NZCCSS  Conference 2016

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman KNZM FRSNZ FMedSci FRS Office of the Prime minister Science                                    

Peter was originally trained in Dunedin and Auckland as a paediatrician with an interest in endocrinology. After 2 years as a doctor he entered the research track, spending 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow and then Assistant Professor at the University of California in San Francisco, and then on its faculty working on how fetal hormonal systems developed and how growth was controlled.

In 1980 he returned to New Zealand to set up a research group funded by the then Medical Research Council spending the next 17 years funded on research grants developing a group of more than 60 people focused on developmental endocrinology and neuroscience.The work both addressed issues of human growth and development and pastoral animal growth and development. In 1991 Peter was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland while continuing to lead an active research group.

His group had started to make a number of findings that could be patented, that had value to the major pharmaceutical companies and in time were to lead to several NZ-based biotechnology spinouts. They also made discoveries based on apparently ‘blue skies’ research of no obvious value that in time were lead to something of immense human value – namely from studies of an erudite observation on how hormone levels in the fetus change at birth, we ended up developing the first effective therapy for brain damage at birth. It is the classic example of why curiosity must be a key starting point for innovation.

In 2001 he set up the Liggins Institute which was a multidisciplinary approach with staff from theoreticians to traditional molecular, cellular and clinical biologists to economists to address– how does a poor start to life impact on health and disease risk throughout life? This led to two major passions – epigenetics and evolutionary biology, Now leading a consortium, the Epigen Consortium, comprising six centres in three countries trying to progress developmental epigenetics to improve the human condition. In 2004 they were funded to set up one of the seven new Centres of Research Excellence in New Zealand, the Gravida National Centre for Growth and Development, this has been an extraordinary success in showing how science can transcend institutional boundaries and exploit many latent synergies in our science community. Peter has always believed in science as an international enterprise, and the Epigen Consortium led in turn to my being asked on a part-time basis to develop the Centre for Growth, Development and Metabolism in the newly formed Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences – which is now part of the Biopolis enterprise. I continue in this role.
He believes that science must not be immune from its community and so developed LENScience — this is an elaborate programme of experiential involvement of school children in science.
In taking on the Chief Science Advisor role, he has stepped down as Director of the Liggins Institute and of Gravida but continues research interests in the developmental origins of health and disease, epigenetics, the public understanding of science, evolutionary medicine and in the interface between human and pastoral animal biology.


Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director, UnitingCare Australia                                    

Lin is one of Australia’s leading social justice advocates, is the National Director of UnitingCare Australia. A recognised expert on social policy and community services, she has served on a wide range of boards and government advisory bodies, and is a frequent media commentator and respected conference speaker.

Lin sits on the national Aged Care Sector Committee, providing reform advice to the Australian Government. She was a leading participant in the Australian Government Tax Forum (2011) and the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit (2007). Lin has been a member of numerous advisory committees, including the Government’s National Place Based Advisory Group. She was a member of the national Community Response Task Force advising the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs during the global financial crisis. Lin’s background includes working as a counselling psychologist and policy advisor. She has worked in counselling in government and community settings, including in drug rehabilitation and with young people at risk, with a particular interest in trauma and abuse. She has worked as a public policy advisor on health and community services within federal and state governments.

Lin’s achievements have been recognised by being named ACT Australian of the Year (2008), receiving a Churchill Fellowship to study anti-poverty strategies (2003), and being awarded a Chief Minister’s International Women’s Day Award (2002).


Mark Powell                                   

Mark was until recently CEO of The Warehouse Group (which includes The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7). In his time as Group CEO he led a major rejuvenation and reshaping of the business. He is also known as the CEO who significantly increased frontline pay with the ‘Career Retailer Wage’ and took R18 games and DVD’s off the Warehouse shelves.

Prior to emigrating to New Zealand in 2002 Mark worked in North America, Spain and the UK. He ran Wal-Mart Canada’s logistic operations and was the UK Logistics Director for Tesco. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering, a Bachelor of Applied Theology, a Master in Logistics and an MBA. 

Mark now has a portfolio of activities, including being part-time ‘CEO in Residence’ at Massey University Business School, Non-Executive Director of the major Australian retailer ‘The Good Guys’ and is involved with a number of not for profit organisations. 


Judith Davey Senior Associate BA (Hons) (Lond), PhD (Durham)                                   

Dr. Judith Davey was Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA from) 2002 to early 2007 and is now a Senior Associate of the Institute for Governnance and Policy Studies at Victoria University. Prior to 1991 she was the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Planning Council and has been a consultant on social policy and social research since the 1970s.

Judith is a graduate of London University and did her PhD at Durham University. Before coming to New Zealand, she was also a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge.

Judith’s personal focus for research is the ageing of the population and its policy implications. She has researched income, transport and housing issues for older people and has published papers and reports on home equity release and intergenerational issues. She has an extensive publication record, including academic papers, books and book chapters and commissioned reports and has provided advice to numerous policy-making bodies in the public, private and voluntary sectors.


Garry Smith CEO Selywn Foundation                                   

Garry has over twenty years’ experience of the health sector, having held senior positions with healthcare organisations throughout New Zealand. Prior to his appointment to the Foundation, he had been CEO of the country's largest health board, Auckland District Health Board, for nine years.

A qualified accountant, Garry has expertise in management, planning, accounting and finance, as well as experience of the banking industry. As CEO of the Foundation, Garry is passionate about providing ethical and values-based services for older people and ensuring that services are delivered with integrity, warmth and respect for the individual at all times.


Gill Genet - General Manager Business Development, Careerforce

Gill is passionate about developing a competent, qualified and valued workforce. For more than a decade she has been with Careerforce providing the expertise, passion and momentum which has instigated positive change in how workplace training is delivered and advanced.
Gill has been a pivotal driver of the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan, futureproofing New Zealand’s Kaiāwhina workforce in the aged and disability workforce and is championing a similar plan with the Social and Community sector. She has been a ‘voice for progress and action’ behind many national committees, taskforces and projects which are all committed to improving the heath, wellbeing and opportunity for those working across the sectors Careerforce supports.
Prior to Careerforce, Gill was working in sport, recreation, education and local government. She chaired a number of NGOs as well as the Community and Voluntary Sector Taskforce. She began her working life at the YMCA as a programme coordinator before taking on management role.

Paul Barber

Paul Barber is a Policy Advisor with the NZ Council of Christian Social Services and leads the Council’s work relating to services for older people. He has over 20 years’ experience of working in the not-for-profit sector as well a broad academic grounding in social ethics, policy and not-for-profit management. 

Brent Neilson

Brent Neilson is a Masters student in sociology at Victoria University of Wellington. With a background in qualitative research, Brent is researcher for both ‘Valuing People, Living Well’ (2016) and ‘Outcomes Plus’ (2015). He is also currently exploring the collective memory of culturally traumatic events and neoliberal reform in New Zealand.