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.

Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

Jane Wrightson, Sir Geoffrey Peren Award winner

Jane Wrightson

The Sir Geoffrey Peren Award, named after the founding principal of the former agricultural college in Palmerston North, was presented to Jane Wrightson, of Wellington, the chief executive of New Zealand on Air, the Government’s broadcasting funding body.

Ms Wrightson, who in 1991 became New Zealand’s youngest – and first woman – chief film censor, graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Massey in 1994. She is known as a champion for diversity in local content and public media for New Zealand audiences and a passionate advocate for increased media access for those with disabilities, including the vision-impaired.

Distinguished Service Award

Ivan Pivac, Distinguished Service Award winner

Ivan Pivac

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Ivan Pivac who, despite becoming blind at age 12, worked for more than 40 years as an acupuncturist, graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Business Studies and has worked for years to help others with disabilities. Mr Pivac, from Auckand, has imported technology and equipment that help people with neurological disorders to communicate, products to help infants with cleft pallet deformities be fed and has personally designed devices such as a voice amplifier to help Parkinson’s Disease sufferers speak audibly.

Distinguished Young Alumni

Chloe Julian, Distinguished Young Alumni Award winner

Chloe Julian

Distinguished Young Alumni Award winner Chloe Julian is a 2005 Diploma in Fashion Design graduate who has quickly established an international reputation for lingerie, swimwear, loungewear and nightwear designs. She has worked for Bendon, designing the Hey Sister brand, then became lead designer in London for the company’s Stella McCartney brand at age 26. She later worked as head designer for David Beckham Bodywear and in the same role for cult lingerie brand Agent Provocateur. Ms Julian now lives in Auckland, managing a Los Angeles-based team for TechStyle Fashion Group and is vice-president for a new brand the company is launching this year.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Professor Patrick Hesp, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award winner

Professor Patrick Hesp

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award was presented to Hawera-born, Palmerston North-raised Professor Patrick Hesp, who became passionate about coastal dunes during summers spent at Waitarere Beach in Horowhenua. Professor Hesp, who gained Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Massey in 1974 and 1976 is a Strategic Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide. His expertise in coastal dune geomorphology, dynamics and management is considered unrivalled and his surf-zone-beach-dune interactions model is the most widely cited of its type in coastal literature.

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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