20Twenties Young Alumni Awards
Otago alumni take their place in the world, from local comedian to international space law expert.
Otago alumna and award-winning conductor Holly Mathieson takes music to audiences in every corner of society. One week she might be taking the stage in an opera house or for a ballet company or an orchestra, and the next performing on mountain summit, in far flung islands, or in a supermarket.
Tony Vallance is alive with enthusiasm for his work and his students. He’s passionate about finding ways to connect them to their learning, and to their communities. In early 2019 the Otago Zoology graduate was recognised for his commitment to his work and his innovative teaching methods when he was named Australian Teacher of the Year.
At the age of 11, Zhiyan Basharati arrived in New Zealand with her family, having spent her childhood in a Kurdish refugee camp. Eighteen years on, Zhiyan has gained a PhD in forensic psychology, learned about the history of her people, the culture of her new home, and spent a huge part of her adult life volunteering as an advocate for refugees and migrants.
Hugh says his career has been underpinned by the value of “holding leaders to the truth – and to the principles of the UN Charter New Zealand helped draft – the chief principle being that of cooperation”.
E-learning company GoSkills’ co-founder Bhavneet Chahal says her experiences at Otago kickstarted a career helping others learn about IT and realise their potential.
Greg Rawson is a Master of Teaching and Learning alumnus, now working as a Year 3 teacher at St Heliers School in Auckland. He says that making the move from international business and a recruitment career in Hong Kong was worthwhile.
After studying French and History Jennifer spent a year in France teaching English before embarking on a career in communications. In the years since she has worked for New Zealand First, lived and travelled around Europe and written a book titled Parallel Lives Four Seasons in the French Pyrenees.
Travelling to exotic locations with an international rally motorsport team may sound like a life of glamour, but Otago alumna Katie Lane says it’s not only the drivers that need focus and “grit” to stay ahead of the competition.
Kit Macgillivray majored in Plant Ecology at Otago, and since then he has gone on to success with his Sydney-based company Lucity Studio.
International Space law is Maria Pozza’s passion. As an Otago International Studies alumna, Maria specialised in space law, and completed her PhD on international law and policy in outer space, working in both Faculty of Law and the Department of Politics.
Mark Orton knows the theory and practice of working in the media. An alumnus of both Film and Media Studies and the Postgraduate Diploma of Science Communication, he’s learned about the history of filmmaking, and how to make films for a TV audience.
Nadeha works at the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus - the only international branch campus of Swinburne Australia in Melbourne.
Otago alumna Nicky Britten says she has to pinch herself every morning when she walks into work at the spiritual “home of cricket”, Lord’s Cricket Ground. The commerce and physical education graduate now works as a Cricket Operations Executive for the England and Wales Cricket Board.
It's been a year of highs for Otago medical alumnus Sam Hazledine - he's had the Declaration of Geneva amended and released a book on doctor burnout - but it's often been the "lows" which have been his biggest motivators...
Sian O’ Gorman knows the link between Doc Martens, style, and music. Graduating from Otago with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) in Design Studies and a Bachelor of Music (Performance), Sian is now part of the Dr. Martens Global Marketing Team in London, where she helps to coordinate and produce all of the in-house creative work.
New Zealand cricketer and Otago alumna Suzie Bates has had a good year; at the 2016 ASB Otago Sports Awards in May she took top honours in the NZME Sportswoman of the Year category.
Te Radar, born Andrew J Lumsden, is an Otago alumnus whom you will recognise from TVNZ documentary series such as Global Radar, Radar Across the Pacific, Radar’s Patch, Off the Radar, Hidden In The Numbers and Homegrown.