History of the Branch

Brief History.

In late 2012, two residents of the Upper Clutha area, Graeme Ballantyne and John Darby, entertained the idea of forming a Wanaka branch of the Royal Society of NZ (RSNZ). They were greatly encouraged and assisted in this endeavour by Dr Di McCarthy, then CEO of the RSNZ in Wellington. Di had witnessed the strong interest and enthusiasm of Wanaka audiences when she accompanied two Rutherford Fellow speakers in 2011 and 2012.

In February 2013, a core group comprising Dr Graeme Ballantyne, Dr Max Shepherd, John Darby, Russell McGeorge, and Trevor Savage formed a “committee”. It quickly settled on some objectives and a basic set of rules for a local branch. Later that month an agreement was signed with the Royal Society of NZ in Wellington (RSNZ), which declared the Wanaka Branch to be a Regional Constituent Organisation (RCO), effectively the 9th regional Branch of RSNZ.

On 1st March 2013, Professor Bryan Sykes from Oxford University gave the inaugural lecture, entitled I Met a Traveller from an Ancient Land: Interpreting the Past through DNA. It created considerable interest and precipitated a stream of membership applications. The preliminary rules were revised and adopted at a Special General Meeting of the Branch on 4th May 2013.

Philosophy.

In keeping with the stated aims of RSNZ, the Branch seeks to promote, advance and support science, technology and the humanities in the Wanaka region. It aspires to do this by seeking out and inviting high calibre speakers on new, exciting and cutting-edge developments in these disciplines.

Previous Committees

Founding Committee (2013-2015)

Dr. Graeme Ballantyne (President), Dr. Max Shepherd (Vice-President), Trevor Savage (Secretary), Russell McGeorge (Treasurer), John Darby, Jan Janata, Colin Boswell

2016-2017

Dr Max Shepherd (President), Trevor Savage (Secretary), Russell McGeorge (Treasurer), John Darby, Heather Kerr, Dr Amy Ballantyne

2017-2018

Dr Max Shepherd (President), Trevor Savage (Secretary), Russell McGeorge (Treasurer), John Darby, Heather Kerr, Dr Amy Ballantyne, Dr. Ian Hall,

2018-2019

Dr Max Shepherd (President), Dr Amy Ballantyne (Vice President), Trevor Savage (Secretary), Emeritus Professor John Langley (Treasurer), Emeritus Professor Peter Herbison, Dr. Ian Hall, Dr.Maggie Evans

2019-2020

Dr Amy Ballantyne (President), Dr Maggie Evans (Secretary), Professor John Langley (Treasurer), Christine Gardner, Ben Goddard, Emeritus Professor Peter Herbison, Emeritus Ruth Harrison

2020-2021

Dr Amy Ballantyne (President), Dr Maggie Evans (Secretary), Julie Perry (Treasurer), Nikki Cotter, Christine Gardner, Ben Goddard, Ruth Harrison, Dr Caroline Oliver (Vice President)