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Ones To Watch: Meet Auckland’s 40 Under 40

They are the trailblazers, innovators and bright young professionals who are changing the status quo. The University of Auckland’s 40 Under 40 list for 2021 provides a glimpse into New Zealand’s rising stars and leaders.

The annual list recognises graduates who have achieved exceptional success within their field and made a significant community impact while aged in their twenties or thirties.

They are selected from a range of professions and include creatives, artists, CEOs, healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs. Many are changing behaviours and bettering people’s lives.

Now in its fifth year, the initiative has reached a milestone of 200 talented alumni who have been inducted. The 40 Under 40 list was introduced to showcase the breadth and diversity of the university’s global alumni community, while inspiring the next generation of alumni leaders to make a positive difference in the world.

Honourees are nominated for the award in six different categories depending on where they have made an impact: business leaders, entrepreneurs, disrupters and innovators, humanitarians, performers, and influencers.

This year’s list includes:

Karl Rock, a global YouTube influencer with a huge following for his videos filmed in India. He is also an internationally-recognised scam-buster and has presented at anti-piracy conferences around the world.

Michal Garvey (she), founder and director of Foodprint, an app which is helping to 
keep good, edible food out of landfill.

Angel investor Nawaz Ahmed, an international advisor on crypto-currency opportunities, a scout for local and offshore venture capital firms, and host of popular podcast The Inquisitive VC.

Barrister and solicitor Lanu Faletau, selected by the Obama Foundation as an Obama Leader for New Zealand and Tonga. She is also a plus size model and activist for body positivity, and the advancement of Pacific representation and education.

Husband and wife Dr Lloyd McCann, CEO of Mercy Radiology and Clinics, and Dr Karina McHardy, a former elite gymnast who has held health leaderships roles at ACC, the World Health Organisations and DHBs. Both are advocates for improving healthcare through values-based leadership.

Marcia Hopa (Ngāpuhi, Waikato and Ngāti Whātua) a trained teacher, kapa haka leader, bi-lingual presenter on both television and radio, and co-owner of Niwha Creative, a design house of Māori creatives.

Valentino (Valery) Wichman, a barrister and solicitor and Director of Central Policy and Planning for the Cook Islands Government.

Ziena Jalil, a former New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore, the youngest commissioner ever appointed, who helped to leverage the historic NZ-China Free Trade Agreement. Today based in Auckland she advises, speaks and writes about diversity, equity and inclusion.

The university’s Director of Alumni Relations and Development, Mark Bentley, congratulated all of the outstanding graduates who made this year’s list.

“Each year I’m amazed at the incredible young talent unearthed by the nominations for our 40 Under 40 list. I have no doubt they will all go on to bigger things and will play important roles in New Zealand’s economic and social futures.”

Given the University graduates some 8,000 students each year, making the list means standing out in the crowd.

Read: the full list of 40 Under 40 recipients for 2021.

Listen: to the “Take 10” Podcast interviews with six outstanding recipients
For more about the 40 Under 40 and to read the full list visit the University of Auckland Alumni Relations and Development website.

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