The Locals Programme Working Committee is made up of a dedicated group of University of Otago staff who believe in the importance of the first year experience. Their aim is to create a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for first year students living locally within the Dunedin area in their first year of study at the University of Otago.

Maya Turner
Locals Programme Coordinator
Hey Guys! I'm Maya and i am the Locals Coordinator for 2017. I started off in the Locals Programme as a first year in 2013 and have made my way through the ranks and now i'm the coordinator. I am super excited to see where i can take the programme in 2017 and beyond! I graduated last year with an Honours degree in Anthropology (with a focus on Biological Anthropology and the ethics of introducing new technologies) after finishing my undergrad in Anthropology and Archaeology in 2015. I am proud to have been born and live in amazing Dunedin! As a past local student myself i understand some of the challenges you may face in your first year and am here to help you through them. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you in 2017 and can't wait to get stuck into the amazing year we at Locals have planned for you!
Dr Stephen Scott
Director of First Year Experience
Kia Ora, I'm Stephen and i am the Director of First Year Experience. I am responsible for providing academic leadership, oversight and management of matters relating to the first-year student experience at the University of Otago. I am also the Director of the Locals Programme which means i am responsible for the academic, social and pastoral support available to first-year students living at home, flatting or boarding in their first year at the University of Otago. I graduated Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Auckland, went on to complete a Masters of Science degree at the Auckland University’s Marine station before attending the University of Otago to undertake a doctoral degree (PhD). Before i started in my current job in 2016 i developed, taught and coordinated papers in Zoology where i developed a strong interest in student learning. My research interest now is in the area of student success. I was also the Associate Dean (Māori) in the Division of Sciences where i developed targeted support for Māori science students and science outreach for Māori communities.
Sarah Mcdonald
Locals Working Committee Member
Hi Everyone, I’m Sarah! I am a local myself, and have completed my studies here at Otago finishing up with a Commerce degree in Marketing and Tourism. I love Otago and i love the energy that the students contribute to Dunedin! I have a pretty lengthy list of experiences here at Otago as i have worked in the food court on campus, have been an RA at Cumby, an Event Coordinator at OUSA, and was the Locals Coordinator last year! I now work as the Marketing Coordinator for OUSA which i love. Locals is the best and i am glad to still be a part of the awesome team helping make sure you're first year experience is a killer one! Say gidday if you see me around the place :)
Carole Scott
Administrative Coordinator SLC Programmes
Welcome to Otago and the Locals programme! I’m Carole. I co-ordinate the peer learning programmes, workshops, and day to day operations at the Student Learning Centre. I have been involved in the operations side of Locals since it was first launched in 2010. I feel it’s really important that first year students like yourself are given every opportunity to succeed in their studies, and enjoy their Uni experience. So I’d like to encourage you to make the most of the services and programmes that the Student Learning Centre offers to help you learn, develop, and succeed at Otago. Feel free to drop by my office, or contact me via email or phone if you’d like more information about how we can help you get the best out of your time at Uni.
Sandra Spence
School's Liaison
Hi I'm Sandra, a Liaison Officer for the University of Otago and I visit around 60 schools in the South Island every year. I talk to Year 13s about study opportunities at the University and I help with course planning. I have been a secondary school teacher for 13 years so I know all about NCEA and have studied at university recently, so I know about the realities of tertiary level study also. You can contact me if you need any course advice or if you need help with anything in general as I should be able to point you in the right direction for assistance.
Greg Heller
School's Liaison
Kia Ora. I'm Greg and I work alongside Sandra in the Schools' Liaison office. Our main role is to help prospective students manage the transition from secondary to tertiary education. We are always available to answer any queries and provide sound advice and judgement. Prior to working with the University, I spent 19 years at South Otago High School, where I was Deputy Principal. 2017 is going to be an exciting year and I am looking forward to working with our Locals programme and getting to know you all.