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An Epsom girl who started up her school's first newspaper has won the TVNZ Journalism Diversity Scholarship, which is run annually in conjunction with AUT University's Journalism School.

Eighteen year old Alisha Lewis is in her first year at AUT, after a school career at Epsom Girls' Grammar marked by numerous writing awards.

The TVNZ Scholarship, which is valued at more than $30,000, is open to New Zealanders who are of Maori, Pacific Island or Asian ethnicity and meet strong community and media criteria.  All fees are paid for during the three year degree, and paid holiday work is offered at TVNZ.

TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery, says the scholarship is designed to broaden the scope of the stories that are told and the faces we see on screen, and to better reflect the perspective of all New Zealanders in the news.

Alisha was born in India, and moved to New Zealand at the age of four.

She is the third recipient of the scholarship.

Alisha has an academic track record of success in written and spoken language, and was an active community member at school as a School Prefect and Student Council Leader, co-leader of the Literary Group and a member of the Arts and Culture Group.

She is a Greenpeace volunteer, a Red Cross volunteer, and was an Auckland Hospital Chaplaincy volunteer.

Her long-standing interest in media took practical effect when she co-founded Epsom Girls' Grammar's first school newspaper.

The Scholarship judges said Alisha's confident, mature and articulate engagement with the world will give her a great start in journalism.

For further information please contact:
Megan Richards
TVNZ Corporate Affairs
021 804 123