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Council appointments and elections

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Appointments and Elections to the University Council

Professional Staff Member on the University Council

The University of Otago Council comprises 12 elected and appointed members. The current professional staff member on the Council will complete his term at the end of 2019. An election by electronic voting, to elect ONE permanent member of the professional staff to fill this vacancy, will be therefore be held from 5 November 2019 until noon on 8 November 2019. The term of office is four years and will commence on 1 January 2020.

Nominations for the professional staff member on the University Council are now closed.

Chris Stoddart
Registrar and Returning Officer

16 October 2019

Candidates for election (in randomised order)

Melissa Lethaby

I have been a professional staff member at the University since 2002. I am currently the Manager of Disability Information and Support and am proud to lead a high performing team.

During my 17 years at the University, I have served on large a number of committees and working groups. These opportunities have provided me with in-depth knowledge of policies that govern our institution. My involvement has also assisted me to develop a number of valuable networks. I pride myself on being an in touch leader and as a result I have a good grasp of the issues both staff and students face. In addition, I have a well established reputation within the tertiary sector, primarily due to my role as National President of ACHIEVE – the National Post-Secondary Education Disability Network. This role has given me great insight into the challenges tertiary institutions face, but equally allowed me the opportunity to advocate for change.

I am committed to ensuring the voice of Professional staff is included at a governance level and believe my skills and broad experience of the University would enable me to adequately represent the voice of Professional staff on the University Council.


Bryony Alden

Kia ora!

As a Council Member I will bring skill and enthusiasm to assist the Council deliver good governance of the University I love. I have experience at Otago Uni in research, teaching, administration, pastoral care, student leadership and community outreach and will therefore be able to ensure decisions are made to support all aspects of university life including its role in the wider Dunedin community.

I am currently the Assistant Residential Tutor at Hayward College, on secondment to the Sustainability Office, where I am working on the Green Impact Awards Programme. While undertaking my BSc(Hons) degree at Otago Uni I worked as a: Laboratory Demonstrator; Research Assistant; Facilitator and Mentor in the Peer Assisted Study Sessions programme; and Recreation Assistant at Unipol.

As the founding president of the student ecological society, OU AAPES, I promoted collaboration between students, professional staff, academics and the wider Dunedin community, to promote ecological issues.

Within the broader community I have worked for DOC and a Dunedin environmental consultancy firm. I am a Trustee and co-secretary of the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust and an active Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust volunteer.

I am a good listener, consider issues carefully and negotiate sensitively with conviction.


Lucy Shieffelbien

I began working in 1985 at the Computing Services Centre (ITS). I have been in my current role as Service Delivery Manager for the National Poisons Centre (NPC) since 2001.

Having served on many steering committees, I have an extensive working knowledge of the University. In 2015, I guided the NPC through the National Telehealth Service negotiation and integration processes, securing a 10 year funding contract.

Alongside Otago Innovation Ltd, I am involved in the commercialisation and international promotion of a very successful product developed by the NPC. I am an Elected Board Member of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology. I have strong leadership skills and have completed the Women in Leadership Programme.

I am lucky to have a unique perspective of the University. The University is more than teaching and research. In additional to the academic departments, there are many service units operating within the University that have their own set of nuances.

This is a very exciting, yet challenging time for the University, having embarked on the SSR journey. As one of the few Professional Staff members outside of the scope of the SSR, I have a very different perspective to bring to the table.


Rosemary Tarbotton

Rosemary Tarbotton ADipSCSM, DipHospMgmt, DipCompNursing, BAppMgmt (StratMgmt), has been Head of Te Rangi Hiroa College since 2017. Previously she was Deputy Head of Cumberland, and also worked as Acting Head of Cumberland for nine months in 2018.

Rosemary was a member of the VC's Advisory Group on Sustainability and has a great interest in the Green Impact initiative. She is also a member of the Campus and Collegiate Life Services Health and Safety committee and sits on many workgroups within her division. Through her work Rosemary has established links with many staff in the University, both academic and professional, and would be a dedicated representative on the Council.

