Dame Herbison Scholarship

The prestigious Dame Herbison Scholarship has been an annual award offered jointly by a named sponsor and the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society (NZEALS). The Ministry of Education supports the scholarship as a Prestigious Award.

This scholarship is named in honour of the late Dame Jean Herbison, past Vice-President of the Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration and Management and former President and Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Administration Society (NZEAS - forerunner of NZEALS).

The award is currently on hold until future sponsorship funding is confirmed.

Award Details


The scholarship is to enable a financial member of NZEALS to undertake study and/or a programme of visits to schools and/or other education-related institutions in New Zealand or overseas.


Applicants must

  • be financial members of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society.
  • have demonstrated successful practice and/or study in educational administration and leadership.
  • demonstrate the benefit from the study or travel experience in their own practice and for their institution.
  • be able to complete the scholarship by 31 January two years after the award is made.

Length of membership and service to NZEALS may also be considered when considering similar applications.

Previous recipients of the Dame Jean Herbison Award and the President's Research Award are eligible to re-apply for either award after 3 years have elapsed.

Scholarship benefits:

One scholarship of $7,000 is available to cover economy air travel, accommodation and any course fees for the programme organised.

The scholar will be responsible for other costs of subsistence, additional travel, medical insurance, etc.

According to the Ministry's confirmation of this scholarship as a Prestigious Award, the Ministry of Education will fund the employment of a relief teacher for up to four weeks provided the scholarship is awarded to a staff member of a state or state integrated primary school, intermediate school, high school or composite school and subject to the board of trustees granting leave with pay to the scholar.

Applicants from the private, tertiary or government sectors are eligible for recognition as a recipient of a Prestigious Award but the Ministry of Education will not grant leave with pay in these circumstances.


Applicants must provide

  1. A formal letter of application, stating
    • The focus of the proposed programme of study or visits.
    • An outline of the proposed programme.
    • The benefits of the proposed programme for your own practice, your institution and NZEALS
    • The letter of application should be explicit, without appendices, and should include a clear statement on the benefit to the applicant personally and to the wider education community.
  2. A curriculum vitae.
  3. The names of two referees and their reports. Referees are asked to comment on the applicant's professional work, their suitability for such an award and the benefit to education.
  4. If employed in a state primary, intermediate, secondary or composite school, a letter of confirmation from their employer (BOT) that leave will be granted for the period of the scholarship.

All of the above should be sent electronically to Annette Rogers - annettesheehy1954@gmail.com

Requirements of the scholarship winner:

The Dame Herbison Award scholarship is awarded on the understanding that the proposed study and travel programme submitted in the application is substantially that ultimately undertaken by the applicant. If it is not, approval for the revised programme must be obtained in advance from the Council of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society. In the first instance the applicant should contact the National Secretary of NZEALS to notify them of any change in the programme.

The scholarship winner will be required to write a formal report of their experience suitable for the society's newsletter and/or Journal.

The scholar will also present a seminar to colleagues at an appropriate occasion organised by their local branch of NZEALS, and may, with the support of NZEALS, be required to present a seminar to colleagues in other branches.

Previous Recipients

  • 2016 Mel Taylor

    Leadership of Communities of Learning: an investigation of support for new CoL leaders.

  • 2015 Christine Harris

    Beyond the rhetoric: why do parents choose to engage in their children's schooling?

    The award assists in the completion of Christine's Doctoral thesis, including travel overseas to visit schools as part of her research.

  • 2014 Richard Smith

    Co-construction of knowledge about Indigenous leadership strategies

    Using networking opportunities to connect with colleagues in Australia and Asia to build Indigenous leadership alliances with non-Indigenous and Indigenous scholars and practitioners, and assist in the knowledge production of Indigenous leadership strategies. Developing culturally appropriate international qualifications and benchmarks of good practices

  • 2011 Colin Tarr

    Investigating professional development programmes for teachers and educational leaders

    Investigating, discussing and reporting back on innovative programmes offered by the School of Education, University of Glasgow: 1) credentialing teachers’ professional development; 2) the revised Scottish Qualification for headship; 3) a new programme in Organisational Leadership: a common leadership programme for people working in all phases of education and from public sector agencies.

  • 2010 Mal Thompson

    Building adolescent literacy skills in secondary school students

    Visiting the University of Luneberg to talk with leading literacy professionals in the ADORE Project, which investigates reading instruction for struggling adolescent readers, working to identify elements of good practice and building networks in the field of adolescent literacy.  Visits to schools working with the university to see first-hand how the research has impacted at school level. Investigating trans-Tasman links by visiting a group in Queensland to ascertain opportunities for joint research in addressing the needs of struggling adolescent literacy learners. 

  • 2009 Juliette Hayes

    Professional learning communities in secondary schools

    As a Deputy Principal I was undertaking a small investigation into professional learning communities. The DJH Award enabled me to travel to the UK to visit schools and attend some learning events. I saw learning communities in action at schools in Leichestershire, and attended a workshop with Louise Stoll at the London Institute of Education. I also attended the BELMAS conference in Reading. The assistance of this award meant my investigation could expand to international contexts and as a result I was able to implement a successful learning community model in my school.

2008 - Kate Thornton
2007 - Dr Reynold Macpherson
2006 - Dr Ruth Gorinski
2005 - Dr. Ross Notman
2004 - Ann Milne
2003 - Patricia Blatchford, Professor Wayne Edwards
2002 - Dr Laurie Thew
2001 - Cheryl Doig
1999 - Paul Potaka