Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa - Awards & Grants - Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
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Awards & Grants

Detailed information and application forms (members only) for these awards and grants can be found here.

Hazel Skilton Founder’s Award


Tricia McGuiness is seated behind and to the right of Hazel Skilton, centre. This picture was taken at the 2014 symposium in Auckland and they are surrounded by Tricia’s ‘school mates’ who came in support of her presentation.

The Hazel Skilton Founder’s award honours the work and leadership of Rene Stacy Skilton (nee Barton), known as Hazel Skilton.

The Award is open to practitioners who demonstrate the values shown by Hazel Skilton: commitment to occupational therapy, service to others, mentoring, and inspirational leadership. The successful applicant will be a mature clinician. He/she will be an experienced person who leads by practical example, demonstrating qualities relative to career, professional organisation and community involvement.

Frances Rutherford Lecture Award (FRLA) 

The Frances Rutherford Lecture Award (FRLA) honours the out-standing contribution made by Miss Frances Rutherford to the profession of occupational therapy in New Zealand.  When Hazel Skilton resigned as head of the New Zealand Occupational Therapy Training school In 1959, Frances took on the role of principal.

The Frances Rutherford Lecture award:

    • acknowledges outstanding role models for occupational therapists in New Zealand
    • showcases excellence in clinical practice and education
    • encourages contributions to the body of knowledge in the areas of clinical practice and education
    • stimulates, encourages and acknowledges research into aspects of clinical practice and the education of occupational therapists over and above the requirements of paid employment
    • raises the profile of occupational therapy in the wider community by actions and commitment to occupational therapy values.

The recipient of this prestigious award presents the Frances Rutherford Lecture at OTNZ-WNA conference and their lecture is published in the New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy.

OTNZ-WNA Achievement Award

The Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (OTNZ-WNA) Achievement Award is an annual award that recognises exemplary practice.

Nature of the Award

In 2019 Council decided to simplify the application process for the achievement award. This decision is a result of significant membership feedback regarding the onerous process that was in place.

Members are invited to nominate a colleague they believe is worthy of the award.

The Occupational Therapy New Zealand/Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (OTNZ-WNA) Hazel Skilton Research and Education Trust Grant

Formerly the New Zealand Occupational Therapists’ Research and Education Trust Grant, the OTNZ-WNA Hazel Skilton Research and Education Trust Grant is open to OTNZ-WNA members for any research related to occupational therapy practice, or knowledge that contributes to it. Applications must be for New Zealand based research activities. This grant is intended to support small pieces of research or a component of a larger piece of research. Applications with rigorous research designs, with the potential for publication in peer reviewed journals, and which align with current national New Zealand health and education priorities will be given priority.

OTNZ-WNA Aotearoa Graduate Award

This award is given for the highest level of achievement in completing the occupational therapy programme. There are two awards annually, one for the overall top graduate from AUT University and one from Otago Polytechnic.