University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand Announce New Board Chair

University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand Announce New Board Chair

University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand today announced that Anne-Marie Parsons, Associate Director Campus Life (Student Engagement & Wellbeing) at the University of Auckland, will take over as Chair from the 12th of September replacing Nicola Clayden, who will step down from the role after completing seven years as Director and Chair.

Anne-Marie holds a Master of Enterprise, Business Administration, Management and Operations from the University of Melbourne and Bachelor of Arts, Law from Flinders University of South Australia and has been involved in the tertiary sector for a number of years.

Prior to joining the University of Auckland in 2017, Anne-Marie worked for the University of South Australia for more than 12 years. During this time, she held various roles including the Director of the Student Engagement Unit, the Deputy Director of Student Experience and the Vice Chancellor’s Manager of Strategic Projects. While at the University of South Australia she established UniSA Sport, the institution’s peak sporting body for representative, club and recreational sport. 

In her current role at the University of Auckland she is responsible for ensuring that students are well supported and engaged throughout their university life. She has specific responsibility for the health and wellbeing related services offered to students including the medical and counselling service, Campus Care, Student Disability Services, Student Equity and the Proctor’s office. Anne-Marie is also responsible for Student Wellbeing which is focused on tackling systemic issues that contribute to student distress and supporting the creation of an environment and conditions that enhance health and wellbeing. She also leads student co-curricular engagement including student clubs and groups, university-wide transition and orientation, leadership and volunteering, and student events. 

‘The UTSNZ Board are delighted that Anne-Marie has agreed to take on the role as Chair’, says Nicola Clayden. ‘Anne-Marie has been a Director for 3 years and her demonstrated strategic thinking make her an ideal Chair.  She is a clear communicator with an excellent understanding of the tertiary sector, and its current challenges.  Her appreciation of the importance of sport to both student experience and wellbeing, and her desire to make a meaningful difference make her an exceptional new leader for UTSNZ.’ 

Anne-Marie says: ‘I am delighted to be appointed the next Chair of UTSNZ. I have been a strong advocate for the role of sport in the tertiary sector, it’s contribution to student experience and to the wellbeing of our student population. Involvement in sport and recreation has the ability to change the lives of our students – it helps them to meet new people and make new friends, it keeps students active and healthy, it provides leadership opportunities and new experiences including seeing different parts of Aotearoa and the world – for many students, involvement in sport provides them with their most memorable experiences of their time at University. I look forward to working closely with our amazing UTSNZ team to help guide this next phase of the UTSNZ journey.

UTSNZ also wishes to acknowledge and thank Nicola Clayden for her significant contribution as Chair over the past seven years. Nicola was the inaugural chairperson for the new University and Tertiary Sport entity in 2016 and her knowledge and experience in both the sport and tertiary sectors has been of enormous value.

Announcing the changes, the UTSNZ Board said the succession of Clayden as Chair prior to her tenure as Director ending in 2023 would ensure a smooth transition for both the board and UTSNZ operations.

Posted: Mon 12 Sep 2022