English among doctorate recipients

Sir William English. Photos: Supplied
Sir William English. Photos: Supplied
Brigid Inder
Brigid Inder
Atholl Anderson
Atholl Anderson
Viopapa Annandale-Atherton
Viopapa Annandale-Atherton

A former prime minister is among four people to receive honorary doctorates from the University of Otago this Queen's Birthday.

Sir William English, Ngai Tahu archaeologist Prof Atholl Anderson, global women's rights and children's issues expert Brigid Inder and Papalii Dr Viopapa Annandale-Atherton all studied at the university.

Their doctorates of laws will be presented at a special convocation ceremony in the Dunedin Town Hall on June 1, part of the university's 150th celebrations.

Prof Anderson, who lives in Marlborough, said he retained a lot of affection for Otago, where he studied archaeology from 1970 to 1973, later returning as a lecturer.

"It's a tremendous honour and of course I'm extremely pleased," he said.

Prof Anderson has written books on archaeology, including Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, and his work has been recognised in New Zealand and overseas.

He is still involved in work in the South, looking at an archaeological site on Codfish Island, in Fouveaux Strait.

The island had special significance for Prof Anderson, who was descended from one of the families who lived there in the sealing days of the 1820s.

Sir William completed a bachelor of commerce and bachelor of arts degree at the university in 1985, and a statement from the university referred to his "thoughtful stewardship through the Global Financial Crisis".

Papalii Dr Annandale-Atherton, a pioneer improving the health of women and children in the Pacific Islands, graduated from the Otago Medical School in 1964 before studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Ms Inder, founding director of the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice Australia in the Hague, graduated with a degree in physical education from Otago in 1987.

She has worked rehabilitating former child soldiers in Africa, as well as on HIV/Aids-related initiatives in Australia.

The free ticket-only ceremony will be open to the public.

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