Distinguished contributions to be recognised at Graduation Celebration

15 September 2022 | News

High-profile scientists and chief executives are among the recipients of a honorary awards from Lincoln University at next week's Graduation Celebration in the Christchurch Town Hall.

Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Katie Sadleir will receive the Lincoln Alumni International Medal at the ceremony on September 23, while The Right Honourable Sir David Carter, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, animal geneticist Philip Beatson, Barker Fruit Processors Ltd head Michael Barker, educator Helen Sherpa and conservationist Dr Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa are also 2022 awardees.

Professor Bruce Scoggins will be recognised posthumously at the ceremony.

Catherine (Katie) Sadleir

Lincoln Alumni International Medal

Katie Sadleir’s high-profile career has seen her hold several ground-breaking roles in New Zealand high performance sport, before becoming the world’s first general manager of women’s rugby and her recent appointment as the first female Chief Executive Officer of The Commonwealth Games Federation in the United Kingdom.

Since she graduated with a Diploma in Parks and Recreation Management from Lincoln University in 1990, she has worked in pivotal leadership roles in the sport and recreation sector. 

Katie led the establishment of the New Zealand Academy of Sport network in the late 1990s and drove the need for the implementation of high-performance coaching and leadership to ensure New Zealand would be competitive on the world stage. 

She went on to be a Director of HSPNZ and of Sport NZ.

In 2017 she was appointed General Manager Women’s Rugby at World Rugby based in Dublin, Ireland, and was responsible for developing women’s rugby globally, a challenge in a traditionally male-dominated arena, and she succeeded in growing the game in non-traditional rugby nations.

In her current role, Katie plays a leading role in driving the future strategic direction of the organisation and she wants to ensure the global sporting movement is fully focused on community legacy, benefit, and impact through sport.

She has a strong sporting pedigree and is a 1986 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in synchronised swimming, and competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

She was Assistant Chef de Mission for the New Zealand team at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards, being cited as the architect of many of the systems and programmes fundamental to the high-performance sport system in New Zealand today.

The Right Honourable Sir David Carter

Honorary Doctorate of Commerce honoris causa

The Right Honourable Sir David Carter has had a long and distinguished political career and is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

An alumnus of Lincoln University, graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in 1974, he was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2020 and in that period fulfilled the roles of Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Primary Industries.

He was also Associate Minister of Education and has always had a close interest in education.

He is a great advocate for the use and application of science in agriculture and an advocate and ambassador for Lincoln University, encouraging its inclusion in conversations relating to the primary industries.

He has acted as a link between the University and Parliament and as Minister of Agriculture, Sir David officially opened the Lincoln University-based National Centre for Nitrous Oxide Measurement, a highly significant national facility for the measurement of greenhouse gases.

During his final years in Parliament he was New Zealand’s permanent representative at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and an active member of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.

In 2021, he was knighted in recognition of his distinguished public service. 

Whilst Minister of Agriculture he focused on improvements to biosecurity, the importance of science in the future of agriculture, and the importance of New Zealand’s international reputation of a producer and exporter of quality foods. 

Michael Barker

Bledisloe Medal

Michael Barker has made an outstanding contribution to the fields of business, marketing, manufacturing and horticulture in New Zealand and internationally.  

As CEO and Chairman of Barker Fruit Processors Ltd, he developed a small family fruit winemaking business into a nationally recognisable icon and business, making world class jams, chutneys, syrups, and condiments. Barker’s now employs over 270 people and has become market leader in multiple categories. Anathoth Preserves joined the business in 2007 and all manufacturing takes place near Geraldine on a corner of the old family farm, making over 600 products from more than 1000 ingredients. 

He obtained a Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree from Lincoln University in 1980. He approached his Lincoln marketing lecturer, Michael Mellon, and asked for help to create a business plan for Barker’s. Together, Mellon and Barker developed a business strategy beginning with locally pressed blackcurrant juice that led Barker’s to become, firstly a New Zealand, and then Australasian leader in processing fruit into grocery, bakery, foodservice and ingredient products. It has won numerous food industry and business innovation awards. His strategy was always to innovate to create great tasting foods and food solutions.

In 2019 he opened a Geraldine site for the new Barker’s Foodstore and Eatery and developed the former Anglican vicarage for boutique accommodation.  Speaking at Barker’s 50th anniversary celebrations via video message, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and French ambassador Sylvaine Carta-Le Vert both commented on Michael Barker’s innovation, ingenuity and hard work as being keys to the business’ success.

Philip Beatson

Honorary Doctor of Science honoris causa

Philip Beatson’s strong commitment to the science of genetics and animal breeding has led to success in the commercial world, but he has always maintained a close contact with Lincoln University.

As Research and Development Manager for CRV Ltd he held the view that application of genetics enables ongoing and socially-acceptable means of improving productivity. His vision of dairy cows living longer, having better functional traits with higher milk yields and ability to get back in calf on an annual basis led to him developing the NZ Merit Index.

His innovative thinking has led to numerous CRV initiatives addressing climate change and sustainability. He recognised the relationship between milk urea nitrogen concentration and urinary nitrogen output and years of on-going research with industry partners, including Lincoln University, has led to the availability of ‘LowN’ genetics.

