Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

News and events

Student and alumni team effort brings Law moot success

moot story thumbnail

Thursday 11 May 2023

Thanks to a fabulous team effort by Otago alumni, students and staff, Te Kaupeka Tātai Ture Faculty of Law students’ moot team had a very successful trip to Washington DC in April, to compete at the Jessup International Law Moot Competition.

5 Quick Questions with Sabrina Ragan 

Sabrina thumbnail

Thursday 11 May 2023

I’ve spent over 20+ years in fundraising, most of which has been in the States, and prior to my arrival here in New Zealand nearly four years ago.

Law at Otago – the sum of its people

law at otago image thumbnail

Monday 1 May 2023

Flats were cold, beds were warm, the Dunedin Sound was becoming louder – personal anecdotes, vivid memories and lasting influences pepper Attorney-General Hon David Parker’s Opening Address at the Law at Otago’s 150th Conference and Reunion earlier this month.

Law alumni gather to celebrate milestones and share expertise

law 150 thumbnail

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Law faculty hosts, alumni and guests from across Aotearoa New Zealand and around the globe gathered for three days of reminiscing, reuniting, and sharing legal expertise and insights at University of Otago Law celebrations at the weekend.

Delivering digital transformation to governments around the globe

jude hanan - thumbnail

Friday 14 April 2023

The path from Arts graduate to international digital government expert involved leaping from a love of history to embracing the future, but Jude Hanan says her time as a Humanities student at Otago created the foundations for her 25-year career.

Honorary degree for esteemed lawyer and Otago alumnus

Don McRae 2023 thumbnail

Thursday 6 April 2023

Top Canadian law professor and University of Otago alumnus, Emeritus Professor Don McRae CC, ONZM, FRSC, will be recognised for his significant achievements with the conferring of an Honorary Doctor of Laws next week.

Recognised for major improvements to Māori healthcare

john armstrong thumbnail

Monday 27 March 2023

His high school careers advisor told him he would be wasting his time if he chose to study medicine and he initially pursued a commerce degree at Victoria University of Wellington. However, after two years there, John Armstrong decided that accounting and economics weren’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

Networks and Events 

network thumb

Thursday 23 March 2023

The sun shone for alumni, students and staff, along with members of the community, who turned out for February’s Clocktower picnic on the Dunedin campus and the Christchurch 50th anniversary picnic in the Botanic Gardens in March. It was also wonderful to welcome alumni to the Highlanders Coaches’ Breakfast in Invercargill last week.

Hot Picks 

Hot Picks @Otago web thumbnail

Thursday 23 March 2023

Be entertained and feed your mind with our Hot Picks. You can relax in the comfort of your own home, while listening to a selection of podcasts, interviews, and lectures from Otago academics, visiting lecturers, and alumni.

Alumni in the News 

alumni in the news thumbnail

Thursday 23 March 2023

Dentistry graduate Christian Lio-Willie signs with the Crusaders, Natasha Callister and Rowena Davenport are appointed to leading roles at MTF Finance, Tony Johnson receives top Australasian award for outstanding contribution to the pulp and paper industry, Clare Wilson takes honours at the David Awards for small and micro businesses in New Zealand.

Donor-funded Entrance Scholarships celebrated

MAD thumb

Thursday 23 March 2023

Donor-funded Entrance Scholarship winners were welcomed at a function in the University’s Terrace Lounge in early March. External Engagement Division Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Ballantyne said he was very pleased that the students had chosen to study at Otago.

Otago Images 

otago image thumb

Thursday 23 March 2023

To celebrate 150 years of Law at Otago, we thought we’d bring a well-known face from the past back to life with colour. In 1893 Ethel Benjamin was the first woman to be admitted to law school in Australasia and in 1897 became the first female lawyer to appear as counsel in any case in the British Empire. Below are some photographs of Ethel Benjamin that we have colourised using a wee bit of technical magic.

Lady Pat Mark, a life of family, advocacy and books

Lady Pat Mark thumbnail

Thursday 23 February 2023

It was with great sadness we learned of the recent death of Lady Patricia (Pat) Mark QSO. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to her husband, University of Otago Emeritus Professor Sir Alan Mark CBE, their children Jenifer, Stephen, Alastair and Bridget, and her nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

From wartime orphan to wildlife authority

john darby thumbnail

Thursday 16 February 2023

An extraordinary life journey has taken renowned conservationist and science educator John Darby from orphanages in the United Kingdom during war time, to Assistant Director of the Otago Museum, Honorary Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Otago and champion of the region’s rare and vulnerable wildlife.

