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British Council Appoints Ingrid Leary As Director

The British Council Appoints Ingrid Leary As Its New Director In New Zealand

British Council New Zealand has appointed Ingrid Leary to be its new country director based in Auckland from 1 June.

Ingrid has 20 years experience as a freelance journalist with a strong cultural relations focus. She has gained a profile in NZ and the Pacific as an international journalist covering breaking stories around the globe for 3 News, Campbell Live and the NZ Herald. Her career has taken her to every continent, with regular trips to the United Kingdom and Europe.

Ingrid has also run her own television production company, producing series and documentaries for TVNZ, Maori Television, the Pacific Islands Aids Foundation and numerous non-governmental organisations. Her coverage of the Asian tsunami in 2004 earned her one of only two New Zealand Special Service Awards for Bravery awarded to media.

Ingrid said "I am honoured to take up the leadership of an organisation that has such credibility and a genuine mandate to improve cultural relations through its partnerships and programmes. It is a tribute to the outgoing Director Paula Middleton and her team that the British Council has such a strong standing in New Zealand and I am excited at the prospect of taking it forward into new ventures that will build on the important work already done here and in the region."

Adrian Greer, British Council Regional Director East Asia, said "The appointment of our first locally-appointed director is a sign of our strong commitment to the continuing relationship between New Zealand and the UK. Ingrid's outstanding track record in communications and intercultural relations are skills which will equip her well to build on the excellent work of Paula Middleton, the outgoing country director, and her team. We look forward to working closely with our partners in the creative industries, climate change, educational opportunity and cultural relations throughout New Zealand in the coming years."

The British Council will continue to develop partnerships and opportunities nationally from its new base in Auckland. It is focusing on strengthening the relationship between the UK and New Zealand by developing opportunities for collaboration in the creative industries and in activities to respond to climate change. Globally the organisation is moving away from small-scale, one-off projects towards large-scale regional and global opportunities for the talented and creative global citizens of New Zealand.


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