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Queen's Birthday Honours 2018 - Citations for Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

HEALY, Ms Catherine Alice

For services to the rights of sex workers

Ms Catherine Healy was appointed National Coordinator of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) in 1989, which was a voluntary role until 1992, and in this role she has built NZPC into a globally respected public health provider with six branches across New Zealand.

NZPC focuses on sex workers’ rights, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection prevention, and education. NZPC offers free sexual health clinics at their community bases. From 1989 she gathered support for a campaign to decriminalise prostitution from a wide variety of organisations including the Young Women’s Christian Association, National Council of Women, and the AIDS Foundation. In 1996 she established a cross-party grouping in Parliament to work with her and NGO leaders to catalyse law reform. She coordinated the group in developing a model Bill to safeguard the human rights and occupational safety of sex workers. The Bill was introduced in 2000 and passed in 2003. Post-decriminalisation she was appointed a member of the Prostitution Law Review Committee, which reported that sex workers were markedly better off under the Prostitution Reform Act. She has overseen the NZPC for 30 years and has provided personal support to local sex workers. Ms Healy is a member of the National HIV and AIDS Forum and a consultant for the World Health Organisation in relation to HIV prevention, and is frequently called upon to provide advice to government and non-government organisations globally.

HONOURS

New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

LABAN, The Honourable Luamanuvao Winifred Alexandra (Winnie), QSO

For services to education and the Pacific community

The Honourable Luamanuvao Winnie Laban was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) of Victoria University of Wellington in 2010 and has since provided strategic advice, direction and support for Pacific students and staff, increasing enrolments and raising Pacific achievement.

Associate Professor Laban has been Patron of the Wainuiomata Pasifika Education Success Initiative since 2013, and Patron of the Cancer Society Relay for Life since 2008. She is Patron for the Wellington Pasifika Business Network and Wellington Rugby League. She has been a member of Creative New Zealand Arts Council since 2014 and was Chair of the Pacific Arts Committee from 2013 to 2014. Since 2017 she has been a member of the Australasian Association for Institutional Research, the New Zealand Institute of Directors, the Commissioner of Police’s National Pacific Advisory Forum, and an Auditor for the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities. She has been a member of the National University of Samoa Council since 2012 and the Institute of Judicial Studies Board since 2011. Associate Professor Laban is currently involved in a project in partnership with Wellington City Council and Victoria University of Wellington to construct a multipurpose fale malae in the Wellington region.

HONOURS

Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, New Year 2011.

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

O'CONNOR, Emeritus Professor Charmian Jocelyn, CBE, JP

For services to education and chemistry

Emeritus Professor Charmian O’Connor is internationally recognised for her contributions to chemistry and education.

Professor O’Connor was instrumental in establishing the independent Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust (KEECT). The KEECT, through its academic dress hire business, is now one of the largest non-governmental funders of women’s higher education in New Zealand. She chaired the Trust from 2005 to 2013 and remains a Trustee. She has chaired the Trust’s Awards Committee since inception, wrote the Awards Manual, and introduced new awards as money became available. She has overseen an increase from $75,000 in awards at inception to more than $600,000 across 110 grants and research awards annually for women undertaking tertiary education. As a Professor at the University of Auckland from 1986 and Emeritus Professor from 2004 she has been a member and chair of a range of the University’s advisory committees and a member of fellowship selection committees. She was a member of the Manukau Institute of Technology Council and helped establish a research committee. As a Ministerial Representative on the Council of Unitec from 2005 to 2014 she played a key role in advancing the construction of the wharekai and wharepaku to complete Unitec’s Marae facilities. Professor O’Connor has continued her involvement with chemistry organisations and conferences at national and international levels.

HONOURS

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Queen’s Birthday 1989

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

TOPP, Ms Julie Bethridge (Jools), MNZM

For services to entertainment

Ms Jools Topp, and her twin sister, Lynda, have performed in New Zealand and internationally as the country music and comedy duo ‘The Topp Twins’ for more than 30 years.

Since their appointments as Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to entertainment in 2004, they produced the albums ‘Flowergirls and Cowgirls’ (2005) and ‘Honky Tonk Angel’ (2009), released five best-selling children’s audio books, and have regularly toured Australia and New Zealand to sold-out venues. In 2008 the twins were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. The documentary feature film ‘The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls’ was released in 2009 and won several awards at international film festivals. It broke all previous records for opening day and opening weekend for a New Zealand documentary, and after just four weeks at the box office, it made over $1 million. From 2014 to 2017 they filmed three series of the television show ‘Topp Country’, in which they travelled around New Zealand meeting food producers and home cooks. The twins have actively raised awareness of breast cancer, including staging the Recovery Tour in 2007 following Jools’ personal experience with the disease, with a percentage of ticket sales being donated to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

HONOURS

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2004

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

TOPP, Ms Lynda Bethridge, MNZM

For services to entertainment

Ms Jools Topp, and her twin sister, Lynda, have performed in New Zealand and internationally as the country music and comedy duo ‘The Topp Twins’ for more than 30 years.

Since their appointments as Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to entertainment in 2004, they produced the albums ‘Flowergirls and Cowgirls’ (2005) and ‘Honky Tonk Angel’ (2009), released five best-selling children’s audio books, and have regularly toured Australia and New Zealand to sold-out venues. In 2008 the twins were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. The documentary feature film ‘The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls’ was released in 2009 and won several awards at international film festivals. It broke all previous records for opening day and opening weekend for a New Zealand documentary, and after just four weeks at the box office, it made over $1 million. From 2014 to 2017 they filmed three series of the television show ‘Topp Country’, in which they travelled around New Zealand meeting food producers and home cooks. The twins have actively raised awareness of breast cancer, including staging the Recovery Tour in 2007 following Jools’ personal experience with the disease, with a percentage of ticket sales being donated to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

HONOURS

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2004

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Last updated: 
Monday, 4 June 2018

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