Phone - Carole 021 401 951

Friday, July 15th, 2022 - Peter Nicholl - Living and Working in a War-torn Country: Bosnia

1.     Born and educated in Cambridge. Four years dairy farming in Fencourt after High School.

2.     Switched to economics. Studied at Victoria University, Wellington.

3.     Worked four years for Federated Farmers, NZ while studying.

4.     Joined Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1972.  Spent 22 years there. Chief Economist from 1985-1990 and Deputy Governor from 1990-1995.

5.     Member of the Executive Board of The World Bank, Washington DC, 1995-1997.

6.     1997: asked by the IMF to be Governor of the new Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the post-war country. Spent 10 years living and working in BiH.

7.     2005-2020: living in Bosnia and Italy and working as a consultant to central banks around the world. Employed mainly by the US Treasury Department Office of Technical Assistance but also for the IMF. World Bank and US AID. Amongst the countries worked in were Kosovo, Moldova, Algeria, Vietnam, Paraguay and Syria.

8.     Returned to NZ in 2015. Returned to Cambridge in 2018.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 - Professor Al Gillespie - New Zealand in Challenging Times: The Ukraine, the Pacific, and Extremism

Professor Alexander Gillespie - LLB LLM(Hons) Auckland PhD Nottingham

Professor Alexander Gillespie obtained his LLB and LLM degrees with Honours from The University of Auckland. He did his PhD at Nottingham and post-doctoral studies at Columbia University in New York City. His areas of scholarship pertain to international and comparative environmental law; the laws of war; civil liberties; and a number of pressing issues of social concern.

Alexander has published seventeen books.  His most recent work is Volume IV of his Causes of War (1650-1800) series which was published in 2021 by Bloomsbury/Hart in Oxford, UK.  He has also written over forty academic articles.

Alexander has been awarded a Rotary International Scholarship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a residency at the Rockefeller Bellagio Centre in Italy, and the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellowship. He was the recipient of a Francqui Foundation award with which he held a professorship at Ghent University, Belgium, for six months during 2018/2019. In 2021 he was the joint winner of the Critic and Conscience of Society Award.

Alexander has also been the lawyer/expert on a number of international delegations and advised the New Zealand government on multiple matters of international concern. Professor Gillespie  was the first New Zealander to be named Rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, involving international environmental diplomacy under the auspice of UNESCO.  Alexander has also been engaged in policy formation for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and governmental, commercial and non-governmental organisations in New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland. He has also made a number of  appearances before the Waitangi Tribunal and Select Committees of the New Zealand Parliament.

Friday September 9th, 2022 - Suzanne McFadden - The Professionalisation of Womens Sport

Suzanne McFadden has been a journalist for 36 years, specialising in sports reporting for most of those.

She’s covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, five America’s Cups and numerous world championships. She spent a decade on the sports desk at the New Zealand Herald, followed by a 17-year stint freelancing. 

With a number of writing awards under her belt – including the 2021 Voyager Sports Journalist of the Year, she is now editor of LockerRoom, a unique news site devoted solely to New Zealand women in sport.

In 2016, Suzanne published her first book, Striking Gold - the story of the New Zealand men’s hockey team who won gold against the odds at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.  She is married to journalist Eugene Bingham, and they have two adult sons and a grandson.

Friday October 14th, 2022 - Dr Arif Saeid - Afghanistan, Refugees, Medicine

Arif served as a medical doctor in Afghanistan and also worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 1994 to 1999. 

He moved to New Zealand in January 2000 and for 17 years worked with Refugees as Survivors NZ where he led the Community Services Team. 

He works closely with new settler and refugee communities in the areas of employment, social engagement, preventing violence and health and wellbeing to improve and advance smoother resettlement. 

Furthermore, he supports young people from refugee backgrounds to reach their potentials in education, employment and social wellbeing.

Besides serving on a few boards, Arif is currently the president of Refugee Council of New Zealand and currently working with Ministry of Social Development (MSD) as a senior refugee and migrant advisor. 

Friday November 11th, 2022 - Antanas Procuta - New Zealand Architecture

To Be Updated

Friday February 10th, 2023 - Dr Roger Hill - The excitement of analytical chemistry - an oxymoron?

Roger was born in Te Aroha and grew up on a dairy farm, before attending Auckland University between 1969 -1976, graduating with a PhD in Chemistry.  His first and only employment was with a small company called Analytical Services Ltd domiciled in Cambridge, which involved setting up and then managing the privately owned soil testing laboratory.  After eight years, he left to start Hill Laboratories, in partnership with his wife, Anne.  The new laboratory was immediately successful, and the ongoing growth has resulted now with the employment of over 300 people in Hamilton (450 people nationwide), with satellite branches in Christchurch, Blenheim, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland.

Roger and Anne have two sons and five grandchildren, and their elder son, Jonno, is now running the business.

Friday March 10th, 2023 - Dr Sarah Gordon - From psychiatric patient to Associate Professor (and psychiatric patient)

Associate Professor Sarah Gordon PhD (Otago), MBHL, LLB, BSc

Sarah’s personal experience of mental illness shaped her university study with the areas of psychology, medical law, bioethics, and psychological medicine being the focus through to PhD level. Combining this theoretical education and personal experience, Sarah has spent the last 20 years working and advocating for an improved mental health sector and societal perceptions of mental health from the perspective of a person who personally experiences mental illness.

Since 2011 Sarah has worked as a service user academic with the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago. Through this role, she has promoted and progressed service user-led and co-produced education and research.

This work has resulted in the establishment of "World of Difference" – a service user academia education and research team, which Sarah currently leads. The education and research programs being led or co-produced by the World of Difference team are focused on ending discrimination, and promoting recovery, inclusion, and respect for the human rights of people who experience mental distress.

From psychiatric patient to Associate Professor (and psychiatric patient)

Sometimes I wonder where to start. Should it be the serious assault I suffered at the age of eleven or should it be when I was officially diagnosed with a serious mental disorder after I was sent for my first ‘vacation’ at the psychiatric facility? Ultimately it doesn’t really matter – what does matter is that I have always had people in my life that have supported me unconditionally, despite the serious impact that my struggles have had on my life, and theirs, at times (and I will talk a little about this). Furthermore, their expectations about who I am and what I am capable of have never changed. Their perspective has always been that given the impact of my illness I'd just need a bit more support to realise my dreams and aspirations (and I will talk a little about this).  I never knew that my ultimate aspiration was to be a ‘disruptor’ which is how I describe what I have been doing for the last thirty years (and I will talk a little about this). Essentially, I try and disrupt the status quo – the status quo being the belief that people like me don’t recover and achieve, that a broken system can’t be fixed, and that most people really don’t care that much about any of this….unless it is personal to them (and I will talk mostly about this). I look forward to sharing my personal and professional knowledge and experiences, and most importantly, my hope and vision for the future with you.


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