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Prestigious award to much-appreciated clinical campus manager

Ian Houston Award recipient Raewyn Wooderson

L-r: John Conaglen, Raewyn Wooderson and Ian Houston at the presentation of the Ian Houston Award for Sustained Excellence in Job Performance for professional staff, in November 2015. 

For 21 years Raewyn Wooderson has been the “go-to” person for clinical students and academic staff at the Waikato Clinical Campus.

Wooderson is the manager of the campus, which is located at Waikato Hospital and part of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. She was there when it all began 21 years ago with the founding of the Waikato Clinical School under the guidance of Peter Rothwell, Tony Cull and Peter Gluckman, and since then she has been integral to the creation and development of many aspects of the student learning experience and the smooth running of clinical education programmes.

On 25 November her work and her personal qualities were recognised by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences when she was awarded the prestigious Ian Houston Award for Sustained Excellence in Job Performance.

The award noted her contribution to the faculty’s teaching and research through her leadership in providing support to the students, academics and clinicians who work at the clinical campus, as well as her demonstration of the faculty’s values of excellence, innovation, partnership, professionalism, equity and integrity.

As Dr John Conaglen, who nominated her for the award, says: “It reflects brilliantly on Raewyn’s dedication to making the Waikato an excellent campus for our future doctors to be trained in.

“She has remained committed to the ongoing development and improvement of the facilities, the teaching programme and its research capacity since 1994. She is a tireless advocate of our medical students ensuring that they receive first-class pastoral care and the best clinical teaching.”

Wooderson was pivotal in establishing and maintaining the Waikato Research Seminar series and ensuring these are published in the NZ Medical Journal. She also manages the 12 – 15 summer studentships funded each year on the Waikato Clinical Campus which have proven invaluable experience for undergraduate students but also encouraged many clinicians to engage with research as clinical supervisors, he said.

In her acceptance speech, Wooderson thanked many of the individuals who had helped her along her journey, and in particular

  • Dr Peter Rothwell – “an incredible mentor, encouraging me to achieve far more than I ever thought possible.”
  • Dr John Conaglen – “the ‘ideas man’, who has been a colleague on this whole medical school journey for me, providing amazing support over the years.”
  • Prof Ross Lawrenson, current assistant dean of the Waikato Clinical Campus – “always available to me with his sound advice and inspirational with his strategic planning and overview taking the Waikato Clinical Campus to its full potential.”
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