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Issue 382 | 12 June 2015 | Previous Issues

A personal message from the Dean

John Fraser has been overseas much of this week visiting alumni. Before he left, he attended the opening of the Public Health Intensive, which is keeping the fifth year medical class busy for the entire week. The week opened with a keynote address from Dr Russell Wills, the Children's Commissioner, which was inspiring and set a very positive and challenging tone for the week's work.

Over Queen’s Birthday weekend, John and I enjoyed hosting the annual faculty alumni reunion. Classes who graduated in 1975, 1980, 1885 … up to 2005 were present. John and I were ably assisted by Emma Dent and a number of our current students, who guided our guests around the Faculty and showed off the wonderful facilities we now have available. This has become a major annual event and a very important way of maintaining communication with our former graduates.

At Faculty Executive this week, we were briefed about Canvas, the new electronic platform the University has adopted to host material relating to taught courses. The intention is that Canvas will completely replace Cecil from the beginning of next year, and details relating to its implementation will be forthcoming in the next few months.

Faculty Executive also considered the implication of the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014, which comes into effect on the 1st of July. This requires screening, including police checks, on staff and students who have regular involvement with children in a healthcare context. Measures are being put in place to ensure that the requirements of the Act are met. The extent to which it applies to our activities outside of hospitals and general practices is still being clarified, and further communications will be forthcoming.

Last week the principal annual grants from the Health Research Council were announced. Congratulations to all those who were successful. The total size of the pool available this year was smaller than last year and reflects a progressive diminution in the purchasing power of the HRC. This is obviously a critical issue for the Faculty and, it is hoped, will be addressed in the HRC Refresh which is currently underway.

A number of Faculty members and former staff were honoured in the recent Queen’s Birthday honours. I was also delighted to hear, during the week, that Professor Sally Merry has been honoured with the award of a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Auckland Downtown Rotary Club. This is seldom awarded outside the ranks of rotarians and reflects the important societal contributions that Sally and her team have made over the last decade.


Best wishes,

Ian Reid

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

The University of Auckland


This year’s MBChB Reunion a huge success

We were excited to celebrate milestone graduation anniversaries for MBChB classes of 1975, ’80, ’85, ’90, ’95, 2000 and 2005 over Queen’s Birthday weekend.

The 'welcome back' drinks on the Friday evening were well attended with former classmates and staff enjoying catching up to reconnect, celebrate and remember. The Saturday session included a faculty update from the Dean, Professor John Fraser, tours of our purpose-built facility, and class photos.

We were thrilled that alumnus Dr David Tipene-Leach was able to attend as part of the 1980 year group. In 1978 Dr Tipene-Leach made the magnificent carvings around the door to our Manaakitia Room at our Grafton Campus.

Thank you to the three students who volunteered their time to help at the reunion:

  • Hazel Wilks (Year 4; current AUMSA President)
  • Mark Bekhit (Year 4)
  • Jennifer Chieng (Year 5)

We’re already looking forward to next year’s reunion, for graduating year groups 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.

Click here to view the reunion photo gallery on the Alumni website


Faculty members recognised in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours

Image of Distinguished Professor Sir Peter Gluckman
Distinguished Professor Sir Peter Gluckman

Warm congratulations to Distinguished Professor Sir Peter Gluckman and to Professor Graham Mellsop. Both received prestigious recognition at this year’s Queen Birthday Honours.

Distinguished Professor Sir Peter Gluckman was added to the Order of New Zealand, a group of which only 20 living New Zealanders can belong to at any one time. Read more

Professor Graham Mellsop received a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to psychiatry. Read more

Others recognised were Dr Jonathan Baskett, who specialised in geriatric medicine, for services to health; Professor Roderick MacLeod, honorary academic in the Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare, for services to hospice and palliative care; and Dr Tony Townsend from the Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare, for services to health.

Congratulations are extended to this group of colleagues on this well-deserved recognition.


‘Doctors Without Shelter’ get ready to sleep rough

Image of From left: Jimmy Chancellor, Dr Tony Fernando and Associate Professor Mark Thomas
From left: Jimmy Chancellor, Dr Tony Fernando and Associate Professor Mark Thomas

Thursday 2 July will see fundraising team ‘Doctors Without Shelter’ sleeping rough in our City of Sails, but all for a good cause.

The team, ‘Doctors Without Shelter’ includes:

The ‘Lifewise Big Sleepout’ raises funds and awareness to help Lifewise assist the homeless in Auckland.

You can visit the team’s fundraising page and donate to this worthy cause.


Memorial trophy in Optometry and Vision Science

Image of Sian Coldicutt (right) receiving the Anna Pritchard Memorial Trophy from Donald Crichton
Sian Coldicutt (right) receiving the Anna Pritchard Memorial Trophy from Donald Crichton

Congratulations to Sian Coldicutt, a graduate in our School of Optometry and Vision Science. Last month Sian received the ‘Anna Pritchard Memorial Trophy’ for the top-dispensing student in 2014.

The award recognises a student who has excelled in optical dispensing in their final year of our optometry programme.

The University of Auckland Clinics established the award in memory of dispensing optician Anna Pritchard.

Anna passed away suddenly in January 2014 and the trophy recognises her dedication to the advancement of teaching in optical dispensing.

A highly regarded member of the team, Anna had worked at our University of Auckland Optometry Clinics for four years, at both our Grafton and Tāmaki campuses.


Teaching Awards

The presentation of this years teaching awards will take place on Thursday 18 June in the atrium, Grafton Campus.

I would like to congratulate our winners again, as well as acknowledge the record number of high quality applications received for the Butland awards this year.

It is a sign of the excellence of teaching and learning across the faculty. If you are able to come along, support and celebrate with your colleagues, please RSVP to Johanna Beattie by Monday 15 June.


Welcome to Liggins’ new Research Operations Manager

Congratulations to Ellen Campbell who is the new Research Operations Manager for the Liggins Institute.

The Liggins Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for research on fetal and child health, nutrition, development, epigenetics and evolutionary medicine.

Please join me in welcoming Ellen to the team.