The legacy of a Taranaki farming couple is helping four students in Taranaki - and more students could benefit too.

Emma Carver, Joel Clement, Olivia Slater and Sophie Grigg have each received a $3500 scholarship towards their education and training in the agricultural farming sector.

Olivia attended Stratford High School and Joel was a student at Opunake High School while Emma and Sophie both attended New Plymouth Girls High School.

All four students applied for a scholarship from the Alexander and Gladys Shepherd Scholarships Trust in 2019, and were successful.


They were presented with their scholarship at a formal ceremony in New Plymouth last week, at which the keynote speaker was Daniel Radcliffe, who founded International Volunteer HQ.

Perpetual Guardian is the sole administrator of the Alexander and Gladys Shepherd Scholarships Trust which opens a new round of grants on February 1 this year.

This will be available to students who are already enrolled in a tertiary degree or course who apply for a scholarship to assist with their costs.

The scholarship trust comes from the estate of Alexander and Gladys Shepherd, who worked for 40 years on their Mangawhero Road farm in Riverlea before retiring in 1963.

Alexander was born in Scotland, making his way to New Zealand via a stint in the Merchant Navy before he joined the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force serving in World War I. After the war he worked on farms in the Kaponga area, marrying Hāwera-born Gladys Swadling in 1923. The couple then farmed together until their retirement.

The Alexander and Gladys Shepherd Scholarships Trust was established by Perpetual Guardian in 1989 to help fund students aged up to 21 in Taranaki and Manawatū seeking careers in agriculture.

Perpetual Guardian's New Plymouth branch manager Michelle O'Neill says the legacy left by Gladys and Alexander is a pleasure to look after.

"We are proud to honour the legacy, vision and generosity of Mr and Mrs Shepherd by awarding these four talented and committed students – Emma Carver, Joel Clement, Olivia Slater and Sophie Grigg. All four submitted excellent applications and are highly deserving scholarship recipients as young people who are passionate about the future of farming in Taranaki and Manawatū.


"We also greatly appreciate the participation of Dan Radcliffe as our keynote speaker. Dan knows what's ahead of these students, and he wanted to show them that anything is possible and how to achieve it. Fittingly considering the work of Perpetual Guardian and the purpose of the Shepherd Scholarships Trust, Dan also has a philanthropic approach to all his work.

"A new business he has opened gives a percentage of revenue to a different local organisation each month."

Visit the website for more details: