FMHS 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion Weekend

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Boyle Building

85 Park Road


Auckland, 1023

New Zealand

View Map

Event description


Join us to celebrate 50 years of our Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences!

The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) is delighted to be celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary with a special Alumni Reunion Weekend in Auckland!

View the programme

Lecture on the History of FMHS: Dr Linda Bryder

Linda's lecture will outline the early history of the Faculty and show how, from small beginnings, the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences has transformed medical education and health care in New Zealand and beyond.

'MED talk' speakers: Professor Alan Barber, Dr Peter Charlesworth, Professor Jillian Cornish, Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer, Dist. Professor Bill Denny, Professor Rob Doughty, Dist. Professor Sir Richard Faull, Dr Grant Gillett, Dr Wilma Grant, Professor Sandie McCarthy, Dr John Mayhew, Professor Alan Merry, Dr Chris Milne, Emeritus Professor Louise Nicholson, Dr Alex Ng, Dr Teuila Percival, Dist. Professor Ian Reid, Professor Papaarangi M J Reid, Dr Simon G. Talbot, Mr Graham White & Professor Alistair Woodward. (Full details below).

We’re hosting events across 5, 6 and 7 October and hope to see you there, reconnecting with former classmates, reminiscing about the past 50 years and reflecting on our future.

FMHS Alumni Reception


Date and time

Friday 5 October 2018

6:30pm – 8:30pm

Registration opens at 5:30pm. Drinks and canapes served.


Cordis (Formerly The Langham), 83 Symonds Street, P.O. Box 2771, Auckland 1010

Enjoy an evening of socialising with your peers and teachers from your school years, meet current FMHS students and share stories from the last 50 years. The reception will also include a short performance by musicians from the Medical and Health Sciences Student Symphony Orchestra (MHSSSO).

FMHS Alumni Reunion


Date and time

Saturday 6 October 2018

8:30am – 4pm


Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Boyle Building 505, 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

Join us for a day of MED talks and tours of the faculty, learning about all the innovations and changes that have taken place over the past 50 years. There will also be opportunities for class photos and break-out sessions.

First Speakers Announced

Professor P Alan Barber, PhD, MBChB, FRACP

Director of Auckland City Hospital Stroke Service. Neurological Foundation of NZ, Professor of Clinical Neurology, Department of Medicine, the University of Auckland, New Zealand

Professor Barber is a neurologist and stroke sub-specialist. He graduated from the Otago Medical School and completed his neurology training in Auckland, New Zealand in 1997. He received a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2000. His thesis examined the role of diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MRI in identifying patients with the potential to respond to acute stroke therapies. He returned to New Zealand in 2001 and has established a stroke unit at Auckland City Hospital. His research interests include the use of advanced neurophysiology and MRI techniques in stroke. He was appointed the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Professor of Clinical Neurology in 2008.

Dr Linda Bryder, DPhil, MA

Dr Linda Bryder is a medical historian, Professor of History at the University of Auckland and Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Medical School at the University of Auckland, Linda and her team have spent the last year compiling a record of its achievements and challenges. This can be viewed online.

Dr Peter Charlesworth, BSc, MBChB, FRACS

Director, Advanced Clinical Skills Centre (ACSC), the University of Auckland

A former General and Vascular Surgeon, Peter is the Director of the Advanced Clinical Skills Centre (ACSC) at the University of Auckland. He was also in the first medical student intake at the Auckland Medical School in 1968. Peter will be Chairing one of the sessions.

Professor Jillian Cornish, PhD

Professorial Research Fellow, School of Medicine, the University of Auckland

Jill leads the Cell and Molecular Biology Bone/Joint Research Group in the School of Medicine, the University of Auckland and is principal investigator of the Regenerative Medicine theme in the MedTech CoRE.

Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer, MBChB, MD, PhD

Sir William and Lady Stevenson Professor of Ophthalmology, the University of Auckland

Helen is the Sir William and Lady Stevenson Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland. She was the first female Professor of Ophthalmology in New Zealand and at her appointment was the youngest professor in the FMHS. She is Head of Academic Neuro-ophthalmology and Glaucoma. Professor Danesh-Meyer is an ophthalmic surgeon and clinician-scientist who divides her professional activities almost equally between patient care activities and research. She has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed scientific papers, numerous chapters and several textbooks. Professor Danesh-Meyer’s research focus spans both clinical and basic science aspects of optic nerve disease with an emphasis on translational ophthalmology

Dist. Professor Bill Denny, ONZM, MSc, PhD, DSc, FRSNZ, FNZIC

Director, Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC)

Bill leads the Medicinal Chemistry Group at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. He trained at Auckland and Oxford Universities as a medicinal chemist/drug designer. He is a co-founding scientist of Proacta Therapeutics Inc, Pathway Therapeutics Ltd and Kea Therapeutics Ltd, and a co-PI in the Maurice Wilkins Centre, University of Auckland. Past-President of the NZ Society for Oncology and the NZ Institute of Chemistry, a Rutherford Medallist of the Royal Society of NZ, an Adrian Albert Medallist of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry and a recipient of the biennial American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Award.

