Officers and Committee 2015–16
Contact the Friends
Communications should be addressed to:
The Friends of the Turnbull Library
PO Box 12-186
Wellington, New Zealand
Phone (+64 4) 479-5580
email: email the Secretary
Rachel Underwood joined the Friends of the Turnbull Committee in 1987 and has been President since September 1996, when Ray Grover retired. Rachel trained as a Registered Nurse at Wellington Hospital, married David Underwood and had a family of four. Later she completed a BA at Victoria University and a Diploma in Teaching and worked as teacher-librarian for some years. She is President of the Downstage Theatre Society and has also chaired the Board of Governors of Wellington High School.
Robin Anderson has been a member of the Friends since he was 18 and joined the Friends of the Turnbull committee in 2002. Robin is the New Zealand Law Society Librarian, Wellington. He has been president of the NZ Law Librarians’ Association, and Wellington Regional Chair of Lianza (Library and Information Association of New Zealand). His interests include good food and wine, history, classical music, architecture, railways, town planning and maps, mystery stories and science fiction.
Gillian Cross is a self-employed accountant. Prior to setting up her own firm she worked for the BNZ and Westpac in the financial accounting and investment management areas. She is involved in many not for profit organisations. Gillian’s husband Tony served on the Friends of the Turnbull Committee for several years and is a life member. Gillian joined the Friends committee in 2010 as treasurer.
Chris Elder is a recently retired career diplomat whose postings include appointments as Ambassador in China, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. He later drew on his experience of both diplomacy and China to edit a book commemorating 40 years of diplomatic relations with China, New Zealand’s China Experience (Victoria University Press, 2012). Chris includes among his interests fine press printing, and book binding and conservation. He joined the Friends Committee in 2014.
Kate Fortune accompanied husband Graham Fortune on diplomatic postings while continuing to maintain an involvement with books and publishing. After becoming administrator at the NZ Book Council (1977-80), she was Director of Booksellers NZ (1980-87) and later worked for Allen & Unwin and Bridget Williams Books. She was Publications Coordinator, National Library of Australia (1994-96) and was co-editor of The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia (2000). Kate joined the Committee in 2002, was Treasurer (2004-07) and was editor of Off The Record (2005-2015).
Dr Donald Gilling is a consultant specialising in public finance and the economics of education. He taught for 25 years at universities in Australia, England and New Zealand, and for nine years was Professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waikato. For seven years he was a member of the Public Sector Accounting Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in New Zealand. Don joined the Friends of the Turnbull Committee in 2000.
Angela Hill has worked in office environments and most recently at Newztel. Newztel monitored all parliamentary speeches and also radio broadcasts of a political nature, the scripts of which were frequently used as evidence in the law courts. She has been involved for many years in the Onslow Historical Society and also in the Te Horo Oral History group, gathering and transcribing local history. Angela joined the Friends of the Turnbull Committee in 1993 and has served as Secretary ever since.
Janet Horncy, a former staff member at the Turnbull, started work at the National Library Service in January 1957, joined the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1971, and retired from the position of Reader Education Librarian there in August 2005. She was Secretary of the Friends of the Turnbull from 1980 to 1984, and re-joined the Committee in 2005.
Derek Leask is a recently retired public servant whose diplomatic career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1969 and has included appointments as ambassador to the European Commission in Brussels (1994-99) and as New Zealand high commissioner in London (2008-12). He is a keen researcher of New Zealand 19th century history and especially the New Zealand Wars. He has been a regular user of the Turnbull’s records for 25 years and has substantial research experience in many offshore institutions in Australia, Britain and France. Derek joined the Friends committee in 2013.
Jim Mayo is an Auckland businessman, head of the Mayo Group which imports and distributes mounting systems for flat panel television, audio and video systems, as well as a range of radios and cables. He is an active Rotarian whose interests include motor sports and cars (he is a life member of the Bruce McLaren Trust Supporters Club). He is also a member of Heritage New Zealand (formerly NZ Historic Places Trust). He travels to Wellington frequently and has a long-standing interest in the Turnbull Library. Jim joined the Friends of the Turnbull in 1973 and joined the Committee in 2004.
Dr Robin Skinner is Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington, where he has taught courses in history, Pacific architecture and research methods alongside the third year design studio. His PhD (from Victoria) surveyed commentary on New Zealand architecture. Robin has previously taught in Design at the University of Otago, and has researched and published on aspects of New Zealand architectural history. Robin joined the Friends of the Turnbull Committee in 2006.
Sheila Williams worked at the Turnbull Library for 28 years and then lectured in cataloguing and bibliography in the Library and Information Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. She is an honorary life member of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand (Lianza). The logo used by the Friends was designed as a book label by Sheila’s grandfather, Bishop Herbert Williams, at the invitation of his friend, Alexander Turnbull. Sheila joined the Friends of the Turnbull Committee in 1993 and served as treasurer 2007-10.
Professor Mark Williams teaches English at Victoria University of Wellington. He has a MA Hons (Auckland) and a PhD (British Columbia) and has previously taught at the University of Tokyo and University of Canterbury. He has edited or co-edited numerous anthologies and collections, and his publications on New Zealand and modern literature include Leaving the Highway: Six Contemporary New Zealand Novelists (Auckland University Press, 1990), Patrick White (Macmillan, 1993) and, with Jane Stafford, Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872-1914 (Victoria University Press, 2006). Mark’s academic research has focused on New Zealand and modern literature. He joined the Committee in 2009.