Rosemary has a passion for working with young people, and would like to contribute to the decision making process of the University. She lives in at Te Rangi Hiroa College, and greatly enjoys her interactions with the residents.

Her interests are singing and conducting, cooking, travelling and being with her family, particularly her young grandson.


Doug Mackie

Reasons to not vote for me:

I’m a well-educated (PhD) white male in my early 50s. I have never known real want or hunger. Governing bodies throughout the world are stuffed to the gunwales with people like me. How has that worked so far?

Reasons to consider me as least bad option:

  • I have been at Otago as a student, postdoctoral researcher, teaching fellow, technician, and, currently, as Laboratory Manager of Portobello Marine Lab; I understand the University and its needs.
  • My position is Level 6 on the payscale – I am not management band but I know how to manage staff and how to write a budget.
  • I have children who will likely attend Otago; pastoral care would often be on my mind.
  • After mischance and mismanagement, my own Department is being restructured. I’d like to think the Council could encourage a culture that catches things before they get to this stage.
  • The Council owes a duty of care to account for the >$200M of taxpayer’s “Vote Education” funding Otago spends each year.

Disclosure: In the late 90s, I was a member of the student Education Action Group that organised an occupation of the Registry for a week in 1996.


Sheryl Logie

My role as Head of Finance Advisory is leading a team of 57 finance specialists, who are located in departments, schools, divisions and operational areas across the University's Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington campuses. I am a Chartered Accountant and very proud to have completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in accounting at the University of Otago.

Prior to commencing my current role at the University in January 2018, I was the Group Finance Controller with Southern Hospitality Ltd for 10 years. I have previously worked as a Corporate Accountant for Mainland Products and Columba College and as an Auditor for Ernst and Young in New Zealand and England.

Previous governance experience includes attending the Board meetings for Southern Hospitality Ltd in my role as Company Secretary. I was a member of the Board of Governors at Columba College between 2008 and 2009 and also Chaired the Finance Committee. Prior to this, I was Secretary for the Board of Governors at the College.

Outside of work I enjoy reading, travelling and exploring new places and spending time with my two adult children.


Denise Lindsay

I have been employed by the University of Otago since 2008, initially on a fixed term project, securing a permanent role in 2010. My current role is Head of Organisational Development (previously known as the Manager Recruitment, Development and Equity) located in the Human Resources Division.

I am a member of the Equity Advisory Committee to the Vice-Chancellor, the Rainbow Tick Working Party, an ex-officio member of the Staff Women’s Caucus Committee and attend Staffing Advisory Committee as the Equity Observer.

I feel very fortunate to hold these roles and appreciate the collegiality and sense of community amongst our academic and professional staff.

I’m also a member of a blended family (my contribution was two cats, a container of furniture and regular roast dinners) with four, now grown up, step-children making their way in the world. As an empty nester, apart from the last hen, sheep, dogs, cats and alpacas (of course, not forgetting my husband). I feel that if elected, I will be able to fully participate as a member of the University Council.

Thank you very much for your consideration of my nomination.


Shane Montague-Gallagher

I am the current Professional Staff Representative on Council and I am seeking your support for a second term.

During my term we have made great progress on environmental matters by creating a sustainability strategy, divesting from fossil fuels and adopting the UN Sustainability Goals.

I have intimate knowledge of the issues which confront the tertiary sector. I have built strong relationships with the rest of council which has been vital in pursuing positive outcomes for our staff and students as well as the long-term welfare of our university.

In an environment of constant change a strong, democratically elected voice who has and will vigorously advocate for governance that keeps staff and students to the forefront of decision-making is needed at Council.

I have been a professional staff member since 2002 and have served the University community in the TEU, especially as Otago Branch President in 2006 and 2007. I am a passionate believer in tertiary education as a public good, and look forward to the opportunity to continue my role on council to ensure our university remains at the forefront of protecting and delivering quality public education and research in an environment that remains positive for staff and students.