2019 College awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 College Awards that were presented on Saturday 27 July at our annual Conference for General Practice in Dunedin. 

Community Service Medal

Dr Alison Gaston

Dr Alison (Ali) Gaston has recently retired after more than 40 years of medical practice. 

She began her general practice career in the 1980s as a registrar at Forbury Health Centre, and eventually became the sole practice owner. 

Ali is a genuine and selfless practitioner. She witnessed the birth of several generations of her Dunedin community, going on to care for them for many years. As a teacher and mentor, Ali has been a significant and influential figure for many of our primary care workforce. 

Her legacy of compassion and dedication to her patients and colleagues will never be forgotten.

Dr Susie Meyer 

Dr Susie Meyer is a supportive and caring GP, a passionate advocate for rural health, and a dedicated Medical Educator and in-practice visiting teacher.

Susie opened Aspiring Medical Centre in Wanaka in 1991, and will be retiring this year. She has created a large rural practice with 30 staff that has become one of New Zealand’s flagship health centres.

Susie has made many contributions to her community through her involvement with the Primary and Secondary Care Liaison group, the Central Otago Health Network team, Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care, and the Wanaka After-Hours service which she helped establish.

Dr Michael Miller

Dr Michael Miller’s colleagues describe him as a phenomenon. With his energy and expertise he has served his community in Whangamata for many years. 

Furthermore, he has contributed much to rural communities all across New Zealand through his work with his Primary Health Organisation and the Rural General Practice Network. 

Michael is the quintessential rural GP. He is embedded in his community, and provides 24/7 support to the people he lives and works with, via PRIME services (and every other avenue he can come up with). 

Michael is a leader, a colleague, and a friend to many of us. 

Dr Rob Riley

Dr Rob Riley has been an inspirational role model for General Practice for many years. 

He is currently the President of the College’s Nelson-Marlborough Faculty, and has held numerous leadership roles in his community, including at the local hospice.

Patient-centred care is the essence of Rob’s work, and this is reflected by the high esteem he is held in by patients, staff and colleagues. 

He is well-known for his wisdom, team-building skills, and joyful nature. Your GP colleagues thank you Rob: for your energy, your enthusiasm, and your contributions as a community member, colleague, mentor and friend.

Dr Lily Fraser

Dr Lily Fraser is described by her peers as someone who goes “above and beyond” to research and advocate for her patients. 

Lily has made substantial contributions to the local community and Māori health through her work in nutrition and diabetes management. 

Originally from Ōtākou on the Dunedin Peninsula, Lily maintains strong relationships with her Kai Tahu roots and is involved with her iwi’s language revitalisation programme. 

Now based in Auckland, Lily is the Clinical Director at Turuki Health Care. As a GP teacher and Secretary of Te Akoranga a Māui, her dedication to general practice has been commendable.

Dr Maree McCracken

Dr Maree McCracken worked tirelessly to improve mental health services for the Waikato community for many years. 

As the Mental Health GP Lead at Pinnacle, Maree has been instrumental in developing collaboration between Primary Health Organisations and the District Health Board since 2017. 

Maree supported the introduction of a psychiatrist to the community service, which required her to demonstrate expert leadership and diplomacy skills. 

Maree is committed to improving those skills through professional development. Alongside this work, Maree is a GP at South City Health, where she works with The People’s Project to develop and deliver healthcare for homeless people.

Distinguished Fellowship of the College and the Division

Dr Katharina Blattner

Dr Katharina Blattner is an exceptional doctor and a senior leader in her profession. 

She is held in high regard by her colleagues and by the Hokianga community, where she works at Rawene Hospital. 

Kati was instrumental in founding the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine, and continues to be closely involved. She has published extensively, and uses her research findings to improve services provided to her community. 

Kati initiated, organised and pursued the establishment of the Cook Islands General Practice Training Programme, which is a joint venture between the Cook Islands Ministry of Health, Otago University.

Distinguished Fellowship of the College

Dr Fiona Bolden 

Dr Fiona Bolden is described by Raglan kaumatua Russell Riki as “more than a doctor.” To her community, she is a friend, sister, daughter and confidante. 

After qualifying in the UK, Fiona visited New Zealand to complete locums in Whaingaroa and Kawhia. She fell in love with the country, and within a year had returned with her family. She joined a practice in Raglan, where she worked until 2018. 

During this time, Fiona has improved mental healthcare on a local and national scale, she has been a fierce advocate for Māori health, and she has taken on leadership roles with the Rural General Practice Network.

Dr Craig King

Dr Craig King is a man of true grit and fortitude. Since establishing his first practice in Titirangi, Craig has strived to provide excellent, innovative services. 

This same ethos lead him to become Chief Examiner for the College’s PRIMEX exams in 2003, and to set up an integrated family health centre in 2013. 

Never one to rest on his laurels, Craig now serves as a Board member for the biggest PHO in the country, ProCare, with an aim of improving primary care delivery on a national scale. Craig has devoted his career to excellence in general practice, and was previously recognised with a Distinguished Service Medal.

Dr Timothy Medlicott

Tim Medlicott was a leader of general practice in New Zealand for more than 38 years. 

Tim was a driving force for innovation. He lead the introduction of computers in general practice, and established the Mornington Health Centre, Dunedin Emergency Medical Team, and the Mornington PHO. 

Tim has showed himself to be an outstanding GP and teacher. He trained the first GP registrar in Dunedin, going on to become an early regional programme director. 

With this award we acknowledge the significant contributions Tim has made to the practice of medicine and the work and aims of the College.

Dr Phil White

Dr Phil White works tirelessly on behalf of his patients, his colleagues, and the profession of general practice. 

Phil has a meticulous attention to detail, and an ability to anticipate unintended outcomes or “fish-hooks” in the changing landscape of primary care. 

He is humble, and works only for the good of others. Phil contributes many hours of his time to College committees, advisory groups, after-hours practices, and volunteer clinics. He supports his community as a GP teacher, advocate and mentor. 

Phil shows great loyalty to his colleagues, underpinned by a dry sense of humour. We thank Phil for his dedication and service.

Dr Kēri Huia Rātima

Dr Kēri Rātima is a caring, community-minded GP who has made immense contributions to her whānau, her community, Te Akoranga a Māui, and the College. 

As the College’s second Tumuaki Māori, and as former Chair of Te Akoranga a Māui, Kēri has informed and influenced the College’s commitment to Māori health for many years. 

This work continues as the College’s new Pou Whirinaki, a role which sees her providing clinical and pastoral support to Māori registrars in the GPEP programme. 

Kēri has dedicated a large portion of her life to teaching, recruiting and mentoring future GPs and Māori health leaders. Her work has encompassed palliative care, public health medicine, medical education and policy advice.

Orator's Gold Medal


The Orator's Gold Medal is awarded to the Fellowship and Awards Ceremony Orator in recognition of their closing address.

    - Jill McIlraith

Humphrey Rainey Medal


The Humphrey Rainey Prize for Excellence is awarded to the top candidate overall across the General Practice Education Programme (GPEP) Clinical and Written Examination.

     - Chelsea Loan

Eric Elder Medal


The Eric Elder Medal is awarded in honour of Dr Eric Elder, who was an inspired rural GP affectionately known as the grandfather of vocational training in New Zealand. The medal is generally awarded to a rural general practitioner.

    - Donald Mckirdy

Peter Anyon Medal


The Peter Anyon Memorial Address is presented by a GPEP2 registrar at the Annual Conference for General Practice. The presentation is given in the memory of Dr Peter Anyon, who is recognised as having made an important and valuable contribution to the vocational education of general practitioners.

    - Kirsten Taplin