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New Year Honours for 18 Otago alumni

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 4:53pm

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Professor Richard Faull received the KNZM. 

Eighteen Otago alumni featured in the 2017 New Year Honours List. 

Professor Richard Faull; Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medical research.

Professor Richard Faull gained a Bachelor of Science from Otago in 1967 and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) in 1970. He later gained a PhD in neuroanatomy (1975) and Doctor of Science (DSc) in neuroscience (1994) from the University of Auckland.

Professor Faull has been involved with the University of Auckland for 38 years, during which time he has established an international reputation for his innovative ground-breaking research studies on the normal and diseased human brain, Huntington's, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Motor Neuron diseases. In 2009 Professor Faull established and was appointed inaugural director of the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) to promote new treatments and facilitate research interactions between brain research groups at the University of Auckland, clinicians in Auckland Hospitals and community organisations. The CBR now comprises 70 research groups with more than 450 researchers and students, 40 clinicians and 23 community organisations.

The CBR has achieved an international ranking amongst the leading brain centres in the world. Professor Faull has raised more than $15 million in philanthropic funding to support CBR's advancement. In 2014 he and Professor Wickliffe Abraham headed a successful Centre of Research Excellence bid with Brain Research New Zealand - Rangahau Roro Aotearoa to focus on the ageing brain.

He is Patron of Alzheimer's Auckland, the Auckland Huntington's Disease Association, the Alzheimer's New Zealand Charitable Trust and the Motor Neuron Disease Association of New Zealand. Professor Faull was selected to deliver the Sir Paul Reeves Lecture in 2013. Awarded ONZM for services to medical research (2005); KNZM for services to medical research 2017.

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Beverley Rae Duff

(Beverley) Rae Duff, Bachelor of Science (1964); Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to women and education

Rae Duff is an international advocate for women's rights and gender equality and has been involved with a range of NGOs supporting these causes since the 1980s. She has been the National President of the National Council of Women New Zealand (NCWNZ) since 2014, and has led the work on several key reports to international forums on gender equality. She was National President of the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (NZFGW) from 2003 to 2006, during which time she developed and carried through a strategic plan for the future direction of the organisation at a critical time, among other practical innovations to improve the organisation.

She has established links with Graduate Women International (GWI) and the Pacific Graduate Women's Network. As Chair of the NZFGW Charitable Trust she untangled outdated financial arrangements to establish a new charitable trust to manage the provision of scholarships and awards to help women and girls participate in education.

She has held a range of roles with the GWI, including convening the Education Committee in 2012, membership of the Resolutions and Status of Women Committees and as New Zealand delegate to a range of conferences.

Locally Mrs Duff oversaw the improvement of financial and stock systems for Graduate Women Wellington's Academic Regalia Hire Business, which generates funding towards scholarships and awards offered by GWW and NZFGW.

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John Fiso

John Fiso, DipPhEd (1983); ONZM for services to sport, education and the Pacific community.

Mr John Fiso founded the New Zealand Institute of Sport, was the CEO from 1996 to 2016 and through the acquisition of the New Zealand College of Massage based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the Institute has become one of the largest NZQA Category One private tertiary providers.

Mr Fiso has been instrumental in the development of a number of community events such as the Pacific Health and Talent Festival in Christchurch and the PACWELL secondary school cultural festival in Wellington. He has served on the Board of Ako Aotearoa, was Chair of Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand and Pacific Islands Tertiary Education Providers of New Zealand, and has been the sector representative on a number of education bodies. He developed international collaborations with Victoria University Melbourne, Surabaya University Indonesia, Xian University China, and set up an English language school in Italy.

As a former athlete and national representative Mr Fiso coached and managed the Samoan Student Rugby League teams at two world cups, was Head of Delegation for New Zealand Volleyball teams, served on the Board of Volleyball New Zealand and was a delegate to the World Congress.

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Professor Don McRae

Professor Donald McRae, LLB and LLM (1961); ONZM for services to the State and international law in 2017.

