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  • Writer's pictureSarah Emilie Goodhew

McLaren Automotive Scholarship Reception at NZ High Commission

Anticipation was high as friends and supporters of the NZUK Link Foundation gathered at the

New Zealand High Commission to celebrate the first grant made from the generous second

endowment fund left to the foundation by Dr Elman Poole. This was the Link’s first event since

the lockdown and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces as well as some new ones.

To kick off the evening, we were fortunate to enjoy an impressive performance from Paul Lee, a

graduate of The University of Auckland and this years' NZUK Link Foundation Elman Poole

Music Scholar to the Southbank Sinfonia. What a treat it was!

The new NZUK Link scholarship we had come together to hear more about is for students at the

University of Auckland's Faculty of Engineering to come to McLaren Automative in the UK as a

Bruce McLaren Automative Scholar.

Rob Whitehouse, Vice-Chairman of The UK Friends of the University of Auckland, introduced our

guests to the internship programme which gives scholars a unique experience to gain an

international perspective working in a radically innovative company and to see how research

and development translates into a commercial operation. Bruce McLaren was a gifted driver,

designer and constructor from New Zealand who overcame a childhood illness to develop a

steely determination to succeed and phenomenal leadership skills. This legacy undoubtedly

lives on within the company today and it was fascinating to hear from the two 2022/23

scholars, Sabrina Yarndley and Joshua Cates, as well as from a former scholar Lizzie Grant who

is now employed at McLaren.

“I’ve really enjoyed being able to see all the different areas of McLaren and how they interact, as

well as all the decisions you have to make as an engineer. A couple of the best experiences were

going to crash testing and going to the Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield,” shared


“I’ve been an F1 and motorsport fan for some time. There’s not a big automative industry in

New Zealand so I’ve really enjoyed getting a different experience, coming to the UK. McLaren is

a futuristic place to work” added Joshua.

Hearing all three scholars speak about their time at McLaren was an inspiration. The audience

were hanging on their words and one could capture the magic of how a relatively young

company is punching well above its weight, competing on the world stage against the likes of

Ferrari and Lambourghini. At the heart of the Company vision’s is innovation, fresh thinking and

attracting emerging talent, something that’s also at the heart of the NZUK Link Foundation and

this new scholarship in partnership with The UK Friends of the University of Auckland.

The sense of ambition at the event was real, from Paul’s breathtaking performance to hearing

from our McLaren Scholars. We look forward to seeing how these young people develop and

how, as a foundation, we can continue to offer life-changing opportunities for cross-cultural

exchange, learning and innovation.


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