Image Caption: Ashton Mitchell team members attend the 2022 Keystone Trust Awards Evening (L-R) Tony Rowell, Stephen Smith, Clifford Paul, inaugural Ashton Mitchell Key Scholarship award recipient Charlie Witana, Peter Ashton, Ms Witana, Warren Payne.

A premier Auckland architecture firm is the latest sponsorship partner to join with Keystone Trust in a professional relationship executives say mirrors their own internal policy of ‘family first’.

Dedicated to the value of teamwork since its inception in 1983, Ashton Mitchell’s directors have woven people-focused principles throughout the organisation, evidenced by its latest endeavour as a Key Scholarship Partner (KSP) of Keystone Trust.

Providing education and career support for students working toward qualifications in Aotearoa’s property and construction sectors, Ashton Mitchell’s role as a KSP will see it contribute funds, mentorship and career support for a student working towards a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Auckland.

Keystone Trust’s general manager Amanda Stanes says the support will be invaluable in changing the trajectory of a young person’s life, with far-reaching effects for the architecture industry and society as a whole.

“Every $1 invested by sponsors like Ashton Mitchell is converted by Keystone and the students into a $6 social impact return for the nation.

“Financial and pastoral support gives our students the opportunity to achieve their goals and become contributing members of a cohesive workforce. Beyond that, there is an intrinsic value associated with wraparound career support that lasts well after tertiary study.

“When students come into the Keystone fold, they become part of our family. We are thrilled at the effectiveness of post-study support, such as our alumni network, which continues to provide friendship and professional opportunities for our students long after they graduate,” she says.

It was this ‘family first’ ethos that attracted Ashton Mitchell to the Trust, as they recognised a similar value system and opportunity to use a privileged position as a successful leader in the architecture field for good.

“Most of our team are parents, and our company has always worked to a ‘family comes first’ ethos. But equally, we understand the importance of a good education and how vital it is to equip young people with the tools to seize the opportunities that life presents,” says Ashton Mitchell director Clifford Paul.

“We also realise that not all young people have the same opportunities, and by partnering with Keystone, we can play our part in helping talented young Kiwis progress in their architectural journey.”

Paul says the alliance between the trust and Ashton Mitchell is natural, with the two organisations complementing each other to achieve common goals.

“Ultimately, Keystone is the foundation, providing a springboard for these young people, but we are thrilled to use our nuanced sector-specific knowledge, industry connections and wealth of experience to provide professional support along the way.

“It’s undeniable that young people face increasing challenges – especially for anyone whose life has given them limited opportunities. Our journey with Keystone will allow us to remove obstacles and support ambition, with flow-on effects for the property and construction sector as a whole,” he says.

Paul agrees that in Aotearoa, there is a growing appreciation for the contribution good architecture has on society, and young people are an exciting source of innovative ideas.

“Young people coming through are excited to make a change and work hard for not only themselves but for the broader community, which brings a fresh vibrancy to the sector – that’s something we love to support any way we can,” he says.

For further media enquiries, please contact

Amanda Stanes                                                                             
Keystone Trust – General Manager                                             
M: 021 689 380
E: amanda@keystonetrust.org.nz 

Clifford Paul
Ashton Mitchell – Director
M: 021 748 434
E: clifford@ashtonmitchell.com   

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