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Departing Dean to Fund Fellowship

Departing Dean of Medical and Health Sciences to Fund Fellowship

9 May 2005

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Use

Departing Dean of Medical and Health Sciences to Fund Fellowship

The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Dean Professor Peter Smith will fund a travelling fellowship, as his parting gift to the institution.

Professor Smith announced the $250,000 donation at the Faculty's Alumni Reunion Dinner, held in Auckland on Saturday night and attended by 250 former students and Faculty supporters.

Professor Smith - who will soon be returning to Australia to take up a new appointment in Sydney as head of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales - says he strongly believes that The University of Auckland needs to continue to build links and collaborations with research-led universities in Australia.

"I am a firm believer in the need for actions that support words. That is why I have advised the University that I will establish a Travelling Fellowship to enable a PhD student, postdoctoral member of Faculty or a newly appointed member of Faculty to visit one or more of the "group of eight" leading Australian universities or their affiliated research institutes.

"The interest from the sum I am providing should be sufficient to fund one or two substantial awards annually, that will pay for travel, accommodation, conference attendance and any laboratory or working expense fees, if research work is to be undertaken while in Australia.

I look forward one day to welcoming a Fellow recipient to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales," said Professor Smith.

He also paid tribute to those individuals, families and organisations already supporting the Faculty, noting in particular several donations that provide scholarship support in medicine, nursing and pharmacy. These include:

* The Brick Scholarship, which provides support to talented students who can demonstrate financial need. Dr Gregory Brick, a graduate of The University of Auckland School of Medicine in 1976, established The Brick Family Scholarship last year. Dr Brick is a Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. The first recipient of the Brick Scholarship is Gareth Shalley, a 23 year old student in the second year of his medical degree.

* The Goodfellow Foundation, which has a proud legacy of fostering education opportunities for primary care providers in New Zealand through the Goodfellow Unit, has agreed to provide a further $1,250,000 over the next five years. An immediate result of this support is that the Unit will shortly be appointing a new education specialist who will enhance the Unit's distance learning offerings.

* The Rebecca Roberts Scholarship Fund has received substantial support from Kevin and Rowena Roberts - in recognition of the quality of care their daughter received during a hospitalisation. It is the Faculty's only scholarship for nurses, and its six recipients have all successfully completed their Master of Nursing training.

* The Vernon Tews Education Trust has recently agreed to provide scholarships in excess of $30,000 for each year of a three-year period, to New Zealand pharmacy graduates wishing to do a PhD on pharmaceutical sciences or the practice of pharmacy at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Additional funds will also be provided to pay for travel expenses.

* The Gus Fisher Post Doctoral Fellowship, to fund advanced research aimed at finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. The first recipient is to be announced later this month.

"The Faculty is deeply grateful for the support it receives from all its donors. All too often, the costs associated with study or research prevent talented people from pursuing their goals. The donations provided to the Faculty will have an enduring legacy, because they foster intellectual inquiry at the very highest level," said Professor Smith.

- End -


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