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

Healthy University Advisory Group


"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". 

World Health Organisation Constitution.

The Vice-Chancellor established the Healthy University Advisory Group in August 2015 to enhance the University's ability to provide a healthy learning, living, and working environment that enables students and staff to achieve their full potential.  The goal of the Advisory Group is to identify opportunities to foster health, well-being and resilience within the University community.

Terms of Reference

a)  To provide advice to the Vice-Chancellor on:

  • The development of policies and practices that promote a healthy university environment across all of the University of Otago Campuses;
  • The development, implementation and monitoring of policies and practices that nurture a culture of support and resilience;
  • The governance and management of healthy university initiatives;
  • Research-based evidence about effective policies and strategies to enhance health, well-being, and resilience in a university environment.

b)  To receive and consider reports and plans that influence the health, well-being, and resilience of staff and students at the University of Otago.

c)  To consider and report on any matter concerning the healthy university environment referred to it by the Vice-Chancellor.

Key Tasks

  • Consult widely with staff, students and external stakeholders on current initiatives covering promotion, prevention and provision, and on possible strategies for the future.
  • Review the demographic makeup of the University Community.
  • Develop a Healthy University framework with priority for a campus-wide strategy that enhances the health, well-being and resilience of staff and students.
  • Promote a visible culture of valuing health and well-being within the University.
  • Support values and social systems that develop healthy identity, self-responsibility, and adaptability in members of the University community.
  • Prioritise for action the areas of mental health and sexual health in our University community.
  • Establish working groups for priority areas which draw on the expertise within the University.
  • Ensure that activities are best practice and align with the strategic direction of the University.
  • Develop strategic partnerships within key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally, including Matariki and Health Promoting University networks.
  • Oversee implementation of initiatives within the framework that are resource effective including coordination of materials and expertise across support services, research and teaching to maximise benefits for students and staff.
  • Monitor and review the performance of the University in regard to health, well-being, and resilience.
  • As far as possible, evaluate new initiatives put in place.
  • Establish and regularly review a "work plan" for the Group.


The Advisory Group reports to the Vice-Chancellor.  A summary of Advisory Group activity will be provided to the Vice-Chancellor annually.

Meeting Schedule

The Advisory Group will meet, at a minimum, quarterly.  Further meetings will be held as required.


Members are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor.

Members are able to serve two terms each of three years and, where appropriate, this can be extended to a final third term. 




Current Membership

Dr John Adams (Convenor)Dunedin School of
Ms Simone McNicholDivisional HR Manager, Human
Ms Andrea McMillanHead, Health & Safety Compliance, Human
Dr Kim Ma'ia'iDirector, Student Health
Ms Louise SignalDepartment of Public Health, University of Otago,
Ms Karyn ThomsonDirector, Student
Rev Greg HughsonUniversity
Ms Christina Watson-MillsHead, Toroa
Mr Jason CushenDeputy Director, International
Dr Damian ScarfDepartment of
Associate Professor Jan MckenzieDepartment of the Dean, University of Otago,
Mr Daniel PorterManager, Recreation
Mr Kirio BirksPostgrad Officer, Otago University Students'
Ms Abigail ClarkWelfare Officer, Otago University Students'
Ms Jacqui Bradshaw (Secretary)Executive Administrator, Otago Medical