Professor Rob Doughty MB, BS, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FESC, FCSANZ

Heart Foundation Chair of Heart Health at the University of Auckland

Rob holds the Heart Foundation Chair of Heart Health at the University of Auckland where he runs a programme of research related to improving the understanding of the causes, prevention and treatment of heart disease in NZ. He is a cardiologist at the Green Lane Cardiovascular Service, Auckland City Hospital and at the Auckland Heart Group. Current research interests include the genetic and environmental causes of premature coronary disease, cardiovascular risk management, outcomes and innovative therapies for patients with heart failure, atrial fibrillation and individual patient data meta-analyses

Dist. Professor Sir Richard Faull, KNZM, BMedSc, MBChB, PhD, DSc, FRSNZ

Distinguished Professor of Anatomy and Director of the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland

Richard is a Distinguished Professor of Anatomy, the Director of the Centre for Brain Research and the Director of the Neurological Foundation Human Brain Bank at the University of Auckland where he teaches and oversees world-leading research on brain diseases. A specialist in human neurodegenerative diseases, in 2017 he was knighted for services to medical science and is a recipient of the Liley Medal and Rutherford Medal.

Professor Grant Gillett MSc, MBChB, D.Phil, FRACS, FRS NZ

Professor of Medical Ethics at the Bioethics Centre of the Otago University Medical School

Grant is a qualified neurosurgeon and practised until 2006. He also has a D.Phil and was a fellow in philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is now a Professor of Medical Ethics at the Bioethics Centre of the Otago University Medical School, and a fellow of the Royal Society. He is author of several books and over 350 articles in medical ethics, philosophy, bioethics, the philosophy of psychiatry and neuroscience. An abiding area of writing and research has been end-of-life care and euthanasia and he worked closely with the euthanasia report group of the BMA in 1988 and 1989. He continues to teach and write extensively on ethical issues and medical law in New Zealand and Australia, and the philosophical basis of contemporary clinical ethics. He was also in the first medical student intake at the Auckland Medical School in 1968.

Dr Wilma Grant BA, MEd Dip.Tchng, BSc, MBChB, FRNZCGP

As a mature student, with an entirely Arts background, Wilma entered the University of Auckland School of Medicine as part of the first intake in 1968. Having widened her experience overseas after registration, she held a part-time appointment in Paediatric Oncology while establishing a single-handed General Practice in Auckland.
In years following, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship and subsequently Paykel Teaching Fellowships in the Dept of General Practice. Fellowship of RNZCGP was by election. Through the 1990’s she fronted a popular, live, Q&A radio programme, “Ask the Doctor”, and was ‘Resident Dr’ for four series of a TVNZ morning programme “50 Forward”. Combined interests in medicine and education culminated in a GP appointment in the Student Health Clinic at Auckland College of Education with opportunity for intermittent teaching in addition to daily practice. Relocation with her husband to UK, in 2001, led to locum work until retirement in 2012.

Professor Sandie McCarthy, BNsg, MNsg, PhD, Credentialed Cancer Nurse, Dual Registered Nurse

Head, School of Nursing, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, the University of Auckland

Sandie was appointed Head, School of Nursing, at University of Auckland in April 2017. A Co-director of the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program based at the Menzies Institute, Griffith University, she also holds adjunct Professor roles at Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology, and is Visiting Fellow at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane. Prior to her relocation, Sandie was jointly appointed as the inaugural Chair of Cancer Nursing, Princess Alexandra Hospital and School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology. She has extensive practical experience in acute cancer care, which informs her strong international profile in cancer research. Her research has two streams. The first focuses upon health promotion and risk reduction in long-term survivors of cancer. The second focuses on the assessment and management of the toxicities of acute cancer treatments, with an emphasis on the older cancer patient.

Dr John Mayhew, ONZM, BSc, MBChB, DIPOBST, DipOccupMed

Medical Officer for the NZ Warriors

John is the Medical Officer for the NZ Warriors, Chief Medical Officer at health and life insurer Sovereign as well as the former All Blacks’ physician. Best known for his work in the rugby codes, he has also been the medical officer for the New Zealand squash team, the World Cross Country Championships and the NZ Commonwealth Games team. In 2016 he was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to sports medicine.

Professor Alan Merry, MBChB, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA

Head of School, School of Medicine, the University of Auckland

In addition to being Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Auckland, Alan practises anaesthesia and chronic pain management at Auckland City Hospital. He is a former Councillor of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and Chair of the Board of the NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission. He is on the Board of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, and of Lifebox, an international charitable initiative to improve standards of surgery and anaesthesia in low income areas of the world.


Sports Physician

Chris is currently Medical Director for Rowing New Zealand. He has been the Team Doctor for several New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth teams, and is the former Team Doctor for the Chiefs Super 12 rugby team.

