First Six60 scholarship recipients announced

By Jessica Tyson
Six60 Scholarship winners Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu, TJ Zimba, Emily Kerr-Bell. Source: Supplied

Four University of Otago students with a passion for music have been selected as the first recipients of the Six60 scholarships.

They are TJ Zimba, Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu and Emily Kerr-Bell. While they all have a passion for music, only two are studying towards a music-related degree, with the other two undertaking a BSc and a BHS (physiotherapy).

The scholarships were launched after the band bought the iconic Castle Street property they originally studied in earlier this year. The scholarships include a $10,000 rent rebate, as well as mentoring from the band and access to the university’s new recording studios.

Six60 guitarist Ji Fraser, who, along with bass guitarist Chris Mac was on the scholarship interview panel, says the band was impressed by what the candidates produced throughout the process.

“They were all really technically gifted musicians, and we are stoked that we will be able to support them over the next 12 months,” Fraser says.

The flat has traditionally been a melting pot of students throughout the country, and the inaugural Six60 Scholarship recipients are no exception.  

“To know that our flat will have a new creative energy running through it is something we’re pretty excited about and we can’t wait to see how each of the students progress next year.”

The Six60 scholarships were launched after the band bought the iconic Castle Street property they originally studied in earlier this year. Source: File

University of Otago Deputy Vice-Chancellor (external engagement) Professor Tony Ballantyne says the intake was part of an exceptionally talented group of candidates.

“We were very impressed with how they conducted themselves throughout the process, and we are looking forward to doing what we can to ensure they succeed in and out of the classroom,” he says.

“We believe the outstanding four chosen will represent both the university and Six60 with pride, and we look forward to following their journey.”

Professor Ballantyne also paid tribute to the band, both for the generosity of their support and for their deep engagement with the selection process.

“We have been delighted to work alongside Six60, and we see this as a fantastic beginning to what has already been a great partnership.”