BDS (Otago), DCD (Melb), MOrth RCSEd, MRACDS (Orth)
I am: Orthodontist; Mountaineer; Director of SmileHigh in Nepal
I did: Dentistry
Julian Haszard uses his University of Otago Bachelor of Dentistry degree every day, but his time at Otago was also the beginning of a life of adventure.
Today he is an orthodontist in New Plymouth, and also one of the directors of SmileHigh, a non-profit organisation increasing the living standards of children in Nepal by providing them with much needed dental services.
Julian came to Otago from Taranaki because of its reputation for a unique study experience and its health science faculties, but was wowed by Dunedin’s incredible landscape.
“I often say that if it was one or two degrees warmer Dunedin would be a paradise beyond others. Its beaches are spectacular set with the surrounding hills. The city and University are rich in history and it provides an overall experience that is so different to all other university cities in New Zealand and Australia.”
Moving to Dunedin to study was “in many ways the start of the many adventures that I have continued throughout my life,” Julian says.
“Simply to go and study in Dunedin is quite an adventure. And once in Dunedin there were the multitude of adventures: ranging from trips to Long Beach to rock climb, walking up Mt Cargill with a pack on a winter night just to do something different, climbing and skiing in Queenstown, Wanaka and Arthur’s Pass, road trips down the West Coast …”
Julian, who also has a doctorate in orthodontics from the University of Melbourne, undertook officer training with the New Zealand Army while in Dunedin, and began mountaineering with a group of Dunedin climbers.
He visited Nepal to climb for the first time in 2003 and afterwards spent a month working as a volunteer dentist with Dr Mingma Sherpa in the Khumbu Valley – an experience that led to the foundation of SmileHigh.
He believes studying at Otago gave him an attitude and confidence that contributed to his success in life.
“Students gain a down to earth approachable attitude when studying in Dunedin. While we accept that Dunedin is a small place, we are all proud that the University and its graduates perform extremely well by international standards. I believe that this approachable attitude, yet confidence in the quality of our education, helps us Otago graduates interact well in society and achieve throughout life.”
To Julian, the words Only Otago mean: “To gain a world-class degree while unlocking an adventurous spirit, with great lifelong friends in a totally unique part of the world.”