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ABOUT US

The UK Friends of The University of Auckland is a charitable trust (Registered Charity No. 1090141) founded on 2nd August 2001.

Its main aim is the “advancement and promotion of education and in particular any educational and charitable purposes connected with the University of Auckland”.

 

OUR PEOPLE

SUE SARGENT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Prior to taking up the role with the University of Auckland, Sue worked as an independent consultant strategically advising, training and mentoring in the field of higher education. She has also worked for the universities of Loughborough and Warwick for over 10 years in their alumni relations and development functions. At Loughborough she held the position of Director, Development and Alumni Relations, for several years and headed up their office. Sue has also worked in the charity sector for international development and disability charities. She holds an MBA from Loughborough and a BA(Hons) in Business and Marketing from the University of Lancashire.

MR ERIC TRACEY, CHAIR OF THE UK BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Eric is currently a partner in activist investment manager, Governance for Owners LLP, an independent director at Findel Plc (LSE listed) and National Exhibition Centre Ltd, a trustee of Goodenough College, The Stroke Association, and The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal UK. He is the NZ Society UK New Zealander of the Year 2014.

 

UK BOARD OF TRUSTEES

NATALIE BARAGWANATH

Natalie is an accomplished sales and business development professional with extensive experience and contacts across a wide range of industry sectors, predominantly luxury, lifestyle, and sustainability. She has also been a copywriter and sub-editor for two decades.
She has spent the past 16 years in London connecting people, businesses and ideas - involving strategic networking; launching and developing start-up projects; driving sales, business development and PR; and introducing investment opportunities.
As a Kiwi she supports a number of environmental initiatives - particularly those pertaining to the welfare, sustainability and protection of the oceans and marine habitats.

 She is delighted to join the UK Friends of the University of Auckland as a Trustee.

LADY ROSEMARY BUCHANAN

A former principal dancer with the New Zealand Ballet, Lady Buchanan married the late Sir John Gordon St Clair Buchanan. 
Rosemary has a lifelong interest in dance and is aware of how it can delay dementia and support wellbeing for the elderly, and is a significant supporter of work in this area at the University and in memory of John.
In addition to the Board of UK Friends she holds positions on the Nutcracker Gala Committee, Artistic Director's Circle of the English National Ballet and UK Friends of Auckland Grammar School.

 

MR MIKE BUTLER

Mike is a tutor at the University of Law on business law, intellectual property and cyberlaw. He was previously a partner in an international law firm and then general counsel for the world's first private equity-backed ABS.

MS LOUISE CHUNN

Louise Chunn is a history graduate from the University of Auckland. In 1978, having finished her degree, she was the first female editor of Craccum, the university paper. She came to the UK in 1982 where she worked first as a journalist. She has been the editor of Psychologies, Good Housekeeping,  In Style,  ES Magazine and Just Seventeen;. she was also Women’s Page Editor of The Guardian and deputy editor of both Vogue and Elle.
She has now switched career and is the founder of welldoing.org, a platform with matches people with the therapists most suited to them. She recently won a highly coveted place on the Blackbox accelerator course in Palo Alto and her site is recommended by NHS Choices.

 

PROFESSOR JANICE RYMER, PROFESSOR OF OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.

Janice qualified MBChB in 1981 from the University of Auckland and moved to the U.K in 1987 becoming a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1990 and a fellow if the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (‘RCOG’) in 2005. She was awarded her MD thesis from the University of Auckland in 1994 and became Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King’s College London in 2005 and Dean of Undergraduate Medicine from 2010 to 2013.  She is currently Vice President (Education) for the RCOG and her clinical areas of interest are: minimal access surgery, FGM and ovarian failure; her publications comprise over 140 peer-reviewed papers and 22 textbooks.

COLLEEN TOOMEY

Colleen Toomey has supported and been involved with the performing arts in the UK for over 40 years. She’s been a financial journalist on national newspapers including The Observer and Financial Times, and a documentary film director for BBC Television. Throughout that time, she’s worked with arts organisations and companies including being on the board of LAMDA (Britain’s oldest drama school), the governing Council of University of London’s Goldsmiths College, a Governor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and co-chair of their International Advisory Board. She was a founding executive member of Women in Film & Television and a judge of the Olivier Awards. She was on the UK board of KEA, and is a trustee of the Foundation for Australia and New Zealand Arts. She co-created the awards for the annual Women of the Year Awards and serves on its Nominating Council.

 

JON VOLLEMAERE

Jon is a financial markets entrepreneur, always working with new financial technology in its early days, for banks, brokers, funds and exchanges around the world, resulting in the founding of his own FinTech companies.  Jon is a regular speaker at conferences, contributor to finance industry media and acts as an advisor to a number of early stage FinTech firms as a founding mentor at Level39. He was awarded eFX Person of the Year in 2016 by FXWeek Magazine and more recently was invited to join the UK Prime Minister's business delegation to China.

MR ROBERT WHITEHOUSE

Rob is the Director of Piccadilly Pictures, a specialist arranger of film production finance to the UK and International film and television industries since 2009. He is an experienced international film producer, lawyer and financier; a member of the California and New Zealand Bars; and has been involved in various aspects of the film industry since 1980. Rob is a law graduate from the University of Auckland.