakarta.

Three golds for cyclist Ally Wollaston

University of Waikato law student and Hillary Scholar Ally Wollaston has returned to New Zealand…

Award-winning soprano and Waikato alumna is branching out into the world

With one of her recent achievements on home soil having been the runner up at…

Callum Saunders

Waikato athletes in Birmingham

Thirteen University of Waikato students and alumni will be competing in this year’s Commonwealth Games…

Bethany Angus

Lucrative scholarships support University of Waikato graduates overseas

Bethany Angus, Felicity Tomkins and Gracie Francis have been awarded the Kia Ora Foundation Patricia…

Former Hillary Scholar switches codes

From basketball to acting – University of Waikato alumnus Connor Johnston is using the skills…

Filipe Manu

Taking on the world stage

Sitting in his Swiss apartment, Tongan-New Zealand tenor and University of Waikato alumnus Filipe Manu…

Majenta Gaffar

Linking passion with education

From the moment young Majenta Gaffar got plopped in front of the telly by her…


2021 Hillary Medalists named

Two alumni, Courtney Richmond and Tim Neild, have been named as the 2021 Hillary Medalists…

Shaun Kirkham

Hard work and dedication a winning combo for alumnus and Olympian

Fresh from winning an Olympic Gold medal, Shaun Kirkham is using his experience as a…


From burnout to balance - prioritising wellbeing as an elite athlete

Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship alumna and former Black Stick Brooke Neal is on a mission…

A passion for sports science: Dr Shannon O’Donnell

While the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are playing out half a world away, a group…

Celebrating Waikato University’s Olympic connections

The University of Waikato is well-represented at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which runs from…