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Great Scots Distinguished Alumni
Scots College has a proud heritage of producing the All-Round Character. Looking back through our history, it is clear that Scots has produced many students to be proud of: from captains of industry and sporting greats, to those who have served their nation well.
Initiated in 2018 the Great Scots Distinguished Alumni scheme recognises outstanding Scots Collegians who have gone on to make significant achievements at national and international levels while still demonstrating the All-Round Character.
Nominations for Great Scots Distinguished Alumni are always open. For criteria and to apply please click here.
Click on each image below to read more about our Great Scots.
Sir Clifford Plimmer
Sir Clifford Plimmer KBE (1916–1922) as great-grandson of Wellington pioneer John Plimmer Sir Clifford continued the family tradition of business success and public service. He joined stock-and-station agency Wright Stephenson & Company in 1922 working his way up the hierarchy to become chairman in 1953 and expanded the organisation into one of the country’s largest public companies. Sir Clifford was the director of several public companies and a member or chairman of many public bodies including the Taxation Committee (1951), Royal Commission on State Services (1962) and the New Zealand Trade Promotion Council. He was also a trustee of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
Sir David Carruthers
Sir David Carruthers KNZM (1954–1958) is a long-serving member of the New Zealand legal community. He worked as a lawyer in Wellington, Pahiatua and Palmerston North, before being appointed as a Family Court Judge in 1985. In 2001 Carruthers was appointed as Chief District Court Judge, a position he held until 2005, when he was appointed as the chairman of the New Zealand Parole Board. In 2012, Carruthers joined the Independent Police Conduct Authority as its chairman until his retirement in 2017. He was awarded a Knighthood for his services to the District Court.
Alistair Dryden (1953–1955) is a former New Zealand rower. At the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he won the silver medal as part of the men’s eight then went on to win the inaugural Prince Phillip Challenge Cup regatta in 1963 in Henley-on-Thames, then widely regarded as the event closest to a world championship. He also competed in the same coxed four at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 1968 Mexico Summer Olympics where he was part of the men’s eight that came fourth in the final.
Professor Richard Furneaux
Professor Richard Furneaux is recognised as a Great Scot for his outstanding science achievements and all-round character.
Professor Richard Furneaux is a scientist specialising in the fields of carbohydrate chemistry, drug discovery and development, synthetic organic chemistry and natural products chemistry.
Richard attended Scots College for virtually his entire school life [1955 – 1967]. He embodies the All Round Man; he was a prefect, won the Olympic Mathematics prize and was awarded Dux (with John Leuchars) in his final year. Richard was a member of the choir, part of the Editorial Committee of the Scot magazine, a laboratory assistant, and involved in the charity groups Scots College World Aid Foundation and the Teen Aid Service.
Richard discovered his love for chemistry at an early age from his father, Keith, who was a chemist. Keith was involved with the Scots College Parent Association and in 1967, the family donated the Furneaux Prize for Good Citizenship.
After completing his PhD at Victoria University, Richard left Wellington for his post-doctorate studies in America. He returned in the 1980s to join the Department of Science and Industrial research (DSIR).
Professor Furneaux now leads a team of expert carbohydrate chemists at the Ferrier Research Institute, part of Victoria University of Wellington. Over nearly 30 years the team have established a world-class reputation for developing compounds that have resulted in significant breakthroughs in medical care including discoveries for treatments targeting leukaemia, lymphoma, gout, malaria and solid cancer tumours.
Richard is a fellow of both the Royal Society of New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry and is the NZ representative on the International Carbohydrate Organization. He has been recognized with many awards including Wellingtonian of the Year for Science and Technology. He has authored 183 original papers, 24 reviews and was named as an Inventor on 21 patent families.
Richard is a director of Humble Bee, a company with a mission to replace existing, toxic and unsustainable plastics with superior, biologically-inspired materials.
Kim attended Scots College for Years 1-8. By his own admission Kim wasn’t sporty, but he was already excelling academically. In his final year he was a Junior Monitor (Prefect), Primary Editor of the Scot magazine, in the primary school choir and received the Endeavour Prize.
It was during these primary years that Kim’s interest in science was awakened by highly respected primary teacher Peter Avery demonstrating how to grow copper sulphate crystals. It set Kim on his life’s interest in science and he credits being pushed by the teachers as preparing him for his future role at NASA. He knew how to work hard and that work would be rewarded. It was a good solid education in a very positive environment.
Kim left Scots when his family moved to Australia’s Gold Coast. He then finished off his high school years when his family moved back to New Zealand at Mount Maunganui College, where he was one of their first Scholarship winners.
