- 2023 Kupe Leadership Scholars
Thomas Swinburn | McCall MacBain Kupe Leadership Scholar
Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)
The last few years have exposed the existential threats posed by population health challenges, and particularly those of infectious diseases. The longstanding and largely silent epidemic of HIV in Aotearoa New Zealand is one such example that continues to disproportionately affect already-marginalised communities. Fortunately, there exists a unique opportunity to achieve the ambitious vision of eliminating HIV in our country by applying our collective knowledge and experiences of recent years with the variety of ground-breaking tools for HIV prevention and treatment. I acknowledge the proud history of community-led, servant leadership that has already made substantial gains. I hope to both learn from and contribute to this space as I develop research and leadership skills that will both complement and inform my training in clinical medicine.
Sponsor: McCall MacBain Foundation
Mentor: Sir Ashley Bloomfield KNZM, a NZ public health official. He served as the chief executive of the Ministry of Health and the country's Director-General of Health from 2018 to 2022. He was the public-facing health specialist liaising with the media during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand on behalf of the government, from the first press conference on 27 January 2020. In the 2023 New Year Honours, Bloomfield was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to public health. Bloomfield is to become the first professor of a new Public Policy Impact Institute at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.