Everyone, even an All Black, needs a purpose in life and a
''personal aspiration'', former All Blacks coach Sir Graham
Henry told University of Otago graduates at the weekend.
Reflecting on why he was giving a graduation address at the
Dunedin Town Hall at a 1pm ceremony on Saturday, Sir Graham
said this was because ''Richie and the boys smashed the
French 8-7 in the Rugby World Cup final'' on September 22,
And he also was an Otago University graduate.
He told graduates their Otago qualifications would enhance
their career prospects, but asked them if they knew what
success would look like.
''Most of us don't know - very few of us have a clear
He also asked if graduates knew themselves. Having a clear
''personal aspiration'' was crucial and, and ''when the going
gets tough, it gives you focus, it gives you direction, it
gives you inspiration-it stops you giving up.''
Sir Graham had had several goals written down 40 years
ago,''things like All Black coach; school headmaster and some
goals about my life'' with his wife Raewyn and their
It had just taken him ''40 years to get there''. The All
Blacks aspired to be ''the best sporting team in the world''
and they were inspired and motivated to achieve that goal.
Speaking at a second university graduation ceremony, at 4pm
on Saturday, plant ecologist Sir Alan Mark said university
academics should ''take seriously'' their legal right to act
as a critic and conscience of society.
Sir Alan, who is an Otago emeritus professor in botany, said
acting as a ''critic and conscience'' in their respective
fields was an ''important role'' for academics.
There were ''constraints on government scientists'' to speak
publicly if this was ''contrary to the policy of the
government of the day''.
And in ''environmental/ecological fields'', there were ''many
such challenges'', he said.
In seeking to ensure the sustainable management of the
Fiordland lakes and high country tussocklands, he had become
involved in ''considerable controversy''. However, he said
Otago University had shown ''unwavering support'' for his
credibility and ''critic and conscience'' role.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree at the