The University of Waikato is proud to congratulate Jools and Lynda Topp (MNZM), better known as comedy duo the Topp Twins, who have been made Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
In 2011, the Topp Twins were awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University in recognition of their work tackling a wide range of social issues through music and comedy. Their unique form of performing art has captured and held on to audiences across the social spectrum, addressing issues including feminism, human rights, Māori Land Rights, homosexual law reform and nuclear-free New Zealand in a non-threatening but thought-provoking way.
Former University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, the late Professor Roy Crawford said of the Topp Twins, “we like [them] because they’re not only entertainers, they have a social conscience. They worked out a long time ago that people will usually listen to a song before a speech. And they have a charming ability to send people up without pulling them down.”
The Queen’s Birthday Honours also included five Waikato alumni:
- Ms Timua Te Puhi Kai Ariki Brennan (MMus 2004) was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Music and Māori Performing Arts
- Mrs Tracey Anne Fear (GradDipMgtSt, 2000) was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to netball
- Dr Deborah Ann Challinor (PhD, 1999), who has also taught a paper “Writing Historical Fiction” at the University, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and historical research
- Mrs Lesley Stanley (MSocSc, 1989) was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the support of children
- Dr Carolyn Rae Peters (MCouns, 2001) was awarded The Queen's Service Medal for services to the community
Congratulations to all our successful alumni on their outstanding achievement.