In 1977 Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Science, with honours in physics, from the University of Canterbury. He became a Master of Science two years later and in 1983 he completed a doctorate in physiology at Otago University. Kim left for the University of California, San Diego three days after gaining his PhD. It was the start of his work in space research, which he thought might be for a year or two, but his expertise would keep him permanently in the USA, and he ended up working for more than 20 years on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space programme based in Houston, Texas. He became a US citizen in 1994 and he was part of the NASA groups that won several awards.
Kim was principally involved in studying the effects of the absence of gravity on the lungs of astronauts on board the Space Shuttle, and later the International Space Station. His findings remain the definitive body of work on the subject and in 2003 they were recognised by Otago University, which conferred on him a Doctor of Science degree. He also did numerous experiments on NASA’s microgravity research aircraft. To work for NASA he needed to be competent with his hands as well as his brain, which he enjoyed. With typical humility Kim says he was privileged to be involved and just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Kim and his wife Jenni remain residents in San Diego, where, in 2015, he was an adjunct professor (medicine) at the University of California San Diego. More recently though, after 35 years in San Diego, the two New Zealanders built a house in Kerikeri and now spend their time between there and the US, where Kim still manages a Laboratory in San Diego.
Kim has achieved much in an outstanding science career and is an excellent example to others.
Kingi Smiler (1966–1970) as a chartered accountant, is a hugely experienced businessman and professional director specialising in business planning and corporate restructuring. A former partner of Ernst and Young until 1997, Kingi was a driving force behind the establishment of Miraka in 2011, a milk production plant utilising geothermal energy. In 2013 he was awarded the Federated Farmers agri-business man of the year and in 2015 was the supreme winner of the Māori Business Leader Award.
Sir Walter Norwood
Sir Walter Norwood KBE (1920–1922) joined family business Dominion Motors in 1926 and played a prominent role in the development of the business, through to pioneering the assembly in New Zealand of the first Morris vehicles. He presided over the amalgamation of Dominion Motors to form the New Zealand Motor Corporation which, at one stage, controlled a quarter of the New Zealand market. Also a keen philanthropist, Sir Walter established several trusts to benefit a number of worthy causes. He was awarded a Knighthood for his services to commerce and the City of Wellington.
Euan Robertson (1959-1966) was a notable New Zealand distance runner in the 1970s. He competed in both the1974 and 1978 Commonwealth Games and gained a sixth placing in the 3000m steeplechase at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics where he also set a New Zealand record of 8 minutes 21.08 seconds. He later went on to win New Zealand senior titles in the 5000m, 10 000m, 3000m steeplechase and cross-country and also represented New Zealand at the World Cross Country Championships on a number of occasions coming 5th in 1975 in Morocco.
Euan Robertson (posthumously) is recognised as a Great Scot for his outstanding sporting achievements and all round character.
Euan attended Scots for eight years [1959–1966] as a boarder from Eastbourne. He was a member of both the choir and the Pipe Band, appeared in a number of College productions and was a Gibb House prefect. Initially Euan played rugby however he gave this up for cross country running with the Wellington Harrier Club.
Competing in the hey-day of middle-distance running in New Zealand Euan first came to prominence at a provincial level in 1964 when he competed in the Intermediate Intercollegiate Cross Country placing first. Known to clock up over 100 miles (160 km) around the Miramar Peninsula each week Euan showed great promise and dedication early on with many wins over the course of 1966.
After College Euan attended Massey University where he gained a degree in agricultural soil science. He was a soil conservator for the Ministry of Works from 1973, then transferred to Cambridge and Auckland where he gained an MBA degree.
Euan went on to compete in both the 1974 and 1978 Commonwealth Games gaining a sixth placing in the 3000m steeplechase at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics where he also set a New Zealand record of 8 minutes 21.08 seconds. He later went on to win New Zealand senior titles in the 5000m, 10 000m, 3000m steeplechase and cross-country and also represented New Zealand at the World Cross Country Championships on a number of occasions. His finest hour came in 1975 in Morocco where he finished 5th – one place behind John Walker, as part of the New Zealand Cross-Country Team.
In all he competed for his country at seven world cross-country championships between 1969 and 1983, winning the New Zealand title in 1980 – a moment he regarded as the highlight of his career.
Robertson later managed and coached New Zealand cross-country and track teams. He married Charlotte in 1973; they had four sons.
A young man in his prime, Euan passed away at the age of 47 doing what he loved best, running cross-country with a group of young athletes over sand dunes at Bethells Beach near Auckland.
Dr. Robin Bell
Robin grew up in Hataitai. He briefly went to Hataitai Primary School before attending Scots College with his brother for virtually his entire school life from 1947-1958 (Years 2 -13).
Robin, whilst in Year 12, was joint Dux with Graham Lewis in 1957.
In the best tradition of the Scots all-rounder, Robin’s main interests were in Maths and Science and he also enjoyed languages and English literature. Compulsory sport was insisted on by Headmaster Col Glasgow and Robin enjoyed soccer and golf.
After leaving Scots, Robin attained a science degree from Victoria University of Wellington where he took full advantage of everything offered; he loved studying Physics and Maths, dabbled in student politics, discovered squash, badminton, tennis, and skiing, and participated in a VUW Expedition to the Antarctic Dry Valleys.
Subsequently, Robin was offered a place in the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at Oxford University, where he did his Doctorate. In those days nuclear power and weapons were popular and research facilities in Oxford, Harwell and Aldermaston were outstanding. The great hope at the time was power from nuclear fusion of hydrogen.
Robin accepted a research post in 1969 in the Nuclear Physics Department at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he was also for some years Deputy Master of an ecumenical residence, Burgmann College. Robin met his wife while there.
Permanent academic jobs in nuclear physics dried up in the 1970s, so Robin had to change career. He decided to study law and move into the public service. He credits his ability to adapt so easily to his varied and disciplined education at Scots.
After graduation and admission, Robin joined the Federal Government’s Attorney-General’s Department. He found this a very stimulating legal environment with great research facilities. He worked on new policies for areas such as copyright and privacy where technology was necessitating major changes to the law and he was able to draw on his science background.
Subsequently, Robin became Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman and then Deputy Electoral Commissioner.
After retiring from the Australian Public Service he joined the international law firm Minter Ellison where he worked until his full retirement.
Robin lives in Canberra with his wife, they have four children.
Robin’s achievements in two professional fields makes him an excellent example to others.
Dr. Peter Gianoutsos
Peter was the epitome of the all-round man during his time at Scots (1944-1957); he achieved highly academically, was a Prefect, a finalist in the College senior public speaking competition, enjoyed being in the cricket 1st XI and took part in three Gilbert & Sullivan productions including the prime role of Pirate King in the ‘Pirates of Penzance’.
Peter attended Medical School at Otago University where he specialised in Respiratory Health. In 1970 he moved to Sydney and accepted a job at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Peter remained at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital until 2013, becoming a Senior Respiratory Physician. Throughout this period, he was closely involved with the development of the profession through the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand; he was both Treasurer and President of the New South Wales State branch.
Peter served on the Boards of a number of related organisations including the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Medical Board as Chairman.
Instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Lung Foundation, Peter used his professional networks to promote activities in the community’s interest, such as the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011.
Peter has had a longstanding teaching career at the University of Sydney, and was appointed Clinical Associate Professor in 2006. He was also engaged as a visiting professor at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Peter credits Scots College with teaching him to show respect at all times and to consider the point of view of others; the personal discipline he learned at the College has remained with him all his life.
Professor Paul Healy
Paul began Scots in Year 3 in 1963. By the time he was a senior, he was one of eight students put on a track to receive special tuition. Bill Heppleston, tasked with improving the College’s academic record, was Paul’s history teacher and inspired him to be a scholar.
Paul excelled at Scots and in 1973 was the Proxime Accessit, awarded a University Entrance Scholarship, was Deputy Head Boy, Head of MacKenzie House, sang in the choir and was a strong middle-distance runner.
Paul graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 1977 with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in Accounting and Finance with First-Class Honours. This helped secure a place at the University of Rochester in New York State in 1978, where he achieved a Master’s degree in Economics and a PhD in Business.
Paul spent 14 years teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s famed Sloan School of Management where he received awards for teaching excellence and served as Deputy Dean.
Paul joined Harvard Business School in 1997 and has served as Chair of the Doctoral Programs, Chair of the Accounting & Management Unit, and Senior Associate Dean for Research, and then for Faculty Development. He has taught courses in accounting, financial analysis, corporate governance and business ethics at the MBA and executive levels.
Paul’s research focuses on Wall Street research, corporate governance and corruption, and financial analysis. His work has been published in leading journals in accounting and finance. He is also the co-author of a leading financial analysis and valuation textbook. His research has received many awards.
