Technology business leader Mitchell Pham to be celebrated with Kea World Class New Zealand Award
New Zealand’s most prestigious celebration of individual achievement, the Kea World Class New Zealand (WCNZ) Awards, has today announced six of its 2018 award recipients.
In addition to Pham, this year’s winners include innovator and engineer, Peter Beck; AI trailblazer Mark Sagar; award-winning actor and producer Cliff Curtis; prominent Earth scientist Dr Delwyn Moller; and art world powerhouse Jennifer Flay.
The Supreme Award (won last year by Sir Peter Jackson and Lady Fran Walsh), and Friend of New Zealand Award (won last year by Pippa Lady Blake), will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre on Thursday 21st June.
Kea Global CEO Craig Donaldson says the Awards are an important opportunity to recognise the very best among New Zealand’s community of Kiwi innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders making an impact on the world stage.
“This year’s recipients are diverse in their fields of influence and expertise, but they share a commitment to excellence which helps to define New Zealand’s global reputation – and made a vast contribution to the country’s social, cultural, scientific and economic development. We’re delighted to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements,” says Donaldson.
Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, is being recognised as a pioneer in New Zealand’s space community, including his instrumental role in establishing international treaties and legislation to enable orbital launch capability from New Zealand.
Mark Sagar, CEO and co-founder of Soul Machines, and director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute, is being recognised for his work developing new technologies to humanise artificial intelligence.
Cliff Curtis, founder of Arama Pictures, co-founder of Whenua Films, and multi-award-winning actor, is being recognised for his commitment to indigenous storytelling, including Arama Pictures feature The Dark Horse and short film Ahi Ka.
Dr Delwyn Moller, Director of Research at the Centre for Space Science Technology (Alexandra, NZ) and previously a NASA and Jet Propulsion Lab scientist, is being recognised for her ground-breaking contribution to the development of state-of-the-art earth science technology systems. This includes developing high-resolution radar imaging technology to enable new areas of scientific discovery, and an extensive contribution to our understanding of climate change via ongoing study of ice sheets and glaciers.
Mitchell Pham, a Director of the Augen Software Group in New Zealand and Vietnam, co-founder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub, Chair of NZTech and of FinTechNZ, is being recognised for his contribution to the technology sector in New Zealand and NZ-Asia relations.
And finally, Jennifer Flay, General Director of Paris’ Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) or International Contemporary Art Fair, has been included in recognition of her contribution to the fine arts, and leading the renewal of one of the most prestigious arts events in the world.
Established in 2003, the Awards provide a platform that recognises global success, celebrating Kiwis who are helping to define New Zealand’s international reputation.
Each World Class New Zealand Award winner will receive a Tall Poppy statuette, designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme Award winner Sir Richard Taylor.
For more information about the recipients, see below attachment: