“I believe in the potential in people and that everyone can lead lives of value. Realising a life of value is harder for some and they are battling barriers before they even start.  Vodafone is providing a chance to lower a few of the barriers through this fellowship. I am excited to see what rangatahi achieve when they are provided support shoulder to shoulder.”  – Antony Welton

In 2021, Antony Welton stepped down from his role as the Chair of the Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation, after 12 years of dedicated voluntary service. To honour his contributions to our organisation and the commitment he has made to improving outcomes for rangatahi, we have established the Antony Welton Fellowship.

This fellowship, set up with the generous support of Jason Paris and Vodafone New Zealand, will provide one young person each year with a $10,000 Fellowship to support them to work towards their vision for the future. The Fellowship recipient must be able to articulate an achievable goal for the 12-month period of their fellowship, and a longer-term vision for themselves and their community. This vision must help to create positive change for others and work towards the Vodafone Foundation’s goal of a more equitable Aotearoa for all young people.

Young people must be supported by a nominating organisation – a school, alternative education provider, a youth organisation or a partner organisation of the Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation. They must live within a nominated geographic region – for 2021, this region is Invercargill and Bluff – the Waihopai and Awarua rünaka.

We are aiming to support young people who are over-burdened and under-resourced and who have lived experience of exclusion and disadvantage. For us this means young people who have had one (or more) of these experiences:

  • They have engaged with the care and protection system (Oranga Tamariki)
  • They have had interactions with the justice system (either themselves or their immediate whänau)
  • While growing up they have experienced material deprivation or poverty
  • The education system has not met their educational needs, which may have resulted in stand-downs and exclusion, early exit from secondary school, or spending time with an alternative education provider
  • They are, or have been, young parents
  • We will also give additional weight to young people who identify as Mäori or Pasifika and have experienced structural, systemic and interpersonal racism – though young people of all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome to apply

Applications are open until the 9th of August 2021 and will be accepted in English, Te Reo or sign language, in written format, or via video.

Criteria for selection will be:

  • The young person must be aged between 15 and 24 on 1st September 2021
  • They must live within Invercargill or Bluff – Waihopai or Awarua rünaka, the nominated geographic region for the 2021 round
  • They must have an achievable goal for the 12-month period of their fellowship and a clearly articulated long-term vision for the future
  • They must have an intention to invest the $10,000 in personal and/or professional development. This may include:
    • Ongoing education and training
    • Non-academic research
    • Retreat or travel experiences with a specific learning goal
    • Connection to whakapapa or cultural heritage
  • The application must be supported by a nominating organisation who are willing to make a strong recommendation, as well as two character referees who can help our selection panel understand more about the young person

The successful recipient will receive:

  • $10,000 as a contribution towards their goal
  • An opportunity to visit Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation at our Auckland Head Office
  • Mentoring from Antony Welton and others with goal specific skills


If you are a young person from Invercargill or Bluff, or an organisation interested in nominating a young person, please download this application form. Applications must be submitted by email to vodafonenzfoundation@vodafone.com by 9th of August 2021.

Decisions will be announced in September.