At the Eureka! Trust, we want to realise Sir Paul Callaghan's vision of making “New Zealand, the most beautiful, stimulating and exciting place in the world in which to live”. To make this vision a reality we work to increase young New Zealanders interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to this the Eureka! Trust seeks to foster young leaders who will help to bring about Sir Paul’s vision.

The Eureka! Trust’s key strategies are to run a national Eureka! programme that will engage students from year four onwards in STEM communication, to run events and activities that showcase young people’s communication skills around STEM and its value to New Zealand and to develop continuing networks among participants from the Eureka! programme. 

Looking forward the Eureka! Trust has four key goals centred around four key areas Activities, Awards, Alumni and Administration. 

  • Activities Goal - Participation in Eureka! Programme events and activities is seen as a major goal for New Zealand students from Year 4 to undergraduate level
  • Awards Goal - Eureka! Awards are seen as the pre-eminent STEM Awards for young New Zealanders
  • Alumni Goal - Eureka! Alumni are a persuasive force in education, commerce and community life in New Zealand
  • Administration Goal - The Eureka! Trust has excellent governance and effective administration

The first EUREKA! Symposium was organised by the Rotary Club of Wellington in 2012 and repeated in 2013.

Following their success, the Rotary Club of Wellington established the Rotary EUREKA! Trust to own, develop and manage the national and regional events which showcase the talents of hundreds of young students who speak inspirationally and with great passion about the future opportunities for New Zealand from the application of science, technology, engineering and maths innovations.

These students hold the future of New Zealand in their hands.  They will be the exemplars of science, technology, engineering and maths communication.

The EUREKA! National Finals feature 12 students who have been selected as eligible candidates at their EUREKA! Regional Preliminary Competitions - held in all the university centres.

The 12 compete for the Sir Paul Callaghan Premier Award and the right to be known as the Sir Paul Callaghan Young Science Communicator of the Year.

Since 2014 The EUREKA programme has also featured a growing number of Scholarships awarded for the best presentations across a range of specified subjects – mainly based on the 11 National Science Challenges but also including specific Scholarships for Maori and Pasifika students in an effort to encourage more students from these communities into science, technology and engineering based careers.

In 2016 we launched a pilot of the Junior Eureka program to bring science and technology communication into primary schools, focusing on years four to six. The Junior Eureka programme emphasises local applications of science an technology.

Professor Sir Paul Callaghan of Wellington was one of New Zealand’s most high profile and respected scientists. He passed away in Wellington on March 24 2012 after a battle with colon cancer.


Sir Paul showed outstanding leadership for over 30 years as a scientist, a teacher, a science administrator and communicator.

Sir Paul was a world leading scientist in the fields of nanotechnology* and magnetic resonance. His work put him and New Zealand on the international stage and his mantelpiece features an array of honours for his endeavours, including a Knighthood for services to science and NZ’s highest scientific honour, the Rutherford Medal.

As a proponent of bringing science to the people of New Zealand Sir Paul left no stone unturned to achieve this. He appeared in radio, print, television, guest lecturers and other personal appearances simply trying to put forth science in a way that everyone can relate to. Of particular note is Sir Paul’s contribution to Te Reo Physics, a website that introduces the concepts of physics in Maori to secondary school students.

Sir Paul was a passionate advocate for addressing and finding ways to reverse the overseas ‘brain drain’. In his view, widening New Zealand’s economic growth engines could be achieved by using science and technology to create industry that is ‘world class and home grown’.

In recent years, he was at the forefront of connecting science and business. His 2009 book Wool to Weta challenges traditional economic thinking and advocates for the potential of science and technology entrepreneurship to diversify our economic success. He put forward his vision of a future New Zealand where the use of science, technology and intellectual property can provide economic prosperity for the entire country and free New Zealand from simply being a producer of biological commodities.

Sir Paul believed that if we are to attain economic diversification through these avenues New Zealand can reverse the brain drain and make our country the place young people choose to build their careers and raise their families while preserving our natural environment and enriching our communities and culture.

Despite battling an aggressive cancer Sir Paul was as committed as ever to his passion for science and his vision for New Zealand to literally become “the most beautiful, stimulating and exciting place to live and work in the world.”

Dr Russ Ballard
Chairman, RCW Eureka! Trust


Debbie Gee
National Manager

Trust Board Members


Anthony Scott

Debbie Chin

John Boshier

Jennifer Rutherford

Jennifer Palmer

Prof Margaret Hyland

Jack Wynne
Intern & Eureka Alumni

The Rotary Club of Wellington EUREKA! Trust was established in September 2013 to ensure a suitable governance and organisational platform was developed to take the legacy of Sir Paul forward into future years.

His Excellency the Right Honourable Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand was the initial patron of the Eureka! Awards.

HE the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy confirmed the continuation of Vice-Regal Patronage in November 2016

The initial Trustees appointed by Rotary Club of Wellington were:

  • Dr Russ Ballard, Chairman

  • Anthony Scott

  • Lee Wilkinson

  • John Boshier

The Trust Board was incorporated in September 2013 and appointed the following additional Trustees:

  • Miang Lim

  • Sir Neville Jordan

In 2016 the Trust Deed was amended to provide for the apppointment of two independent Trustees. The initial appointees to these positions were

  • Jennifer Rutherrord

  • Tim von Dadelszen

Retirements/Resignations from the Trust Board 

  • Miang Lim

  • Sir Neville Jordan

  • Dr Charlotte Severne

  • Dr Jim Callaghan

  • Lee Wilkinson

  • Tim von Dadelszen

The Trustees appointed Francis Wevers as the initial Secretary/Manager and Convenor of the National Organising Committee - he retired from this position in December 2018 and was replaced by Debbie Gee

Trust Deed and Board Charter

Annual Reports to RCW Board

Charities Commission Reports


To get in touch use the form or the information below. 

General Inquires and Website - Jack Wynne


We collect personal information from you, including information about your:
•    name
•    contact information
•    computer or network
We collect your personal information in order to:
•    record who has entered for our competitions, or sought our scholarships, or will be involved in volunteering to help run our events; and to maintain contact in future
We share this information only with:
o    regional event organisers for the purpose of organising those events, and
o    scholarship sponsors where the sponsor wishes to maintain contact in future
o    and the Eureka! Alumni Trust
Providing some information is optional. However, if you choose not to enter details pertinent to entry criteria for our competitions or for selection as a scholarship recipient we will not be able to consider/accept your entry or request for selection as a scholarship recipient.
You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you and ask for it to be corrected if you think it is incorrect.
If you would like to request a copy of your information or have it corrected please contact us at or at P.O. Box 10-243, Wellington