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Zoe During (nee Smuts Kennedy) MBE (1925-2008)


Inducted 2013
Marsden Years:  1930 (Primers/Year 1) – 1942 (Form V/Year 11) 


This posthumous award recognizes Zoe During’s promotion of child and family health in the latter half of the twentieth century and her practice of social justice in areas of abortion, homosexuality law reform, poverty and the freeing of prisoners of conscience.

Zoe completed her medical degree at Otago University before becoming a Medical Officer in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Hamilton and Auckland. Her major area of interest was children’s health. To this end she was a supporter of the national Children’s Health camps, a member of the first Child Protection Team in Mangere and continually challenged the national health system for both doctors and patients. 

She was a founding trustee of Great Potentials Foundation , whose purpose is to bring relief to children, young people and families in poverty, and promoted the  HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters),  a national home-based programme that supports parents in becoming actively involved in their 4-5 -year-old children's learning.

A free thinker from her childhood and background, she was active in many causes  including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Vietnam war, the Abortion debate, Amnesty International and the Homosexual Law Reform bill. In 2000 she received the Charles Southwell Award in recognition of her many years of campaigning on moral, social and health issues.

She was a regular visitor to the School on Old Girls’ occasions and her family have donated the Zoe During prize for social justice which is presented at Prize giving. The school archives holds a copy of her memoirs “It’s mostly been fun; the memories and musings of a maverick medico”.

“Dr Zoe During combined intellectual brilliance with clinical expertise and a life long commitment to the welfare of those less fortunate. Her clarity of thought, generous spirit and breadth of knowledge strengthened those who worked with her”