Shopping Cart    You have 0 items   

17 George St, Newmarket, Auckland
09 358 1044


Official & Preferred Supplier
Biggest range of top regalia in NZ


The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust

How it all began

The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust is a Charitable Trust whose main purpose is to help others achieve in furthering their education, through the provision of scholarships, financial and other assistance. The Trust is named in recognition of Kate Milligan Edger (1857-1935), the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in the British Empire.

The Trust grew out of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand federation of Graduate Women, who started assisting with the regalia for graduation to help the University of Auckland over 40 years ago. This historic journey is documented in the book “The Footprints of Kate Edger”.

The Trust gives away over 100 awards each year. These awards vary from small $2,000 grants which assist awardees to retrain, to much larger $16,000 Postdoctoral research awards. Without our help many of these awardees would not be able to access further education.  Follow the links below for more information:


kate-edger 1
Kate Milligan Edger (1857-1935)

Meet the Trustees

Stephanie Harris - KEECT Chair
KEECT Trustees Stephanie Harris
Joint Managing Partner
Glaister Ennor

“I act for a number of high profile businesses, both SMEs and larger corporates and attend to their day to day business requirements in particular as they relate to terms and conditions of supply, security interests, general structuring and finance.

I aim to deliver excellence to my clients in terms of my legal technical skills and to provide strategic problem solving solutions together with a clear and detailed understanding of what is the best client outcome.

In addition, I act for investors and developers with commercial property portfolios in both the private and public sector. With over 20 years experience I have gained invaluable expertise in undertaking large and complex property transactions and developments.”
Margaret Crannigan Allen
Margaret Crannigan Allen
Manager, Scholarships and Graduations
The University of Auckland

On an annual basis, the University of Auckland administers more than $40M of scholarships to their students.

With the use of scholarships as a recruitment tool, the office has an important strategic role at the University.  With her dual role as Manager of the Graduation and Scholarship Offices, Margaret sees students from their arrival at University from school, right up to their graduation - at undergraduate and post-graduate level.  One of the most enjoyable parts of Margaret's role, she feels, is helping students to complete their education with financial support - and reading the success stories as they graduate.

Margaret graduated with an MBA with specialisations in Corporate Governance and Negotiation, both of which have helped in her role as a trust member.
Emeritus Professor Charmian O'Connor

CBE, JP, MSc, PhD (NZ), DSc (Auck), FRSNZ, FNZIC, FRSC, CChem, CSci, LTCL

Charmian spent 56 years as either a student or member of staff of the Chemistry Department at the University of Auckland, and has over 300 publications in refereed international journals. She was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Staff Development and Equal Employment Opportunities 1987-1998 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor 1994.

She was a Council Member of MIT for 13 years and of Unitec for 10 years. In 2005, prior to the wind-up of the Auckland Branch of the NZ Federation of Graduate Women, Charmian was instrumental in establishing the KEECT and transferring Academic Dress Hire to the Trust, thus ensuring continuation of the Awards Programme. She chaired the Board of Trustees for the first 9 nine years and has chaired the Awards Committee since inception. She has also served on many national committees, including The Royal Society of New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry and was Chair of the Science Sub-Committee for UNESCO.

Charmian is passionate about providing opportunities for women to undertake tertiary education, whether it be in assisting mature women to undertake study in order to return to a profession or to take up work in the community, or in encouraging women young women to enter University or a Polytech and to extend their studies so as to reach their potential in creative activities or research. Charmian lives in Auckland and spends much of her spare time at the family bach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula or at her family’s life-style block in Hunua. She enjoys reading, the theatre and in her semi-retirement took up croquet.

Sonia Pechner
Sonia Pechner
Executive Director
Academic Search International

Since its inception in 1999, Sonia Pechner (one of the founding Directors) has led Academic Search International’s strategic development, with a clear focus on establishing the company as the leading specialist executive search firm in higher education in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

With a passionate commitment to the higher education sector, Sonia has personally led a considerable number of search assignments, including senior academic positions across all discipline areas, as well as senior executive appointments.

The depth of Sonia’s experience and expertise is reflected in the invitation from the Association of Executive Search Consultants to sit on their Asia-Pacific Council.
Jill Smith
KEECT Trustees - Jill Smith Jill attended Auckland Girls' Grammar School and gained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Auckland University College.  Jill then trained as a singer and was given the soprano role in the inaugural production of NZ Opera's The Medium which toured and played in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin Festivals with the NZSO.  Jill then left for England, married and became a teacher.  

A move to Canada followed where Jill studied at The Toronto Conservatoire before returning to New Zealand with three small children.

Jill then spent 15 years teaching English and assisting students with learning difficulties.

Jill is the granddaughter of our namesake Kate Edger, and is proud to be connected with the Trust in her grandmother's name - which works to carry on her ideals to further the higher education of women.
Hilary Lewis 
Hilary Lewis 2 Hilary Lewis

Hilary attended Rangitoto College before heading to the University of Auckland to do a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting).  She has subsequently followed that up with a Master of Business Administration and Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, both also at Auckland.

Her strengths and experience is in leading programmes of change, technology, innovation and business process improvement in large, medium, entrepreneurial and social enterprises.  Success has come from clarity of vision, strong commercial imperative, attention to detail, and an ability to communicate to and engage all involved.  This is supported by a strong finance, IT, commercial, strategic and executive background.  

Hilary is passionate about a number of issues facing women today, having been involved of Breast Cancer Cure (funding research to find a cure for breast cancer) for 12 years, and Shine (focused on preventing domestic violence) and sees education as being a key driver of greater diversity and equality in our community.

  Nina Tomaszyk

Nina Tomaszyk
General Manager
Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust t/a Academic Dress Hire

With extensive experience in the corporate and in the not-for-profit world, Nina brings an array of skills and experience – including fundraising, management, marketing, finance, and business ownership – to the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust.

Nina was most recently with the Neurological Foundation, but has also worked for the Auckland Foundation, the Starship Foundation, in the finance world, and in her own recruitment business.

Customer satisfaction and service delivery is important to her, in addition to maintaining staff engagement and cost effectiveness.

‘What New Zealand women and men have already achieved through education is great; I am enthusiastic about the educational outcomes this trust and charitable enterprise has supported in the past and the present, and am excited to expand our opportunities to support women in the future.’

Sign up here

Sign up here to receive information about
upcoming awards and offers

btn signup
Click on the map to view a larger one

phn(09) 358 1044

map117 George Street
Newmarket, Auckland 1023
General Opening Hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Follow Us on f1