Dr Ashley Bloomfield to give public lecture in Whanganui

Published on November 10, 2020

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Whanganui District Health Board Media Release

Dr Ashley Bloomfield will be in Whanganui next week as guest speaker for the Porritt Lecture.

New Zealand’s Director-General of Health has become a prominent public figure this year, leading the country’s successful response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He will speak at a public event at Whanganui’s War Memorial Centre on Thursday 19 November. The talk, which starts at 7pm, is free and open to all.

Dr Bloomfield is a specialist in public health medicine, especially non-communicable diseases. He has a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery, and graduated from the University of Auckland with a Master of Public Health degree, with first-class honours.

He has worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva on non-communicable disease prevention and control with a global focus. Formerly chief executive of Hutt Valley District Health Board, he was appointed Director-General of Health in June 2018.

His talk next week is part of Whanganui District Health Board’s Porritt Lecture Series which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and is named after Sir Arthur Porritt.

Born in Whanganui 120 years ago, Sir Arthur who won a Rhodes Scholarship to study medicine at Oxford University and went on to become surgeon to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Arthur was president of both the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and returned to New Zealand in 1967 to become the country’s 11th governor-general, and the first born in New Zealand.

He also had an illustrious athletics career, winning a bronze medal in the 100 metres at the 1924 Paris Olympics and captaining New Zealand’s 1928 Olympics team.

In 1973 he was created a life peer, taking the title Baron Porritt of Wanganui and Hampstead.

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