Victoria honours distinguished alumni

Congratulations to the three Victoria Business School alumni who are among the six New Zealanders being honoured with Victoria University of Wellington Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Victoria Business School alumni are among the six New Zealanders who have made outstanding contributions within New Zealand and globally, who are being honoured with Victoria University of Wellington Distinguished Alumni Awards.

The recipients of the 2015 Awards are Olympian Ian Ferguson, businessman and sports administrator Alan Isaac, Penny Jamieson, the first woman in the world to be ordained a diocesan bishop of the Anglican Church, curator and artist Helen Kedgley, Māori leader and social and political analyst Tamati Kruger, and technology entrepreneur Derek Handley (recipient of this year's young alumni award).

The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Wellington in June.

Victoria University Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan, says the awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of this year's Award recipients and the contribution they have made and continue to make – in many spheres of activity and endeavour.

"This year's recipients demonstrate the breadth of influence of our graduates – Victoria alumni succeed in every walk of life," says Sir Neville.

"Presenting these Awards is an opportunity to recognise and reflect on the positive way in which Victoria graduates impact not only on the fortunes of New Zealand’s capital city, but also their influence nationally and internationally.

"The quality of a university graduate is the foremost indicator of the quality of the university. We are proud and honoured to be acknowledging these civic-minded graduates, and the contribution Victoria has made to their chosen paths."

Victoria has presented Distinguished Alumni Awards since 2006, introducing the accolades as a way of recognising and honouring the contribution made by its graduates. The following synopses provide a brief insight into the achievements of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Ian Ferguson, BCA (Accounting), 1977

Ian Ferguson MBE has demonstrated that achieving sporting greatness does not need to be at the expense of higher education. He attained a university degree whilst pursuing his world kayaking titles and has since built a highly successful business. At the same time he has supported the next generation of talent through coaching and management roles.

Alan Isaac, BCA, 1974

Alan Isaac CNZM is a successful businessman and sports administrator who was Managing Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KPMG during his 35 years with the firm. He was Chair of New Zealand Cricket and both Vice President and President of the International Cricket Council and has held numerous governance roles in business, health, sporting and community organisations.

Derek Handley, BCA (Finance), 2000; BBSc, 2000

Derek Handley is a New Zealand entrepreneur and former Founding CEO of The B Team, which he helped set up alongside Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz. He is also a committed astronaut-in-waiting with Virgin Galactic; an adjunct executive professor at AUT; chair and co-founder of NZAX-listed B-Corp Snakk Media; a board director at Sky Television; and a New Zealand Arts Foundation Trustee.

The Rt Rev’d Dr Penelope (Penny) Jamieson, PhD, 1976

Penny Jamieson DCNZM was the first woman in the world to be ordained a diocesan bishop of the Anglican Church. After only five years as Vicar of Karori West with Makara in Wellington, Penny was consecrated to the position of Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin. It was a role that was not without its challenges, but Penny approached her pioneering position in the Church with humility, creativity and compassion.

Tamati Kruger, BA (Hons) in Māori Studies, 1978

Tamati Kruger, Ngai Tūhoe, is a Māori advocate and social and political analyst who has dedicated his career to the development of his iwi. Tamati was instrumental in securing the largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date for the Central North Island Iwi Collective and was chief negotiator of the Tūhoe-Te Urewera Treaty of Waitangi Settlement.

Helen Kedgley, BA in Political Science, 1969

Helen Kedgley is one of New Zealand’s most creative and outstanding curators who has worked at Pataka Art Museum in Porirua City since its inception in 1998, most recently as its Director. She has curated over 80 exhibitions of Māori, Pacific Island and contemporary New Zealand art. Since taking on the role of director, Pataka has seen record visitor numbers.

About the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner

The winners will be presented with their awards at a gala dinner at Shed 6 on Wednesday 17 June 2015. Tickets are available from