The Judith Binney Trust was established by the late Sebastian Black in 2013 to offer Fellowships and Awards for research and writing on the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Fellowships and Awards are supported by funds from the estates of Sebastian Black and Judith Binney, and of Judith Binney’s parents, Professor Sydney and Marjorie Musgrove.

The foundation Trustees were Sebastian Black (Chair), with Sir John Hood, Elizabeth Ellis, Adam Ross and Bridget Williams. On the death of Sebastian Black, Adam Ross took on the role of Chair and Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson joined as Trustee.

The Trustees

Adam Ross QC is the Chair of the Judith Binney Trust. He is a barrister in Auckland and a former student of the founder of the Judith Binney Trust, Sebastian Black.  Adam’s legal career spans 30 years, both in firms and more recently at the bar, specialising in commercial litigation.  He has a keen amateur interest in history.  Adam is also a trustee of the New Zealand Opera Foundation Trust.

Cristina Billett is Head of Legal at New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests government contributions into a global portfolio of assets. Starting her career in private practice (Bell Gully, Auckland and Herbert Smith Freehills, Melbourne), Cristina has practised law in both the public and private finance sectors.  She brings to her role as trustee significant experience in the governance of portfolio companies and investments.

Bettina Bradbury is Professor Emerita at York University, Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her book Wife to Widow: Lives, Laws and Politics in 19th century Montreal (2011) won the prestigious François-Xavier Garneau medal, the Prix Lionel Groulx – Fondation Yves-Saint-Germain and the Clio-Québec Prize. Her latest book, Caroline’s Dilemma: A Colonial Inheritance Saga (NewSouth Books, 2019), shifts the focus of her research on women and family to Australia. Originally from New Zealand, Professor Bradbury lives in Wellington, where she is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University.

Elizabeth Ellis (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou), CNZM, has been involved in education for 30 years, and is a passionate advocate for the arts. A long-time friend of Judith Binney and Sebastian Black, she has served on Creative New Zealand, the Pacific Arts Council, the Arts Foundation and the Māori Advisory Group of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. She currently chairs the Toi Iho Charitable Trust, and the Wairau Māori Art Gallery Charitable Trust (Hundertwasser Art Centre).

Ned Fletcher is a solicitor and director of Manukau-based law firm Kayes Fletcher Walker, which became the Office of the Manukau Crown Solicitor in 2015.  Graduating from the University of Oxford with a BA in Law, he studied history and law at the University of Auckland; his 2014 PhD looks at the meaning of the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi. Ned is a trustee of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Sir John Hood served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford (2004–2009) and of the University of Auckland (1999–2004) after a distinguished career with Fletcher Challenge. He is currently the President and CEO of the Robertson Foundation and the Aotearoa Foundation, a director on the boards of WPP plc, Blackstone, and Aurora Energy Research, and Chair of BMT Group and Study Group Ltd. Sir John has an abiding interest in New Zealand history and culture.

Te Rau Kupenga belongs to Ngāti Porou and hails from Hiruharama on the East Coast of the North Island. After graduating from Auckland University, Te Rau practised law in Auckland and Wellington, specialising in litigation. For the past 15 years, he has held a number of senior executive positions in the private and public sectors, and now acts in a governance capacity for a range of organisations, including Director of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Trustee of Ngā Taonga – Sound and Vision. Te Rau is the principal of Te Amokura Consultants, a specialist Māori policy firm based in Wellington and Auckland. He is the co-author of Mauri Ora – Wisdom from the Māori world (Potton and Burton, 2016).

Bridget Williams ONZM, MBE, HonLittD (Otago), is the director of Bridget Williams Books and literary executor for the estate of Judith Binney. She has been publishing in New Zealand for over three decades, with a commitment to making excellent research on New Zealand history accessible to a wide readership – and a particular interest in opening spaces for new voices in the country’s historical narrative.  Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris, developed with the three authors from 2006 and published by BWB in 2014, particularly represents this commitment.

The Management Group

The Judith Binney Fellowships and Awards are managed by two representatives of the Judith Binney Trust (currently Prof. Emerita Bettina Bradbury and Bridget Williams), working with John Barr, of the PR consultancy Ingram Barr. The Management Group reports to the Trustees.

John Barr is a senior communications professional with over thirty years’ experience in public relations, including managing the judging of New Zealand’s national book awards.

The Selection Panel

The Selection Panel is convened for each year that grants are available; it consists of a Trustee of the Judith Binney Trust, and four people chosen by the Judith Binney Trust. The chair of the Selection Panel is chosen by the Trustees.

In choosing the members of the Selection Panel, the Trustees will have regard for a range of appropriate scholarly interests including Māori history, and for some regional representation.

Current members of the Selection Panel can be found on the ‘How to Apply’ page.

Former Trustees

Founding Trustee and Settlor, Sebastian Black, was Judith Binney’s lifetime partner, and a distinguished Professor of English at the University of Auckland for many years.

Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe), CNZM, FRSNZ, FAHA, FSA, contributed significantly to the Trust’s establishment, as the first Fellowship and Awards were made in 2018/2019.