Professor Donald McRae is a legal scholar and practitioner specialising in international law at the University of Ottawa, Canada who routinely advises governments, including the New Zealand Government, on international legal issues. Professor McRae is an elected member of the United Nations International Law Commission and an Associate Member of the Institut de Droit International. He was advisor to the New Zealand Government in connection with its successful maritime boundary negotiations with Australia between 2000 and 2005. Over the past two decades as Legal Counsel to the New Zealand Government he has contributed significantly to successful outcomes for New Zealand in five separate trade disputes before the World Trade Organisation. In 2013 he provided legal advice to New Zealand in 'Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan), New Zealand Intervening', a case heard before the International Court of Justice.

Most recently he has provided expert advice to the Crown on the scope of the Treaty of Waitangi exception in relation to the Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Professor McRae has published extensively in the field of international law and is on the editorial board of numerous international legal publications, and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Otago Law Review. Awarded Companion of the Order of Canada in 2014;

Linda Penno, BA and LLB (1987); ONZM for services to women’s health and reproductive rights.

Linda Penno has been a firm advocate for women's health and universal sexual and reproductive rights in New Zealand, having first become involved with voluntary governance for Family Planning in 1997 when she became a member of the Family Planning Council. The Council of Family Planning is a skills-based board of volunteers who give their time and expertise to the organisation, which provides sexual and reproductive health education and clinical services in 33 centres across New Zealand. Ms Penno became President of Family Planning in 2003 and remained in the role until 2009.

Under her leadership she maintained a commitment to Family Planning becoming an Early Medical Abortion provider. She served as immediate Past President and as a member of the Family Planning Council until 2015. From 2004 she has attended the annual International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) governance meetings and was voted onto the Regional Executive Committee for East and South East Asia and Oceania in 2009. She held the role of Regional Treasurer from 2011 to 2014. Ms Penno was voted onto IPPF's Governing Council in 2008 and during her time on the Council she was Chair of the Membership Committee, responsible for the 152 member associations from 172 counties around the world.

Dr Neil Sinclair, BDS (1961); ONZM for services to local government.

Dr Neil Sinclair has been Mayor of the South Waikato District Council since 2004, having previously served as Deputy Mayor from 2002. In his 12 years as Mayor Dr Sinclair has overseen or been involved with a large number of successful projects. These projects have included the establishment of the South Waikato Economic Trust, the Waikato River Trail, a Health Centre in Tokoroa, a Youth Park, a Mayoral Scholarship, a Village Green in Tirau, a recycling centre, and a sister city relationship with Yichen City in China. He was involved in creating economic and investment trusts for South Waikato, the Te Waihou Walkway upgrade, the Warm Homes/Clean Air project for South Waikato, the construction of the South Waikato Sports and Event Centre, the linking of the Waikato River Trail with the National Cycleway, the expansion of pensioner housing.

Dr Sinclair has been a member of a range of organisations including the Northern Regional Arts Council, Community Health Advisory Group and the Waikato Mayoral Forum. Awarded MNZM 2002; ONZM for services to local government 2017.

Vanessa van Uden, Bachelor of Commerce (1987); ONZM for services to local government.

Vanessa van Uden was Mayor of Queenstown Lakes District Council for two terms until standing down from re-election in 2016. Ms van Uden was the first female Mayor of the Queenstown Lakes District when she was elected in 2010, having previously been a Councillor for a term. During her time as Mayor she oversaw the signing of the Queenstown Lakes Housing Accord in 2014 to construct further homes in the region. Ms van Uden's previous work in the community has included involvement with the Wakatipu High Board of Trustees, Wakatipu Trails Trust, St John area committee and the Branches Trust. Awarded ONZM for services to local government 2017.

Dr Stuart Brown, MB ChB (1970); Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to children's health in 2017.

