Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Distinguished alumni honoured

Distinguished alumni honoured

Six outstanding graduates of the University of Auckland, in fields ranging from neuroscience and composing, to law and the visual arts, will be honoured at a gala dinner this month.

More than 400 guests will attend the dinner in a large marquee on Old Government House lawn at the University’s City Campus.

The five winners of the Distinguished Alumni Awards, and the Young Alumnus of the Year award, have all made outstanding contributions to their professions, their communities, or the nation.

As well as addressing the gala dinner on Friday 14 March, the award winners will speak at Auckland Live! onThursday 13 March. This ticketed event is open to the public and will be held from 6.30pm-8pm at the Maidment Theatre. Well known media commentator Finlay Macdonald will be the convenor of Auckland Live!

At this event speakers will discuss their aspirations and inspiration, their vision of the future in both their career and industry, and advice for people interested in their field.

The five distinguished alumni are;

Bruce Aitken, BCom 1975, was President and Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver-based Methanex Corporation, the world’s largest producer of methanol, from May 2004 until December 2012. During his long career with Methanex he held numerous positions including Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, based in New Zealand. He is a global business leader and serves on the board of directors for Methanex.

Gareth Farr ONZM, BMus (Comp) 1991, DipMus (Percussion) 1991, MMus Eastman School of Music 1992,is well known as one of the country’s leading composers. His works have been commissioned and performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Wellington Sinfonia, and various other professional ensembles here and overseas. In 2010 Gareth received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award.

Dr Julie Maxton, LLB(Hons) London 1976, LLM(Hons) Canterbury 1981, PhD Law 1991, is the Executive Director of the Royal Society of London. Prior to taking up her current position in 2011, Julie was Registrar at the University of Oxford, where she is an Honorary Fellow of University College. She was a Professor of Law at the University of Auckland from 1993 to 2006 and Dean of the Faculty from 2000 to 2006.

Dr William Tan PBM, BBM, BSc 1980 Singapore, PhD 1994, MPhil 1996, MHSc 2001 Sydney, MOH 2002Harvard, MSc 2002 Oxford, MBBS 2005 Newcastle, is a neuroscientist, resident physician, Paralympian, international inspirational speaker, and a champion for needy causes. He became the first person to accomplish marathons in Antarctica and the North Pole in a wheelchair in 2007 and holds multiple endurance marathon world records.

Hon Dr Ana Maui Taufeulungaki, BA 1969, MA Leeds 1978, PhD Birmingham 1988, is a Tongan academic and politician. She was appointed as Tongan Minister of Education, Women’s Affairs and Culture in 2011, after a 30-year career at the Ministry of Education and the University of the South Pacific. She has made significant contributions to education policy and political reform in Tonga.

Young Alumna of the Year:
Roseanne Liang, BA BSc 2000, MCPA 2003, is a writer and film director. Her first feature film, My Wedding and Other Secrets, was the highest grossing local film in 2011. Based on her award-winning autobiographical documentary, Banana in a Nutshell, it won Best Feature Screenplay award at the 2012 Aotearoa Film and TV Awards. Roseanne was named a 2012 Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leader.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


New Zealand Geographic: Photographer Of The Year Announced

Shaun Jeffers, has won the Landscape category at the New Zealand Geographic, Photographer of the Year awards for his stunning shot of the glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves! More>>


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news