Awards, Grants and Prizes

Congratulations to the following General Surgeons who have recently been acknowledged:-


Denys Sumner Award

This is chosen by the General Surgery SET trainees for ‘Training Teacher’of the year for enthusiasm and expertise in clinical teaching.  For 2016 this was awarded to Ian Stewart from Waitemata DHB.  He received his award at the Trainee Day Dinner in Palmerston North, March 2017.

Previous years recipients of the Denys Sumner Award

2015  Jane Strang
2014  Magda Biggar
2013  Rowan French
2012  Andrew Connolly
2011  Pravin Kumar
2009  Bruce Rhind
2008  Alf Decon



Usha Shan’s oncoplastic work on Northland women with breast cancer over a 6 year period (2008-2014), has been recognised by the founders of ORBS (Douglas MacMillan and Steven McCulley from Nottingham) at the recent ORBS meeting in Nottingham (21st - 23rd Sept 2015).

The panel judging Usha’s work included Michael Dixon, K Clough, M Rietjens, D MacMillan who, as you know are world leaders and authors on Oncoplastic Breast surgery from Edinburgh, Paris Milan and Nottingham.

She had 2 posters up for viewing. 

  1. The tennis racquet incision (level 1 oncoplastic technique) which was her oral presentation 
  2. The experiences of a solo oncoplastic surgeon in rural NZ

Douglas MacMillan's reasons for giving her the prize were that her presentation was excellent, honest and passionate, but most importantly she was innovative and 'got on with it in spite of challenges of being in a remote area'. Douglas described her as representing what ORBS is all about.

Usha was overwhelmed by the compliments she received from the international delegates and speakers over the 3 days of the conference. There were 400 delegates from 30 countries. She was the only speaker from Aussie/ NZ so is proud to have represented NZ and Northland! 

A total of 14 papers were chosen for oral presentation from New York (1), Japan (1), Finland(1), NZ(1) and UK ( Nottingham, London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Glasgow ).

Usha said “It was amazing to see the number of surgeons asking me details of the technique to take back to their homeland.” She also thanked Philippa Mercer for being her inspiration.


Professor Pat Alley is the recipient of the CPMEC Clinical Educator of the Year Award 2013.

The award is recognition of the contribution Professor Alley has made to medical education and the well being of the profession over four decades.

This year at North Shore Hospital, Professor Alley has played a key role in the development of an integrated formal teaching programme with three core strands. There are Clinical Skills, Quality and Patient Safety, Inter Professional learning and Collaborative Practice.

Pat is the first New Zealander to be awarded the confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) Clinical Educator of the year. The Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC) is an association of Postgraduate Medical Councils (PMCs) of each State or Territory in Australia and the equivalent agency in New Zealand.

To read the full press release click here...

 Mr Murray Pfeifer, a NZAGS member practicing in Invercargill, has had his distinguished service to rural surgery recognised by the College. Murray has been awarded the Rural Surgeons Award.

The Rural Surgeons Award acknowledges significant contributions to surgery in rural settings in New Zealand and Australia. This award was previously called the“Provincial Surgeons Award” and was created by Council in 2002.

The contribution has to be in the form of conspicuous continued involvement of at least 10 years to the development of a high standard of surgery and commitment to quality assurance and ongoing education and training of the individual and other health care

A presentation will be made by Michael Hollands at the20th NZAGS Annual Scientific Meeting being held in Dunedin, 29-30th March 2014.

 RACS Service Awards

Members are asked to consider making nominations for College Awards. The Awards link on the RACS website is very helpful.

Of most interest to members is likely to be the recognition for Outstanding Service Award.


The Awards Committee meets three times a year just before Council in the last week of February, June and October.


If you would like to put forward a nomination to the NZAGS Executive, please ensure your nomination includes:-


  • a covering letter outlining why you are nominating the particular individual for the particular award (please check they meet the criteria for the award )
  • the nominee’s CV or additional supporting information.


Please email the nomination to Bronwen