Dr Stuart Brown is a paediatric surgeon who has worked for the Waikato District Health Board for 32 years. Dr Brown was co-founder of Paediatric Surgical Services at Waikato DHB in 1983. He was the co-founder of the New Zealand Paediatric Surgical Association and served as inaugural Secretary. He has held medical and surgical education posts and has been Chair of the Waikato Medical Association. He has held governance roles within the New Zealand Paediatric Surgical Society, Waikato Division of the Cancer Society, and Braemar Hospital and Ministry. He contributed to the formation of the Midland Regional Paediatric Surgical Service with multiple outreach clinics, the first outreach Paediatric Surgical Service in New Zealand. He played a key role in the establishment and maintenance of various clinical services including a multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Clinic, a neonatal surgical service, paediatric endoscopy, bronchoscopy and other highly technical surgical procedures to benefit the children of the Midland region. Dr Brown was a significant contributor to the first two operations in New Zealand to successfully separate conjoined twins in 1987 and 2004 respectively.

Bernadette Hall, BA and MA Arts and Music (1967); MNZM in 2017 for services to literature.

Bernadette Hall is a distinguished writer and poet who has held residencies and fellowships at Otago University, Canterbury University and Victoria University. Ms Hall has published ten collections of poetry, the most recent being 'Maukatere, floating mountain' (2016). She edited 'Like Love Poems: selected poems' by Joanna Margaret Paul (2006) and the online anthology 'Best New Zealand Poems 2011'. She co-edited 'Big Sky: a collection of Canterbury poems' (2002). Her poems have been included in 'Best NZ Poems' on eight occasions between 2001 and 2015. She has performed her work at festivals throughout New Zealand and in Australia. Her poems have been featured in collaborations with New Zealand composers. Poems from 'The Way of the Cross', within a symphony by Anthony Ritchie, premiered on 22 February 2014 to mark the anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. In 2008 she co-founded the Hagley Writers' Institute in Christchurch and is currently Patron. She was a long term poetry editor of Takahe magazine and also for The Christchurch Press. She has been an advisor to the New Zealand Book Awards and was a member of the judging panel for the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Ms Hall has curated and chaired an annual literary event in Amberley, North Canterbury since 2009.

Robyn Hickman DipEl (1999); MNZM 2017 for services to education.

Robyn Hickman has had a career in education since 1979 and has been Principal of Aurora College since 2008. Mrs Hickman established the first free Study Support Centre in Otago/Southland in 2000. She also established a holiday programme to cater for families who could not afford to send their children to more expensive holiday programmes. She has assisted the development of the links@aurora full service model of providing support to students and their families at the College, which has been referred to nationally as a model in exemplar practice. She successfully led the early adoption of Positive Behaviour for Learning in her school.

She established the bilingual unit at Aurora in 2009 and has been involved in implementing the Ministry of Education's projects He Kakano and Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success to foster culturally responsive and relational pedagogy. She has been Lead Principal for the Southland Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour Cluster since Aurora became Lead School in 2012. As Chairperson of the Board of South Alive Mrs Hickman has been involved with a number of major community developments focused on the urban rejuvenation of South Invercargill.

Dr John Hyndman MB ChB DipObst (1979); MNZM 2017 for services to health and innovation.

Dr John Hyndman has had a 40-year career as a general practitioner and an anaesthetist. Dr Hyndman worked with Mr Ivan Batistich over the course of 12 years to develop the HYVAN, a low-cost, portable anaesthetic machine about the size of a microwave oven that is able to be deployed anywhere, even where there is no power. The idea behind the HYVAN was a reliable anaesthetic machine that could be used in Third World locations and was simple enough to operate with basic training. The HYVAN is a fraction of the size and cost of most anaesthetic machines used in New Zealand and will carry out virtually all of the same functions with reliable simplicity, to the point where it can be repaired in a hospital workshop if required.

