Howick College honours alumni

Celebrating, from left, Howick College Board presiding member Miles Stratford, Dr Angela Lim, Tex Edwards, Dr Helen Murray and Howick College Principal Iva Ropati.

Entrepreneur Tex Edwards and doctors Angela Lim and Helen Murray were recently honoured at the inaugural annual Howick College Distinguished Alumni Awards.

The awards were established as an opportunity to celebrate the college’s outstanding alumni and their impressive achievements since graduation.

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Tex Edwards, never thought of himself as academic and never imagined he would be honoured by his old high school.

With more than 30 years’ experience in international banking, investment management and infrastructure deployment, he is perhaps best known as founder of the mobile phone company 2degrees – and subsequently ending the telecommunications duopoly in New Zealand.

“I was proud to serve the New Zealand community…thank you [Howick College] for honouring me and the team I worked with,” he said.

Edwards says he learned the importance of building strong networks while at Howick College. Being able to connect with peers of similar interests and fit in with new groups has served him well over the years.

“When times are tough [especially] in the hellish days of a business start-up, friends and networks help you to breathe.”

Dr Lim considered herself an “average kid” growing up and found it “surreal” to be honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

A former paediatrician, she was recognised for her service to medical research, IT innovation and mental wellbeing. Dr Lim is co-founder and CEO of Clearhead, New Zealand’s first self-help software platform providing improved access to mental healthcare.

Passionate about solving our society’s “wicked problems” she is actively involved with not-for-profit organisations and has been appointed to numerous boards focussing on healthcare information technology.

After emigrating from Malaysia at the age of 15, she attended Howick College where she had the opportunity to explore contrasting areas of interest.

“I did drama from years 10 to 13 so in my final year I was able to develop both my creativity and do scholarship level calculus…[the] expansiveness of my intellectual curiosity was nurtured, which meant I was never restricted.”

Neuroscientist and captain of the New Zealand Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Dr Murray felt “very honoured” to receive the “Rising Star” Young Alumni Award. Since leaving school, Dr Murray has built a research career that combines her experience as an athlete and her expertise as a neuroscientist with the goal to improve brain health in New Zealand.

During her time at Howick College, Dr Murray learned to balance the demands of sport and academic performance, skills that carried her through her undergraduate and PhD study at university.

“The staff were incredibly supportive and provided opportunities to expand my leadership skills and develop my interests in diverse subjects,” Dr Murray said.

“I also developed a strong sense of community and service and I hope that my academic career encourages future students to be curious and persevere with their passions.”

Miles Stratford, presiding member of the Howick College Board, said it was a privilege to bestow these awards on students who had gone on to achieve at the highest level.

“The whakapapa of the college and our alumni are intertwined. By strengthening the ties between us, we hope our current and future students will be inspired and have the courage to excel.”