Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honour alumni who have made outstanding contributions to Massey University, to their professions, their communities or the nation.

Dame Margaret Bazley

Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

Dame Margaret Bazley

Dame Margaret Bazley entered the public service as a psychiatric hospital nurse, after gaining her Diploma of nursing at Massey University in the 1950sThe 81-year old is seen by many as the country's most respected public servant and problem-solver. From taking down the barriers surrounding mental health patients to pushing for equal employment policies, she has tirelessly blazed a trail for others to follow.

Just last year Dame Margaret came out of retirement to lead an external review of beleaguered law firm Russell McVeagh, after allegations of sexual misconduct involving interns. She also oversaw the public inquiry into the Louise Nicholas rape case, which involved several senior police officers in Rotorua in the 1980s.

In 1993 Dame Margaret was awarded the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal, in 1999 she was appointed Dame companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and she was later made an additional member  of the Order of New Zealand in 2012. Dame Margaret received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Massey in 2008.Dame Margaret is currently a patron of the New  Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Chairperson of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

David Wallace

Distinguished Service Award

David Wallace

Rae David Wallace (known as David) has been involved in farming since graduating from Massey with a Bachelor of Agriculture in 1962. His father, James Wallace formed the farming company JD & RD Wallace after David returned from university. They had 260ha of undeveloped land purchased in 1949 on peat swamp between Cambridge and Te Awamutu, and the company continued to buy and convert more peat land into productive pasture.


In the 1970s they teamed up with a Brisbane-based company, Austrex, and took New Zealand-bred dairy cattle to the world, contracting North Island dairy farmers to breed their Friesian cows to Sahiwal semen to produce a crossbred animal with high milk yield and adapted to heat. Up to 6500 heifers were shipped annually to clients in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and Venezuela. Among the first New Zealanders to venture into farming in Brazil, David and his son, Simon, are part of the Leitssimo company that purchased undeveloped land 18 years ago that is being converted into dairy pastures. The farming part of Leitissimo, Leite Verde (Green Milk) milks 3000 cows. Leitissimo runs an ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing factory for most of the milk produced but increasing volumes are made into fruit-flavored ice-creams and yogurts.

Mr Wallace and wife Juliette have been heavily involved in conservation in Waikato with the development of pest-proof fencing. They build a prototype in 1999 and this led to the creation of the Maungatautari Ecogical Island Trust, which has built 47km of pest-proof fencing.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Lizzie Marvelly

Lizzie Marvelly, Te Arawa, is a singer/songwriter. writer and editor from Rotorua. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from Massey in 2015, and has since gone on to make a name for herself as both a performer and an author.

In May 2015 the 29 year old launched an online media site called Villainesse. In September that year she launched the first Villainesse project, "#MyBodyMyTerms" a global campaign featuring a number of high-profile New Zealanders designed to spark conversations about sexual violence, victim blaming, revenge porn and consent.

Last year, she launched her book That F Word: Growing up Feminist in Aotearoa - A book that she says is for "the bossy little girl in all of us". It tells the story of New Zealand's feminist roots, examines what Ms Marvelly describes as the gender imbalances, challenges and expectations in New Zealand society and celebrates the spirit of Kiwi women.

She's performed a number of high-profile concerts in New Zealand, supporting artists such as Sir Howard Morrison, Dame Malvina Major and Amici Forever star Geoff Sewell. She also supported Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts on his New Zealand and Australian tour in 2008, later joining him on further international dates.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Rosemary Horne

Professor Rosemary Horne is one of the world's leading experts on paediatric sleep research and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Now Deputy Director of The Richie Centre at Monash University, where she leads heads the Infant and Child Health theme, Professor Horne originally wanted to be a vet.

She began her studies with Massey in the 1970s, completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology.


After making the move to Australia in 1978, her career began to take a different route- one that would lead her to making major contributions to understanding the mechanisms that underpin the risk factors for SIDS, and translation of this research into reducing SIDS risk through public education. World-recognised safe sleeping guidelines are a result of Professor Horne's 30 years of research.

Included in her many accolades, Professor Horne was awarded the 2014 Australasian Sleep Association Distinguished Achievement Award for her contributions to paediatric sleep research and mentorship of the early researchers, and last year she was awarded the International Society for the study and Prevention of Infant Death Distinguished Researcher Award for outstanding contributions to SIDS research.

Previous winners

Sir Geoffrey Peren Award


Recipients of the Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

2017 | Ross McEwan

2016 | Professor Graham Le Gros

2015 | Graeme Milne ONZM

2014 | Linda Jenkinson

2013 | Hon John Luxton QSO

2012 | Sir Graham Henry

2011 | Sir Neil Waters

2010 | Alan Frampton

Distinguished Service Award


Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award

2017 | Mavis Mullins

2016 | Traci Houpapa

2015 | Andrew Cameron

2014 | Don McKenzie

2013 | Dr Frances Hughes ONZM

2012 | Dennis Oliver

2011 | Sharron Cole and Peter MacGillivray

2010 | HE Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith and Dr Judy McGregor

Distinguished Young Alumni


Distinguished Young Alumni

2017 | Pengbo Jiang

2016 | John-Daniel Trask

2015 | Jane Haste (nee Parsons)

2014 | Kathryn Wilson

2013 | David Kelly

2012 | Luke Di Somma

2011 | Carl Sanders-Edwards

2010 | Dr Shaun Hendy and Yvette McCausland-Durie

Distinguished Achievement Award


Recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award

2017 | Peter Chrisp

2016 | Professor Iain Hay

2015 | Dr Alex Buchanan AM

2014 | Peter Hughes

2013 | Dr Barry O'Neil

2012 | Stephen Jennings and Sue Suckling

2011 | Professor Gregor Reid

2010 | Sir Richard Taylor

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