University of Otago alumni newsletter.
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Otago alumni central to Fiji's pandemic response

Fiji’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) represents Fiji’s whole-of-government response to the pandemic and implements the Fiji Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan.
(209kb pdf)
Top Queen’s Birthday Honours for alumni

We catch up with Dr Karen Poutasi CNZM, who was appointed Dame Companion, and Mr George Ngaei ONZM who along with Dr John Nacey was awarded CNZM. A full list of alumni honours is here. (460kb pdf)
COVID-19: Playing our part

Otago’s pandemic response includes supporting students, staff and research activity. Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne introduces some of our COVID-19 experts and their amazing work. Watch here.

Your Story - A long and wonderful journey

From North Otago to North Carolina, Winsome Wallace Leadbetter’s life has travelled many different paths, but perhaps none quite so special as the trail which follows alongside the Leith River in North Dunedin.

Read more (525kb pdf)


Young Alumni Awards

Do you know an outstanding young alumna or alumnus? You still have time to nominate them for the Otago’s inaugural 20 Twenties Young Alumni Awards which close at the end of June.

As a group they are facing challenging and uncertain times, and these awards are an opportunity to value and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Thank you to all those who nominated.

Proposed reunions

Final dates subject to change. Please contact reunion organisers for confirmation.
Oct Medical Class of 1980
02~04 Taking place in Dunedin.
Oct PhysEd Class of 1980
23~25 Taking place in Dunedin.
Nov Medical Class of 1970
18~20 Taking place in Dunedin.
Feb Home Science  1970
19~21 Taking place in Dunedin.

Networks & events

Now that New Zealand has moved down to level one lockdown we are thrilled to be able to host the Highlanders' Breakfast with the Coaches. We are also starting our online book club, which has had an amazing uptake by alumni around the world, with more than 500 registered.

Networks & events (201kb pdf)

Lecture hot picks

Be entertained and feed your mind with our Lecture Hot Picks.

You can relax in the comfort of your own home, while listening to a selection of lectures from Otago academics and visiting lecturers.

Check them out here (105kb pdf)

Supporting Otago

The University of Otago student financial relief fund PÅ«tea Tautoko has allocated grants with a total value of $659,156, and has also received a major boost from alumni, friends, staff, current students and parents, who have pledged nearly $300,000.

Supporting Otago (448kb pdf)

Making a difference

The Otago Foundation Trust receives and administers donations, bequests and sponsorships gifted to the University. We talk to Mr Stephen Higgs about his new role as chair of the Trust, and feature a generous donation from the Sargood Bequest to Professor Michael Baker.

Making a difference (202kb pdf)

From the archives

A chance discussion during lockdown led Stephen Ellwood to discover strong family ties to the University. Stephen's great-grandfather was one of the founding Geology professors at Otago, Professor Patrick Marshall.

From the archives (391kb pdf)

Why We Otago

Here’s a gem – the short documentary film ‘The Dental Reunion’, featuring Otago dental graduates from the class of 1950, received its world premiere on 12 June at the Documentary Edge Festival 2020.

Why We Otago (116kb pdf)

Next time you're in Dunedin...

Stay in the heart of campus in boutique accommodation at the University’s Executive Residence.

You will receive an exclusive discounted alumni seasonal rate or package deal, so please tell us you are alumni when you make contact.

Phone 0800 685 685 or visit the University's Executive Residence website


Since the beginning of the pandemic, Otago staff have featured in:
  • 100 TV slots
  • 400 radio slots
  • 1,000 newspaper articles
  • 3,000 pieces of online news
  • 3,000 international media hits
  • More than 800,000 social media interactions across five continents
  • Estimated aggregate readership of potentially 22 billion people

Alumni in the news

  • Professor Graeme Barnes, awarded Officer of the Order of Australia
  • Becky Dennison, social worker and entrepreneur
  • Hilary Bracefield, obituary of distinguished music alumna
  • Keir Russell’s face shield design
  • Professor Richie Poulton discussing the effects of cannabis use
Alumni in the news (150kb pdf)

Upcoming events

For a full list of scheduled events visit the University events calendar.
Jun Thirst for Knowledge
30 A history of women's roles in science at the Otago Museum.
Jun Faith Thinking on Zoom
30 James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
Jul Quaternary e-conference
01~02 Trans-Tasman Quaternary Science "pop-up" e-conference.
Jul Science Festival
04~12 New Zealand International Science Festival - Nano Edition.
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Development and Alumni Relations Office  –  64 3 479 4516  –  PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054