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New Year Honours 2019 - Citations for Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

To be a Dame Companion of the said Order:

BRIMBLE, Distinguished Professor Margaret Anne, CNZM

For services to science

Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble has made world-class contributions to research in medicinal chemistry and has been a key driver of the creation of a nascent drug discovery and development industry in New Zealand.

Professor Brimble is Chair of Organic Chemistry and Director of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland. She discovered the drug candidate NNZ2566, named Trofinetide by the World Health Organisation, which is currently in phase three human clinical trials for treatment of Rett Syndrome and Fragile X syndrome. She established New Zealand’s first Good Manufacturing Practice Peptide Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Manufacturing Facility that was licensed by Medsafe NZ and produced clinical grade antigens for the MELVAC melanoma vaccine trial in 2014. She is Principal Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery. She was Chair of the Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Foundation from 2009 until 2016. She has supported the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Programme. Since 2014 she has held the roles of Vice-President and President of the Organic and Bimolecular Division International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). She has been a panel member of the European Research Council Synthetic Chemistry and Materials Science Advanced Grants Scheme since 2015. In 2018 Professor Brimble was the first New Zealand woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society (London).

HONOURS

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2012

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2004

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To be a Dame Companion of the said Order:

CROSSAN, Ms Diana Buchanan

For services to the State

Ms Diana Crossan has provided leadership in the public service, working hard to enable equal employment opportunities and retirement savings.

Ms Crossan was the first manager of the Equal Employment Opportunities Unit at the State Services Commission. In this role she helped shape legislation on equal work opportunities for women, Māori, other ethnic groups, and people with disabilities. She was the Retirement Commissioner from 2003 to 2013, developing a national strategy for financial literacy that incorporated practical strategies such as the sorted.org website, multimedia campaigns, and education in schools. Her work contributed to the development of Kiwisaver. She worked on a number of governance boards focused on improving financial literacy and retirement planning, including as Chair of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing Advisory Board and the Massey University Financial Education Centre Advisory Board. She has led and participated in substantial organisations in the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. She chaired the JR McKenzie Trust for many years and served on several charity Boards, including Relationship Services and Refugee Services. Ms Crossan was the Chief Executive of Wellington Free Ambulance from 2013 to 2017.

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To be a Dame Companion of the said Order:

PRENDERGAST, Ms Kerry Leigh, CNZM, JP

For services to governance and the community

Ms Kerry Prendergast concluded three terms as Mayor of Wellington in 2010 and has since made significant contributions in a range of other positions.

Ms Prendergast has chaired Tourism New Zealand for seven years through a period of unprecedented growth. She chaired the establishment board that set up the Environmental Protection Authority in 2011, completing her term as Chair in September 2018. She is also currently the Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission and the New Zealand Conservation Authority. She was Executive Chair of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts and the Wellington Jazz Music Festival Trust, until she retired in 2016 after a total of 24 years on the Trust. She is a Director of Compass Health and Oceania Healthcare Limited, and Deputy Chair of Wellington Free Ambulance. She is a Trustee of the Victoria University Foundation, New Zealand Community Trust and the National Women’s Health Research Centre, and an Advisory Board member of the Phoenix Football Club. She is a member of the New Zealand China Council and the New Zealand-United States Council Advisory Board. She is currently Patron of Mary Potter Hospice and Wellington High Performance Aquatics. In 2015 Ms Prendergast took on the role of Ambassador for dementia through Alzheimers New Zealand.

HONOURS

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Queen’s Birthday 2011

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To be a Dame Companion of the said Order:

PRESTON, Ms Gaylene Mary, ONZM

For services to film

Ms Gaylene Preston has continued to contribute New Zealand stories to global cinema and her award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto, London, Fantasporto, Chicago, San Francisco, and Munich.

Most recently Ms Preston made the documentary film ‘My Year with Helen’ (2017) on Helen Clark’s bid to become the United Nation’s first female Secretary-General. She was the writer, producer and director of the 2010 film ‘Home By Christmas’, a narrative documentary based on her father’s recollections of his service during World War II, which received international acclaim and was in the top 15 highest grossing New Zealand films ever in its year of release. She produced and directed the 2006 documentary ‘Earthquake’ presenting eyewitness accounts of the Napier earthquake. She wrote, produced and directed the award-winning 2003 film ‘Perfect Strangers’. In 2010 she received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge and a Women in Film and Television New Zealand Award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Screen Industry. She wrote, produced and directed the 2014 mini-series ‘Hope and Wire’ on the aftermath of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Ms Preston edited war-themed archival films which were projected onto the Auckland War Memorial Museum for Anzac Day commemorations in 2011 and 2012.

HONOURS

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2002

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Last updated: 
Monday, 31 December 2018

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