Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Chief Executive Dr Chris Tooley has been honoured with the Auckland University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Held annually, the Distinguished Alumni Awards honour University alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions, communities, nation, and beyond.
The University of Auckland and the University of Auckland Society bestowed the awards at a ceremony held in Auckland on Saturday.
Dr Chris Tooley received the award recognising his work as an Indigenous rights advocate and transformative business leader.
Chris completed a PhD at Cambridge University focusing on the political philosophy behind self-determination and he holds a strong desire to serve others by investing in and empowering people. In 2002, Chris was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and in 2020 he won a prestigious Blake Leadership Award.
Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Pou Kaitiaki (Chair) Fiona Wiremu has congratulated Dr Tooley on the award.
“On behalf of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, I would like to congratulate Dr Chris Tooley for earning this auspicious recognition from the University of Auckland.
“Chris joins a selection of inspirational, talented and intelligent leaders who lead with integrity, honesty and compassion such as Tā Hirini Moko Mead, Emeritus Professor Bruce Biggs, Judge Andrew Becroft, Emeritus Professor Ranginui Walker, The Rt Honourable Dame Helen Winkelmann and others who have demonstrated their passion and commitment within their fields of expertise.
“Chris has and continues to serve our communities within the region of Mataatua and beyond; he is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of our clients, staff and their whānau but moreso, his accomplishments have led to initiatives that have provided positive change within the health sector for Māori and non-Māori more broadly.”
She says the award recognises Chris’s dedication to improving the health and well-being for many, but it is also an acknowledgement to Chris’s whānau who have shared his time.
“Further to that it is also a testimony to the staff at Te Puna Ora o Mataatua who strive for better health and wellbeing outcomes for our clients.
“The Board of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua will not accept the status quo as absolute if it does not bring about health and wellbeing for our clients, to this Chris continues to show that where there is a will to improve our lives – there is always a way.”
Other award winners for 2023 include Virgin Group CEO, Josh Bayliss, internationally recognised sculptor, printmaker, painter and ceramic artist, Fatu Feu’u and Starship Hospital Paediatric and Congenital Chief Surgeon, Kirsten Finucane. The Young Alumna of the Year is also being presented to youth Olympian and engineer, Elise Beavis.