The HYVAN will be manufactured locally in Christchurch following completion of final clinical trials. For their development of the HYVAN they won the New Zealander of the Year Innovator award in 2016 and have been recognised by the World Congress of Anaesthetists. Dr Hyndman's earlier career has seen him help establish three Hospices, chair the Marlborough Health Trust, and establish the Churchill Trust, a private hospital in Blenheim.

Liz Sinclair, BA (Hons) History (1982); MNZM 2017 for services to the state.

Liz Sinclair was a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission From 2012 to 2016. In this role Ms Sinclair was responsible for leading central agencies' coordination of the government response to the Royal Commission on the Pike River Mine disaster, leading the SSC team responsible for establishing the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and contributing to the Working Party to Refocus Te Puni Kokiri and the establishment of Te Matawai. She has led SSC's Sector and Agency Performance Group and was a member of SSC's Senior Leadership Team. From 2004 to 2011 she was Deputy Secretary, Operations at the Ministry of Justice. In this role she led a significant service improvement programme for New Zealand's courts. She was also responsible for the successful implementation of several new jurisdictions and services, including the transfer of the Employment Court, and new tribunals including the Weathertight Homes and Immigration Protection Tribunals. She was jointly responsible for developing a package of proposals for Criminal Procedure Simplification, which in conjunction with the resulting Criminal Procedure Act 2011 modernised, simplified and improved criminal procedure in New Zealand.

From 1993 to 2003 Ms Sinclair held executive leadership roles at the Inland Revenue Department supporting technology and business changes to improve service to taxpayers.

Des Smith, Bachelor of Science (1966); MNZM in 2017 for services to rugby and the community.

Des Smith has been involved with sports, the community and schools for 46 years. Mr Smith taught and coached rugby at Otago Boys High School from 1968 to 1994. This included coaching the 1st XV for ten years, winning the top school side in the South Island on four occasions, and managing the New Zealand Secondary Schools Team. He coached tennis at the school for twelve years, culminating in winning the Dunedin Men's Premier Championship. On leaving teaching in 1994 he was employed in a number of roles including setting up the Edgar Sports Centre, managing the New Zealand Colts, Highlanders and Otago Representative Rugby Teams. He was appointed President of the Otago Rugby Football Union in 2016. As the Otago Secondary Schools Regional Sports Director from 2006 to 2012, he oversaw significant growth in sports participation in the region, before becoming the Operations Manager for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council. In 2011 he was awarded the SportNZ award for Innovation in establishing sports councils in secondary schools. Locally Mr Smith has been involved with many community projects including the Blueskin Bay Library, Wakari School Pool, Otago Rugby Gym, Te Rauone Beach Breakwater and planning for the redevelopment of Logan Park.

Alison Wilkie, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (1993); MNZM in 2017 for services to health and education.

Alison Wilkie is a trained nurse who set up the Canterbury Asthma Society in 1972, and served as Secretary and President until 1994. Mrs Wilkie set up several other asthma societies in the South Island. She played a key role in the establishment of the New Zealand Asthma Foundation in 1980 and was one of the pioneers of asthma education in New Zealand, having started the New Zealand Asthma Educator's Forum in 1987. She is a former member of the Canterbury District Health Board, and former member of the Pharmaceutical Society. Since 2015 she has been Chair of the Establishment Board of Trustees for Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Christchurch. As Chair of the Establishment Board of Trustees for Te Waka Unua School she oversaw the merger of Woolston and Phillipstown Schools to create Te Waka Unua. She was a Board member for Christchurch Resettlement Services for five years. She has been Chair of the Kate Sheppard branch of the University of the Third Age in Christchurch. She was a member of the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board and the establishment Chair for the Board's Environment and Health Committees. Mrs Wilkie's other voluntary memberships have included the Christchurch Family Help Trust and the Riccarton Bush Trust.

Richard McElrea, BA and LLB (1968); Queen's Service Order for services as a coroner and to Antarctic heritage.

