Explore as a

Share our content


Published 20 December 2023

Rachel Averill celebrates 25 years at the Society

Rachel started at the Society in October 1998. At that time Valda McCann recruited Rachel for three months as the sole kaiarotake rangahau research assessor for the Marsden Fund, and now 25 years – and three adult children later – Rachel is the Programme Manager for the Marsden Fund and is still enjoying the mahi here!

Rachel is energised by the contact with the Aotearoa research community – this is one of the things that has kept her here so long. “Each year there are new researchers coming through the system and their enthusiasm is infectious. It’s a privilege to hear about their research and to engage with them.

The other thing that kept Rachel here are the kaimahi at Te Apārangi. “It’s a wonderful place to work, there are so many smart and kind people here who want to make a real difference, and this has been a continual thread running through the last 25 years”.

Rachel and Michelle Marsden flag

When Rachel started at the Society there were only a handful in the research funding team, and they spent their days freezing in the tiny Marsden Cottage until Dean Peterson modernised and got them a heat pump! Spending all that time in cold air was great early training for Rachel, who is now a regular ocean swimmer in Wellington harbour, and earlier this year she became a certified ‘ice swimmer’ down in central Otago. The Marsden Flag came along for the ride too and celebrated this achievement.

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi