Tāmaki Innovation Campus


Professor Suzanne Purdy Professor Suzanne Purdy

A powerful pōwhiri welcomed Professor Suzanne Purdy officially to her new position as Head of the School of Psychology last month.  She takes up the role from her former position as Head of Speech Science, a move she says is exciting for its opportunity to support such a large, successful academic group with a very diverse range of research and teaching areas.

Dr Purdy says the work of the School of Psychology has considerable relevance to many aspects of living well in a changing world.

“My goal will be to help to make the contributions of the School of Psychology more widely recognised. I have worked clinically and as a researcher and an academic in a range of different teams in New Zealand, Australia and USA with people from many different disciplines. I hope that my experience of bringing diverse people together will help me to support the development of research and teaching opportunities for the School.”

She holds an MSc in Psychology (Auckland, 1982), PhD in Speech Pathology and Audiology (Iowa, 1990) and a Diploma of Audiology (Melbourne, 1982).  Her career includes positions as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Audiology in the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland 1990-1999, Senior Research Scientist, National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, Australia 2000-2003 and Head of Speech Science from 2003.

Dr Purdy’s research interests include auditory processing, speech perception and communication disorders in adults and children, and her high profile work in choral singing therapy for people with neurological disease has been covered in previous Campus Updates.

Dr Purdy brings a distinguished background to the role, with international awards and the 2016 National Foundation for the Deaf Inc. Hearing Hero Supreme Award. She chairs the International Evoked Response Audiometry Study Group and is Deputy Co-Director, Eisdell Moore Centre for Hearing and Balance Research. She is a principal investigator for the Centre for Brain Research and Brain Research New Zealand–Rangahau Roro Aotearoa.

Knowing who everyone is and what support they need for their research and teaching activities in such a large School, is the first challenge in the new role. 

”Growing our postgraduate student numbers and creating opportunities for international students to join the School and for our excellent Māori and Pacific students in the School of Psychology Tuakana programme to go on to postgraduate study are on my ‘to do’ list”, she says.