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Family Members Who Pray Together, Graduate Together


Therese Bourne and two other family members, her brother, Campbell Gin, and her niece, Rosina Cowan, all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, graduated from university on the same day, 5 May 2017. Her brother, Campbell, said of graduation day, “Friday 5th May 2017 is a massive day for the Gin whanau.  It was a celebration of achievement, hard work, diligence and the end of ‘student poverty’ for some of us.” 

These three have a blend of Maori/Chinese ancestry and are children and a grandchild of Willie and Rangi Gin (both deceased).

Therese is a happily married mother of seven who has now achieved a lifelong dream, graduating with an advanced degree in Psychology from Waikato University. She wants everyone to know that if they persevere they, too, can achieve their dreams.

Her dream to become a Psychologist began at age 24, when she already had two children. With the love and support of her husband and the help of her supportive in-laws who provided housing, babysitting and taxi service for their children, Therese enrolled in university where she majored in Psychology and Education.


Shortly after beginning her university schooling she and husband, Mangan, had their third child, requiring Therese to become a part-time student. Five years later she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Education.

She chose that field of study because she wanted to help her second son who has autism.  She then completed her Master of Arts in Education.

Although her higher education led to good job opportunities, she hadn’t yet achieved her vocational desire, to work as a Psychologist. When that opportunity didn’t finally materialize, she determined to go back to school for an advanced degree in Psychology.

Last year she registered as a Psychologist and she recently accepted a position with the Ministry of Education working as a Psychologist. 

Therese credits her Church experiences with her success as a student. “When I started my studies, I was serving as President of the young women organization in our congregation and then I taught Seminary (an early morning religion class for youth).  I loved teaching the youth and know my Church experiences helped me pass exams, complete assignments and understand concepts that would have been difficult without that extracurricular activity.”


She is also grateful for the love and support that she received from her wider whanau network, her husband, children, late father and all of her siblings and nieces and nephews, including her late brother, Wiremu Gin, all of whom (at different times) told her she could when she didn’t think so. 

She is very proud of the accomplishments of her youngest brother and niece.

Rosina, who also graduated with a Bachelors in Education is the third of nine children.  She says that her grandfather was a significant influence in her life, crediting him with unwittingly moulding her decision to be a teacher.  Indeed, he was a strong influence on all three graduates.

Of her grandfather Rosina said, “(He) helped with my homework...I enjoyed his critical thoughts and many random questions about random things.”  In her 2nd year of studies Rosina came back to church —“I had learnt what life was without the gospel and with it now in my life…it keeps me grounded in all aspects. But mostly I am happy that it is where I need and want to be.”

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