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Published 19 September 2018

President Professor Wendy Larner wins Women of Influence Award

Professor Wendy Larner FRSNZ, President of Royal Society Te Apārangi and Provost at Victoria University of Wellington, won the Women of Influence Award 2018 for Innovation and Science.

The awards were presented at a function in Auckland on Tuesday night.

Professor Larner won the Innovation and Science category for her ground-breaking research in geography, her academic leadership at the university, and her influence on the New Zealand scientific community as the current President of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Accepting the award via a short video presentation, Professor Larner said she was very conscious of modelling academic leadership for other women in the research sector. She said the standard model of an academic career defined in male terms and based on formal and informal support systems that benefited men needed to be addressed.

“At both Victoria University of Wellington and Te Apārangi we are working to change this, rethinking research excellence in more holistic ways, proactively building support networks for early and mid-career researchers and advancing mātauranga Māori.”

Professor Larner said she had once been advised to “just keep doing things and finding new challenges until someone tells you to stop”.

“Let’s all keep working to make the world a more equitable place, because no-one is going to tell us to stop.”


Wendy Larner

Wendy accepted the award via a video presentation as she was unable to attend in person.

Founder of The Aunties charity, Jackie Clark, won the title of supreme winner. The Aunties is an organisation that provides support for women who are survivors of domestic violence.

The Women of Influence event, now in its sixth year, is backed by Westpac NZ and Stuff, with nominations judged across 10 categories.

Full list of 2018 Women of Influence Award winners:

  • Supreme Winner: Jackie Clark
  • Lifetime Achievement: Theresa Gattung
  • Arts and Culture: Miranda Harcourt
  • Board and Management: Dr Farah Palmer
  • Business and Enterprise: Angie Judge
  • Rural: Rebecca Keoghan
  • Public Policy: Charlotte Korte
  • Community/Not for Profit: Jackie Clark
  • Innovation and Science: Professor Wendy Larner
  • Diversity: Sarah Lang
  • Global: Sarah Vrede
  • Young Leader: Maddison McQueen-Davies

See more on Stuff.


Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi / Victoria University of Wellington