During the past year the Trust received $1,100 in donations which was a substantial decrease on the year previous ($15,399). As at 31 December 2020 our investment portfolio was worth $768,361 compared with $750,063 at the start of the year. During the first part of 2020 our portfolio took a substantial hit as a result of market reaction to the pandemic. The second half of the year saw the market rebound and that was reflected in the end of year figure.
I acknowledge and thank NZ Post for their continuing support by way of their Community Post scheme.
Since its inception the Trust has made 616 grants worth in excess of $293.000. In 2020 we awarded 29 bursaries with an average value of $663 (vs $431 in 2019). The assistance given continues to be wide and varied encompassing the whole gambit of education, sporting and cultural endeavour. 79% of the bursaries awarded went to first time applicants (84% in 2019); 86% went to applicants resident in New Zealand (88% in 2019); 69% of awards went to the grandchildren of Vietnam veterans (88% in 2019); female recipients were ahead of their male counterparts 62% to 38% while 52% of recipients were aged <20 years of age with the remainder split between those aged between 20-30 (21%) and those aged 31> (27%). Education continues to be our main focus with 55% of grants directed there.
I anticipate the March 2021 funding round will see the total value of bursaries awarded exceed the $300,000 mark. That will be no little achievement from very humble beginnings.
Our website attracts a lot of attention and I thank our webmaster, Wayne Cribb, for his work. It can be accessed at www.evsayouthtrust.org.nz. While the domain name is outdated it is well known within the Vietnam veteran community and we will not be changing it.
There was one change to the Board over the past year. Els Brown replaced Echo Lillicrapp as representing the spouses of Vietnam Veterans. We thank Echo for her many year of service. Can I thank my colleague Board Members; Kate Leys, Louise Mullane, Els Brown 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 all 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
4 March 2021