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

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 not only the prestigious François-Xavier Garneau medal but also the Prix Lionel Groulx – Fondation Yves-Saint-Germain and Clio-Québec Prizes.  Her long commitment to research on women and family continues. with the publication of Caroline’s Dilemma: A Colonial Inheritance Saga (2019) shifting the focus 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 thirty years, and is a passionate advocate for the arts. A longtime 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).

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.

Adam Ross QC is a barrister in Auckland. He is a former student of the founder of the Judith Binney Trust, Sebastian Black, and has a keen interest in history. He is the Chair of the Judith Binney Trust.

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.  

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, under the imprints of Oxford University Press, Allen & Unwin and BWB. She has 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.

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 strategic marketing and public relations. For several years he managed the judging of New Zealand’s national book awards, and he has extensive knowledge of promotions, media and event management.

The Selection Panel

The Selection Panel is convened each year; 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.

The Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library or their nominated representative will usually be a member of the Selection Panel, in recognition of the association between the Judith Binney Trust and the National Library of New Zealand.

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.