Richard McElrea was a coroner for more than 20 years and contributed to the development of the New Zealand Coronial Service. Mr McElrea served as a Coroner at Christchurch for 21 years and was instrumental in establishing the Coroners' Council in 1998, working to form relationships with Australian and English Coroners. He served as the Council's Chair until it was disbanded with the establishment of a Chief Coroner under the Coroners' Act 2006. He was instrumental in promoting the passage of the Act through Parliament and led the council in its submissions to the Select Committee. He also chaired the committee of the Asia Pacific Coroners' Society which included coroners from a number of Pacific countries. He presided over many significant inquest hearings and was passionate about the need for independent investigations of air crashes and ship sinking. Many of his findings were of national importance, including transport-related deaths and deaths in prisons. Beyond his work as a coroner, he was the Chair of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, responsible for the care of the original explorer bases in the Ross sea region. Mr McElrea has been involved with the production of several books and papers on Antarctic exploration, as co-author, co-publisher, associate editor and researcher.

Dr Paul Kay, BDS (1977); The Queen's Service Medal for services to polo 2017.

Dr Paul Kay has significantly raised the profile of polo in his community and New Zealand, and enhanced New Zealand's standing in the international polo community. Dr Kay is a renowned breeder and trainer of polo ponies, President of Kihikihi Polo club, and past President and Life Member of the New Zealand Polo Association. In 2003, he was a driving force behind transforming the 16 hectare Kihikihi Domain into a community sport and recreational facility. He developed and funded a world-class polo pitch adjacent to the domain, which is made available to the community at no cost. He now organises annual international polo test matches on this ground and allows visiting teams to use his own ponies for the event. He also developed a polo pitch on public land in Cambridge, which doubles as a large open recreational ground for public use. Mr Kay continues provide his own machinery to maintain five grounds in the Waikato.

Reverend Peter Sykes, Theology and Religion (1985); QSM for services to the community in 2017.

The Reverend Peter Sykes played a key role in the founding of the Mangere East Family Service Centre in 1993 and has been CEO since inception. Under Reverend Sykes' leadership the Centre has seen the development of a range of services including an early childhood centre, social workers in schools and community social workers, The Men's Shed, a waste minimisation programme, and Te Punawai, a programme for supporting transgender youth. He was a founding member of the Community Network Nga Manga o Mangere and from 2000 to 2010 he was a member of the Internal Affairs' Community Net supporting community groups. He has been a voluntary coach for athletics, gymnastics and rugby league in the Mangere area. Since 2002 he has been the President of the Mangere East Rugby League Club. He has been Treasurer of the Mangere East School Board of Trustees since 2004, and was Board Chairperson of Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2012. He has been involved with Selwyn Anglican Church in Mangere East since 1990. He has been a volunteer with Mangere Civil Defence for 10 years. Reverend Sykes was President of the Mangere Rotary Club from 2011 to 2013.

Reverend Pelu Tuai, Bachelor of Theology (1985); QSM 2017 for services to the Pacific community.

Reverend Pelu Tuai has been involved with the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand since 1982. Over the course of 11 years Reverend Tuai worked to establish a purpose built church and hall facility for his Samoan parish and the wider Pacific community. In 1993 he opened the Ranui Pacific Island Presbyterian Church and its facilities, which included a large catering kitchen, community sports and hall facilities, classrooms and adjoining Early Childhood Centre for Samoan Language. The Leuatea Catering Service business was developed using the kitchen facilities. Church members volunteered their services to help operate the business and as a result of pouring the profits back into the church, the church was debt free by 1997. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Ranui Youth in Motion Trust (RYIM) to support and empower youth from the church and Ranui community. He has been a mentor for the Trust and supported RYIM activities, which include after-school programmes, holiday programmes and fitness programmes. In 2012, with Ministry of Education support, he introduced the programme Achieving Through Pasifika Languages to the church for the children and youth to learn the Samoan language. In 2009 Reverend Tuai helped establish a Pacific Island Synod within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read the full 2017 list here