Emeritus Professor Louise Nicholson BSc, MSc, PhD

Neuroscientist and Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland. Board member, CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Research Trust

A graduate of The University of Auckland, Louise did her postdoctoral work at Oxford University and has since been a member of the staff at the University of Auckland. Louise has served on numerous University/Faculty, community and national/international professional committees, and has established an international reputation for her research on neurodegenerative diseases of the human brain and spinal cord. In 2011, together with colleagues, and with the support of CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Research Trust she established the first national Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility in the Centre for Brain Research. She is passionate about her role as a researcher, sharing her drive and desire to make a difference to people’s lives and get those in wheelchairs back on their feet. Louise recently retired from the University of Auckland, and now as a member of the CatWalk Board she will be using her long-standing research knowledge and experience in the very best way to help make well-informed decisions in supporting research to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

Alex Ng, MBChB, MPH

Deputy Director, China Country Program, Health, Innovation & Partnerships, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Alex leads a team that works to build health partnerships with key stakeholders in China, including the Chinese government, private sector and NGOs. The goal is to identify, develop and deliver high-quality, low-cost health products (drugs, vaccines, biologics, diagnostics) for use in developing countries to tackle endemic diseases and other urgent health needs.

Dr Teuila Percival, QSO, FRACP

Member WHO EMT MNBCH TAG, Consultant Paediatrician and Senior Lecturer, School of Population Health, the University of Auckland

Teuila is Samoan. She is a Consultant Paediatrician and Senior Lecturer in Auckland with particular interests in Pacific people’s health, Maternal and Child Health, Child Abuse and Community Paediatrics. After graduating from the University of Auckland she completed Paediatrics training in Auckland and Samoa before taking up appointments as a Consultant Paediatrician at Starship Children’s Hospital followed by KidzFirst Children’s Hospital in Auckland. Teuila is involved in research and community work both in NZ and the wider Pacific and regularly travels to the Pacific region carrying out Paediatric clinical work. She is involved in Community work in NZ including being Chair of South Seas Healthcare Trust (Pacific Primary Care and Social Services organization, Otara) and Director of Pasifika Medical Association Trust. Teuila was awarded the Queens Service Order (QSO) in 2010 for service to the Pacific Community.

Dist. Professor Ian Reid, MD, FRSNZ

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland

Ian entered the Auckland School of Medicine as a student in 1972. After several years in Wellington and the UK, he returned to Auckland to train in endocrinology, before pursuing this further in the US in the mid-1980s. He has been a University of Auckland staff member since 1987 and is now a Distinguished Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty. His research interests include calcium metabolism, vitamin D and osteoporosis. He is a past-president of the International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS), and a recipient of research awards nationally and internationally, including the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Science Prize.

Professor Papaarangi M J Reid DipComH, BSc, MBChB, DipObst, FNZCPHM

Head of Department of Maori Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland

Papaarangi is Tumuaki and Head of Department of Maori Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. She holds science and medical degrees from the University of Auckland and is a specialist in public health medicine. She has tribal affiliations to Te Rarawa in the Far North of Aotearoa and her research interests include analysing disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous citizens as a means of monitoring government commitment to indigenous rights.

Simon G. Talbot, BHB, MBChB, MD

Attending Surgeon, Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery, and Microsurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Simon is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Attending Surgeon in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. He works primarily in hand and reconstructive plastic surgery where he is the Director of Upper Extremity Transplantation.

Mr Graham White, QSO, BSc, MSc

Graham was appointed as the first lecturer in the Auckland Medical School and headed the Physico-Chemistry Section of the first year teaching group. He gave the very first lecture to our undergraduate medical students on 26 February 1968. During his 30 years of service within the Faculty, Graham took on a number of administrative duties such as chairing the MBChB admissions committee for many years and acting as Sub Dean (Student Affairs) and later as Assistant Dean (Planning and Administration). Graham spent many years as the University’s appointee on the AIT Council (now AUT) and was AIT Council Chairman from 1991 to 1995. He was awarded a QSO for public services in 2000.

Professor Alistair Woodward, MB, BS, MMedSci, PhD, FNZCPHM

Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the University of Auckland

Alistair is the Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. Prior to this he was the Head of the School of Population Health and also led departments of public health at The University of Otago Wellington, and The University of Adelaide. His research has looked into tobacco, environmental health and the social determinants of health.

Class Dinners

In the evening, alumni are encouraged to organise their own class dinners/get-togethers.

FMHS Alumni Waiheke Island Trip


Date and time

Sunday 7 October 2018

11am – 3pm


Goldie Estate, 18 Causeway Road, Surfdale, Waiheke Island 1081

The weekend will end with a trip to Goldie Estate boutique vineyard on Waiheke Island. Ticket includes all transfers, tasting and tour. Lunch will also be available to purchase from the Goldie Estate Cellar Door.

Tickets are limited and subject to availability

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the FMHS Reunion Weekend, please contact:

Ruth Thomas

FMHS Alumni Reunion Coordinator


Telephone: +64 9 923 1450

Date and Time


Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Boyle Building

85 Park Road


Auckland, 1023

New Zealand

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved