Five new ambassadors join Wellington Advocate Network

The new members are experts in key fields such as health, earth science and design and will support the city in attracting international conferences.

Wellington is continuing to build its advocate programme to support the city in attracting international conferences, with the addition of five new ambassadors in key fields, including health, earth science and design.

They join a group of respected academics and members of national associations across a range of disciplines who bid for and help attract international conferences to New Zealand’s capital city.

“The internationally recognised expertise of these thought leaders and their organisations play a major role in attracting international conferences to Wellington and showcasing our research and innovation on the world stage,” says Business Events Wellington Manager Irette Ferreira said.

The new members of the Wellington Advocate Network are: Psychosocial Oncology New Zealand president, Dr Jessica Mills; School of Design Innovation, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) lecturer in Interaction Design, Dr Nadia Pantidi; GNS Science senior geologist, Mark Lawrence; VUW associate professor Museum & Heritage Studies, Dr Lee Davidson; and Royal Society Te Apārangi chief executive officer, Paul Atkins. 

Dr Pantidi was instrumental in bidding for OzCHI 2023, the International Annual Conference on Computer Human Interaction.

“This is an opportunity to bring people over and showcase the excellent and diverse research we do in the area of Human Computer Interaction, as well as what Aotearoa, New Zealand and specifically Wellington has to offer across several industries such as gaming, film, fine arts and tech startups,” Dr Pantidi said.

Dr Davidson bid for and won the Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) in 2026.

“The theme of the conference will be Whakapapa/Relationality, and how heritage connects people with each other, with the past and with the land. Delegates will be able to ground theory in practice through proximity to Wellington-based national organisations such as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, Heritage New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Museums Aotearoa, and Creative New Zealand,” Dr Davidson said.

Ferreira said Business Events Wellington was grateful to the Network’s new advocates for their time and support.

“We also encourage others to join them in bidding for conferences that will bring positive benefits to Wellington’s knowledge sectors, economy and society.”

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