Distinguished Service Award 2017: Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson

Distinguished Service Award 2017


Nominated and cited by Professor Tony Binns, Otago Branch; supported by Sue Lynch, Chair of the NZBoGT, Louise Richard, Deputy Chair of the NZBoGT, Nick Page, Treasurer of the NZBoGT.



Anna Wilson was much praised at the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Geography Teachers (NZBoGT) in Wellington (17/18 March 2017) for the work she has done for the Board and for the Society as a whole, particularly in relation to the International Olympiad.

Commencing in 2008, Anna has been closely involved in preparing young New Zealand Geography students to represent their country internationally at the Olympiad, in what has become a high-profile event with much associated publicity. Perhaps most important, Anna has been a friendly and supportive team leader who has guided students through the complexities of the competition and has dealt very effectively with the various logistical and personal issues that are associated with this. She has led Olympiad groups from New Zealand to Tunisia in 2008, Taiwan 2010, Germany 2012, Japan 2013, and in 2017 she will lead the team to Serbia.

In preparation for the various Olympiads, Anna has played an instrumental role in organising the selection of students, and in recruiting new team leaders to provide a sustainable support group to ensure smooth running of the preparatory process and involvement in the Olympiad itself. She has built up a wealth of ‘institutional knowledge’ relating to the Olympiad which has been helpful in relieving pressures on both student and teacher participants.


Participation in the International Olympiad has played an important role in raising the profile of New Zealand geography and geographical education, and Anna Wilson has played a pivotal role in this. Anna has also been a most effective member of the NZBoGT committee for many years and is widely and deservedly respected by NZBoGT colleagues.