The Trustees

Cristina Billett is the Chair of the Judith Binney Trust. She is General Manager, Corporate Affairs 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. She grew up in Wellington and moved back when she retired. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University. 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, UBC Press, 2020 2019) reflects the shift of her research focus to inheritance issues across the settler colonies of the 19th century British Empire.

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 recent book The English Text of the Treaty of Waitangi won the Ockham 2023 General Non-Fiction Award. Ned is also a trustee of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and the Law Foundation.

Dr Damon Salesa is Vice-Chancellor of Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland University of Technology (AUT). He has a special relationship with the Judith Binney Trust and says ‘I was blessed to have Dame Judith Binney as a teacher, mentor and inspiration.’ Damon was also among those who spoke at the launch of the Judith Binney Trust in August 2018.  An award-winning author, his work includes the prizewinning book, Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire (2013).

Matariki Williams (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Hauiti, Taranaki, Ngāti Whakaue), is Pou Matua Mātauranga Māori | Senior Historian, Mātauranga Māori at Manatū Taonga, a curator, writer and editor in the arts and cultural sector. Previously she was a Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa Tongarewa where she co-authored the award-winning book Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance with Puawai Cairns and Stephanie Gibson. Her love of ngā toi Māori led to the founding of ATE Journal of Māori Art with Bridget Reweti. Matariki is on the editorial board of the Turnbull Library Record journal and the Programming and Acquisitions Committee for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery | Te Pūkenga Whakaata.

The Management Group

The Judith Binney Fellowships and Awards are managed by representatives of the Judith Binney Trust (currently Prof. Emerita Bettina Bradbury), working with John Barr and Sue Ingram, 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.

Sue Ingram is a communications consultant and former award-winning journalist.

The Selection Panel

The Selection Panel is convened for each year that grants are available; it consists of at least one Trustee of the Judith Binney Trust, and up to 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.

It was to Sir John Hood that the settlor, Sebastian Black, turned for help to realise his idea to establish the trust.  Sir John’s deep connections in academia and his reputation as a university administrator for the pursuit of excellence made him a perfect fit for Sebastian’s ambitions for the trust.  Sir John retired from the trustee ranks in 2021.

Adam Ross QC was a founding Trustee, providing professional legal support for the establishment of the Judith Binney Trust in 2013.  Adam is a barrister in Auckland and worked alongside Sebastian Black, Judith’s lifetime partner, to develop the idea of the trust alongside the people who became foundation trustees, Elizabeth Ellis, Sir John Hood, Atholl Anderson, and Bridget Williams. Adam served as the first Chair of the Trust and retired as a trustee in 2024.

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

Bridget Williams, ONZM, MBE, HonLittD (Otago), is Judith Binney’s literary executor, and publisher of her histories. As a founding Trustee, Bridget’s dedication, determination and conviction in the Judith Binney Trust since its inception to mid 2021 played a significant role in establishing and shaping the Trust into the respected grant-making organisation that it is today. 

Elizabeth Ellis (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou), CNZM, was a founding Trustee of the Judith Binney Trust and a long-time friend of Judith Binney and Sebastian Black. Her aroha for her friends informed the kaupapa of the Trust, and established a warm and committed connection to this kaupapa for the Trust going forward.

Te Rau Kupenga (Ngāti Porou) joined the Trust in mid 2020. His governance expertise and strategic insights helped to shape the Trust’s work and guide the decision-making processes.