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It is my privilege to present this report on the activities of the Vietnam Veterans (Neville Wallace Memorial) Children’s & Grandchildren’s Trust for the period 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

 

During the past year the Trust received $17,750 in donations (c/w $2,000 in 2022). At the end of the year the Trust’s equity stood at $791,834 (c/w $746,278 as at 31 December 2022).  This reverses the decline experienced in 2022 and reflects the improving state of the equities market.

 

I acknowledge the strategic alliance/partnership arrangement we have with the New Zealand Vietnam Veterans and Their Families Trust which has them subsidise grants made dollar for dollar.  This has made a major difference to the workings of the Trust.  I thank Sir Jerry Matapaere and his team for their valued support.

 

Since its inception the Trust has awarded 704 bursaries worth more than $352K.  In 2023 we awarded 36 bursaries with an average value of $833 (vs $567 in 2022).  The assistance given continues to be wide and varied encompassing the whole gambit of education, sporting and cultural endeavour.  94% of the bursaries awarded went to first time applicants (c/w 100% in 2022); all but one went to applicants resident in New Zealand (same as in 2022); 89% of awards went to the grandchildren of Vietnam veterans (same as in 2022); female recipients were ahead of their male counterparts 68% to 32% while 72% of recipients were aged <20 years of age with the remainder split between those aged between 20-30 (14%) and those aged >31 (14%).  Education continues to be our focus with 50% of grants directed there; sporting endeavour attracted 36% of our grants while cultural activities accounted for the balance (14%).  

 

Our new website www.vietnamveteranschildrenstrust.com is working well with applications being directed through the website.  I thank Keith Miller as webmaster for all his work.  My only disappointment is that many of the applications received are lacking the mandatory supporting information.  This has necessitated time-consuming follow-up.  The application is not registered and processed until complete in its entirety.

There have been no changes to the Board over the past year.  Can I thank my colleague Board Members, Kate Leys, Els Brown, Jenny Couchman, Peter Roberts and Keith Miller as well as Anita Killeen (our Honorary Legal Advisor) for their professionalism and support.   I thank too Perpetual Guardian (the Trustee) for their work and their preparedness to engage constructively with the Board.

 

The Trust is in good shape.  We can face the future with confidence.        

 

Ross Miller, MNZM, JP
BOARD CHAIR

 

9 March 2024

Chairman's Report

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