Massey Professors receive ONZM for pioneering work in health psychology and ageing studies

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Two Professors from the School of Psychology have been included in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours List.

Professor Christine Stephens (left) and Professor Fiona Alpass.

Last updated: Tuesday 4 June 2024

Professors Fiona Alpass and Christine Stephens have both been made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to health psychology and seniors.

Together, they have co-led Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) since its inception in 2006. HART is an interdisciplinary group of researchers running the New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Study. The study has followed more than 1000 New Zealanders aged 55 and over for 18 years, focusing on health, work and retirement, and is recognised internationally as an important source of information on the experiences of ageing.

Last year, HART released a book of the study’s findings to date.

Professor Alpass’ research on organisational psychology, particularly workforce ageing, has provided insight into the changing patterns of how older people engage with paid employment. She initiated the research for the Senior Entrepreneurship in Aotearoa New Zealand – An Unrealised Opportunity Research Report, which was released in 2022.

She has been a member of the Global Issues on Ageing Council under the framework of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and an international partner on research programmes funded by the United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council since 2017. Professor Alpass has contributed expertise to national advisory groups for the Ministry of Social Development, ACC and the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing.

Professor Stephens’ research has highlighted the importance of social and physical environments to health and provided opportunities for older adults to voice their perspectives on ageing well. She has played a significant role in the development of Massey’s flagship health psychology programme.

Her work has made older adults’ needs, voices and strengths more visible and provided knowledge on many areas of ageing, especially housing needs. She has been involved in 20 externally funded research projects. She was a founding member of the International Society of Critical Healthy Psychology, and was treasurer from 2009-2020 and chair from 2011-2013.

Professor Stephens contributes to the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and is a fellow of the Gerontological Association of America. She also serves on the board of Age Concern Kāpiti and supported the Kāpiti Coast District Council in developing its Age Friendly Strategy in 2023.

Dr Trish Bradbury, who retired from the university in December 2023, has also been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to sport and education.

Dr Bradbury was a senior lecturer and programme leader for the university’s sport management programme since its inception in 1993. She contributed widely to Massey, including as University Proctor, member of the Graduation Committee, facilitator of the Young Women in Leadership Workshop and as a Master of Ceremonies at university events such as the Blues Awards.

She is on the board of the World Association of Sport Management, served with the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand and held senior voluntary roles with Paralympics New Zealand, University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand and Volleyball New Zealand. She has contributed extensively to her local sport community in coaching and advisory roles. In 2018 Dr Bradbury was awarded the Massey Business School Richard Buchanan Teaching Excellence Award and in 2024 was awarded the title Distinguished Friend of Massey.

Massey alumni who are recipients of this year’s King’s Birthday Honours:

Officers of the Order of New Zealand (ONZM)

  • Ms Andrea Blair (Diploma in Arts 2019) for services to the geothermal industry and women.

Members of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM)

  • Mr Reid Fletcher (Diploma in Agriculture 1969) for services to the wine industry.
  • Mr Kerry Hudson (Bachelor of Agricultural Science 1981, Diploma in Horticultural Science 1982) for services to land management.
  • Ms Chris Clark (Certificate in Public Health 2016) for services to alcohol and drug harm reduction.

Companions of the King’s Service Order (KSO)

  • Mrs Colleen Brown (Diploma in Education 1982, Master of Education Administration 1994) for services to people with disabilities, local government and the community.

King’s Service Medal

  • Mr David Cade (Diploma in Dairy Technology 1984) for services to conservation and biosecurity awareness.
  • Mr Peter McNeur (Bachelor of Education 1992) for services to education and the community.
  • Ms Jillian Spicer (Postgraduate Diploma Second Language Teaching 2003) for services to the community and refugees.

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