Acknowledgement of his work has included being made a fellow of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2013 for outstanding contributions to the profession of accountancy.Paul is currently a visiting lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.
Jeff Barratt (surname Courtney-Lewis while at Scots) is recognised as a Great Scot for his outstanding finance and banking achievements and all-round character.
Jeff’s successful professional career was set on course by a high achieving time at Scots. He was Dux of the Intermediate School and he excelled at sports; being a member of the College’s 1st teams in soccer, cricket, rugby and athletics, winning the Watt Cup for Athletics and setting the College Intermediate shotput record in 1967.
Jeff graduated with an LLB from Sydney University in 1973. Afterwards he joined Stephen Jaques, one of the largest law firms in Sydney and commenced his Masters in Law.
In 1975 Jeff was awarded the Frehill Hollingdale and Page Prize for Public Companies, after which he returned to England to visit his father and to play cricket for the Middlesex County Cricket Club. He continued playing club cricket until recently, having captained Hampstead Cricket Club and was Chairman of the Blackheath Cricket Club in Surrey.
From 1977 until 2017 Jeff had a successful career with Norton Rose Fulbright, a global law firm in London, becoming a partner in 1979 and holding a number of management positions. He also spent three years in the Middle East setting up the Norton Rose office in Bahrain; whilst there he captained a Bahrain XI in several international matches. Later, he spent two and a half years in Hong Kong where he set up the Norton Rose project finance group for the S. E. Asian Region.
Jeff is recognised internationally as a leader in his specialised fields of Project Finance and Banking. He has written numerous legal articles and publications and has been a visiting professor at the London Metropolitan University since 2013.
Since 1987 Jeff has been a Member of Lloyd’s and he currently sits on the Lloyd’s Council (Main Board) having been elected to that post in 2016 and is also a Director of the Association of Lloyd’s Members. He has been actively involved in promoting the City’s interests and has chaired the City UK Infrastructure and Energy Executive Board from 2013 until 2017. Jeff was a Non-Executive Director of the International Project Finance Association from 2011 until 2018; he sat on the London Council of the Confederation of British Industry from 2011 until 2018 and currently sits on its International Advisory Group. He was Chairman of the Cook Society in 2015 and 2016 and Deputy Chairman in 2017 and 2018. He is a Freeman of the City of London.
Jeff actively supports many children’s charities including the Dyspraxia Foundation, Snow-Camp, Wooden Spoon and the Change Foundation (formerly Cricket for Change). He has been involved in a University scholarship programme between Sydney and the UK, and as a qualified coach and mentor with the City & Guilds of London Institute, he continues to mentor and coach a number of senior executives.
Jeff is married to Sharon and they have two children, Justin and Maeve.
Chris Reid (1962-1967)
Chris studied for his Bachelor of Laws at Victoria University, Wellington, and joined a local firm after graduating. Chris is a keen mountaineer climbing in New Zealand and overseas. It was a love of climbing that took him via Nepal when he headed to the United Kingdom and Europe for his OE. He thought he would be away for a year; however, he worked overseas for the next 20 years.
In 1975, using his Austin 1300 car, Chris started as a driver for DHL – which was then a tiny courier company. Pulling in friends from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom to act as drivers, Chris helped turn DHL’s London office into the heart of a global empire. During this period DHL became the leading alternative to the postal services for the international delivery of documents and parcels.
Chris took his experiences to America. As President of TNT USA from 1983-1986, he was able to turn the business around from years of heavy losses to profitability and a greatly increased market share. He moved from New York to Sydney in 1987 to become TNT’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific; he was a director of TNT Express for 11 years.
Chris and his family returned to New Zealand in 1993. He took over as CEO of Skyline Enterprises in Queenstown; during his time the flagship business, Queenstown Gondola & Restaurant, won the Best Visitor Attraction at the NZ Tourism Awards in 1995.
From 1997, Chris was the owner and Managing Director of Pack ’n’ Pedal, a nationwide retailer of cycling and outdoor products. Chris developed the business to become a market leader in outdoor retail, winning several industry awards for innovation and marketing.
Chris’s next enterprise, The Interface Financial Group was twice a finalist in the High Growth category at the national Small Business Awards. Currently, Chris is a Director of The Business Engine that assists small/medium businesses reach their potential.
Chris is an author of two books My Business Life and Fly by Night.
Chris has achieved much in an outstanding career in business and is an excellent example to others.
While visiting Wellington Chris Reid held an evening presentation sharing his experience in helping to turn DHL’s London office into the heart of a global empire. Watch the zoom recording here.