His knowledge of sheep breeding technologies enabled CRV to breed bulls whose offspring are more facial eczema tolerant, and he has developed teams of bulls which will breed polled offspring.

He recently led CRV cooperation with Livestock Improvement Corporation to identify low methane emitting young bulls with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from dairy cattle.

He graduated Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) from Lincoln in 1974 and returned in 1980 holding the position of Lecturer in Animal Breeding from 1981 to 1997.

In this role he was a member of a team which constructed a widely adopted breeding index which increased lean growth in lambs; he designed the genetic engine for Flocklinc, a national database holding sheep performance records; he was instrumental in establishing selected and ‘control’ lines in the University’s Coopworth flock and is now mentoring a Lincoln University group aiming to sequence the genome of this unique genetic resource.

Professor Bruce Scoggins

Honorary Doctor of Science honoris causa

The late Professor Bruce Scoggins, who died in March 2022, had a distinguished career in science and research since 1962 and an ongoing relationship with Lincoln University for over 60 years, evidenced by his award of the 2007 Bledisloe Medal.

He started a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln College in 1958 and went on to a Master of Agricultural Science (1st Class Hons) in Wool Science.

Through his leadership of the Health Research Council and Cure Kids he was involved in the award of research grants to support the on-going research into Batten Disease founded by Professor David Palmer and continued by his colleagues at Lincoln.

From 1964 to 1989 he was at the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne conducting world class physiological research in sheep, looking primarily at the control of salt excretion and regulation of blood pressure.

He spent 1976 as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Boston and from 1989 to 1991 he was the Gordon Meiklejohn Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver.

From 1991 to 2006 he was chief executive of the Health Research Council in NZ, reporting to the Minister of Health and responsible for development and implementation of best practice policies and processes to manage the Government’s investment in health research. During this time he represented New Zealand on the WHO’s Regional Research Committee.

From 2007, he chaired the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of Cure Kids. He was a Board member, and was involved in an impact evaluation of 50 years of the charity’s investments in child health research. He also initiated an annual review of the state of child health in New Zealand. His work for the charity was honorary.

Helen Sherpa

Alumni International Medal

Helen Sherpa has worked for the improvement of education, health and well-being of Nepalese communities disadvantaged by poverty, caste, age or access to services for more than 25 years.

The 1980 Lincoln University Diploma of Parks and Recreation graduate is the Country Director of World Education Inc, and her programmes are aimed at women and children in rural communities. She is highly experienced in the planning, development and management of the delivery of formal and non-formal education services for the poorer and more disadvantaged communities.

Helen has developed cooperative arrangements with local NGOs including the training of their staff, and village facilitators, to implement and sustain programmes and serves as the key liaison person between the NGO, UNICEF, World Food Programme, international donors and the Ministry of Education.

She has led work to develop World Education’s Early Grade Reading, and pre-school learning programmes, and on United States’ funded projects from 2002 to 2013 she led the development of educational in quality non-formal training for children and adults, and works towards improved learning outcomes and equity in education.

Over two decades these have helped remove more than 65,000 children from the worst forms of child labour and commercial sexual exploitation.

She was also involved in the USAID funded conflict-mitigation program, SIWAG, which reached more than 17,000 women in western Nepal with literacy, financial literacy and income generation interventions and played a key role in the development of the “Farmer Field School” approach across Nepal, and the “Schools as Zones of Peace” (SZOP) Program.

These financial literacy efforts have reached over 150,000 women, and the Farmer Field Schools over 100,000 women farmers, reducing the use of harmful pesticides and increasing productivity.

Dr Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa

Lincoln Alumni International Medal

Dr Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa grew up in a yak farming family in Khumbu near Mt Everest, Nepal. He received the opportunity to have a modern education when Sir Edmund Hillary built a school in his village in 1963. He was then awarded a scholarship to study a Diploma in Parks and Recreation at Lincoln University.  

As part of his practical training during his study at Lincoln, he actively participated in the establishment of Sagarmatha National Park in his home region in 1975 and 1976. Upon graduation in 1980 he returned to Nepal, where he joined the National Park Service and served as Chief Warden of a number of Himalayan parks, including Sagarmatha. He eventually also served as the head of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation’s Ecology and Management Division.

While working for the park service, he went on to win internationally recognised scholarships and completed a Master’s and then a PhD in forest resources from the University of Washington, and became the first person from the marginalised Sherpa community to receive a doctorate.

Dr Sherpa has dedicated his career to environmental and cultural conservation in the Himalayas. He worked extensively on the planning and creation of new protected areas and the development of buffer zones. This included the successful establishment of a series of protected areas around Mt. Everest, including the Sagarmatha and Makalu-Barun National Parks of Nepal, and the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve of Tibet (China). These protected areas now secure the world's highest ecosystem.

He joined The Mountain Institute, a US-based conservation organisation in 2000 and worked as an international expert to strengthen the management of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve on the northern slopes of Mt Everest. From 2005 to 2009 he served as Co-Director of The Mountain Institute's Himalaya Program in Nepal.

He is now a senior community leader, and advisor to local government and organisations. He is also a serious meditation practitioner and teaches and trains young people to promote peace and harmony in individuals and societies. 


Congratulations to all the awardees.