Seeds podcasts discuss entrepreneurs’ journeys to success

seeds thumbnail

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Otago Human Nutrition alumna Elise Hilliam, and Law and Commerce graduate Neil Edmond talk with Steven Moe, a Partner at Parry Field Lawyers in Christchurch, about how Elise came to create affordable meal planning company MenuAid, and how Neil made his financial literacy business MoneyTime a reality.

In Pursuit of the Public Good

wallace thumbnail

Monday 13 February 2023

When he decides to do something, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) recipient Wallace Bain, doesn’t do it by halves. Having developed a strong interest for the law after sitting in on a retrial of alleged murderer Arthur Allan Thomas in the early seventies, he decided to pursue a career in law at the University of Otago.

Saying yes to the red shirt and giving back to Otago

Lachie Scarsbrook thumbnail

Tuesday 31 January 2023

It’s been a busy Christmas holiday for Lachie Scarsbrook. Taking his first trip home from the UK since leaving for the University of Oxford nearly two years ago, not only was his research about a new species of gecko published – including collaboration with iwi over Te Reo Māori scientific and common names – but he decided to extend his trip by two weeks to help out for the fourth time as a “red shirt” at Hands On at Otago.

Honour recognises advocacy for equity, social justice and anti-racism

heather came-friar thumb

Monday 23 January 2023

Taking Otago’s distance-learning Certificate in Health Promotion in 1996 helped create the foundations of a career in public health for Dr Heather Came-Friar, who was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori, education and health in the New Year Honours.

Success is always about joining the kaupapa and working together

John Tait thumb

Monday 23 January 2023

While acknowledging how special it is to have been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year Honours, Kaikōura High School principal John Tait (Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia) says in reality there are a huge number of people who have been instrumental in the development of his career, enabling him to do things “I would never have done just by myself”.

Belief in a sound mind and a sound body

richard highman thumb

Thursday 19 January 2023

Leadership in rugby, long service to the University of the Third Age (U3A) and support for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra has been recognised in the 2023 New Year Honours list. University of Otago MBA Director of the New Ventures Programme, Richard Higham, was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) in the awards, which were announced in Wellington this month.

Dame Farah Palmer – New Year Honour a chance to shine a light

farah thumbnail

Thursday 12 January 2023

It was only after much reflection that Dame Farah Palmer, three-time Rugby World Cup winning captain of the Black Ferns, decided to accept the honour of Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, announced in this year’s New Year Honours. The honour is in recognition of her services to sport, particularly rugby.

Drama at Otago paves way for career as voice coach to the stars

Anne-Marie Speed thumbnail

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Cinderella, Britain’s Got Talent, TV drama Cilla, Doc Martin – chances are one of the actors or singers you’ve heard on film, TV or stage has been trained by Otago alumna and voice coach to the stars, Anne-Marie Speed.

Leading the way – 20Twenties Young Alumni Awards 2022

2020 thumb

Wednesday 14 December 2022

We are delighted to announce this year’s 20Twenties Young Alumni Award winners. These trailblazing young graduates are already making their mark in their workplaces and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Networks and events

networks thumbnail

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Renowned physiotherapist Dr Stanley Paris was on campus for a special awards presentation. It was wonderful to reconnect with alumni at events in the Pacific, Australia, North America and Southeast Asia. The Court of Benefactors gathered at the Staff Club in October. The Physics department and DARO welcomed family of distinguished alumnus Professor William (Bill) McLean. The medical class of 2002 celebrated their 20th anniversary.

Global Lens photography competition 2022 winners

photo comp thumb

Wednesday 14 December 2022

We had a fantastic selection of entries to our 2022 photo competition from our alumni. Our four judges were once again impressed with the high standard of photographs submitted. When the judges’ decisions were collated, we found that several photographers dominated this year’s competition. Congratulations to our winners and runners up for 2022 and thank you to all our wonderful alumni who entered!

Youth support for smokefree generation policy

smokefree thumb

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Young people have shown strong support for the Government’s proposal to introduce a smokefree generation, a study by researchers at the University of Otago has found.

From Central Otago to Silicon Valley – Substack’s Hamish McKenzie on supporting writers and creating a new publishing ecosystem

Hamish thumbnail

Monday 12 December 2022

From editor of Critic to co-founder of subscription publishing start-up Substack, Otago English graduate Hamish McKenzie talks about his time at the University and the writing career that took him to San Francisco, leading to the creation of Substack in 2017. Today, the email newsletter platform hosts some of the world’s leading writers, bringing with them their loyal readers, and creating a whole new publishing ecosystem in the process.