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NZAPT - Phil Hill and Richard Tweedie Outstanding Student Awards

The NZAPT has created two awards to honour Mr Phil Hill and Mr Richard Tweedie. Phil and Richard have been passionate teachers and staunch advocates of the teaching of psychology for decades. They have been national leaders of Psychology and have pioneered its development across the country. Their contribution to curriculum and assessment design has been immense.


These two awards will be presented annually, at the conference, to a student who shows creative thinking and curiosity in their study of Psychology.


The 2022 NZAPT Psychology conference, hosted by Massey University at the Albany campus, was the first year where we asked for nominations of outstanding students to receive these prestigious awards to honour Mr Phil Hill and Mr Richard Tweedie. The most deserving recipients of these awards were Lara Caughley and Lena Garcia Ferrari. We would like you to think of two students from your Kura who demonstrate creativity and curiosity in their psychology studies to be nominated for 2023.


In this blog, I have included a summary profile of both Mr Phil Hill and Mr Richard Tweedie who are both life members of the association.



Mr Phil Hill passed away unexpectedly on 20 Apr 22. His teaching career spanned 50 years, 34 of which were at Avondale College, and almost 30 of them as Deputy Principal. Phil taught Geography, Social Studies, History, Art, Art History, Health and Careers and Psychology. He was an expert teacher and introduced Psychology to Avondale College in the mid-90’s and then pioneered its development across New Zealand. He had an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing and success of young people, which was a key driver for him as an educational leader. Mr Richard Tweedie taught at Hagley College since 1991 and largely taught Psychology and Philosophy Senior classes. Both Richard and Phil were national leaders of this subject across New Zealand for many years and are life members of our association.


In 2022 the most deserving recipient of the Phil Hill award was Lyra Caughley. Lyra has been a standout student in terms of the way she absorbs, processes and demonstrates understanding of the key concepts, theories and studies in psychology over the two years . She thinks (to use a cliche) ‘outside the box’ and personifies creative thinking. She manages to bring in her extensive general knowledge when she explains, critiques or evaluates psychological theories, concepts and studies. Her assessment work demonstrates just how perceptive, insightful and ‘fluid’ her thinking is. She has excelled at high school and was recently awarded Dux of GGHS. Putting this to the side, the way that she thinks is so creative, ‘lateral’, and has consistently impressed.



The most deserving recipient of the Richard Tweedie award was Lena Garcia Ferrari. Lena has chosen Psychology in all 3 years of her senior high school alongside her other passions for Drama, Music, Media and other Social Sciences. Over this time, she has demonstrated how creative subjects can be used to enhance learning in Psychology and vice versa. This year, Lena has taken Psychology as a part of a module run at Rototuna Senior High School’s satellite campus at University of Waikato.This module integrated English, Media Studies and Psychology. During this time, Lena has taken her learning of psychological concepts to enhance her learning in English close viewing studying Bowling for Columbine, has used psychological ideas of mental illness to critically examine a Beautiful Mind through a Media & English lens and finally planned and produced a podcast focussed on linking looking at “psychiatry through the lens of Rosenhan's pseudo patient experiment, as well as how the media has perceived mental illness and psychiatry throughout the years.” Lena exemplifies how Psychology can both channel and enhance creative thinking. Please enjoy Lena’s Illusion of Psychiatry podcast.



We would like you to think of two students from your Kura who demonstrate creativity and curiosity in their psychology studies to be nominated for 2023.


Here is the google form for your nominations.




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