A Ngati Raukawa woman completing her doctorate studies in clinical psychology says she was inspired to explore the subject after her father developed a brain tumour.
Miriama Ketu-McKenzie, who is 28, has been given a $30,000 postgraduate scholarship at the inaugural Rose Hellaby Awards.
She says her father had a brain tumour when she was a teenager and she became very interested in how the brain works.
She developed an insight into how a tumour can affect a person's emotions and personality, which she says is an under-researched area of clinical psychology.
Ms Ketu-McKenzie says she plans to go home to Horowhenua after her studies and set up a mental health clinic.