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Ray Avery

New Zealander of the Year 2010.


Entertaining keynote speaker Sir Ray Avery is a successful Pharmaceutical Scientist, a founding member of the Auckland University School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and former Technical Director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals who, over the past thirty years, has made a major contribution in the development of New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical industry.

He is a compelling motivational speaker with great stories to share.

After spending his childhood in English orphanages and foster homes, Ray developed an interest in science at the age of 14 while living rough on the streets of London and finding warmth and inspiration in public libraries. He went on to become an award-winning scientist and successful businessman and is now an accomplished conference speaker.

However, it is Ray’s groundbreaking work in the developing world that has brought him respect and recognition internationally.
As Technical Advisor to the Fred Hollows Foundation, Ray designed, and commissioned two state of the art Intraocular Lens Laboratories in Nepal and Eritrea. Today, these Laboratories supply 16% of the world’s market for IOL’s and thanks to the innovative lens manufacturing technology invented by Ray Avery, the global cost of Intraocular lenses has decreased to less than $6.00 making modern cataract surgery available to the poorest of the poor.

Working throughout Africa and Asia and exposed to the raw and real shortcomings in healthcare, Ray was determined to use his knowledge of Pharmaceuticals, Science, Project Management and Product Design to tackle big health issues endemic throughout the developing world at a very practical sustainable level.

In 2003, Ray founded Medicine Mondiale and using his contacts, and charisma he enlists the help of other scientists, and social entrepreneurs to work with him.

Today, an international network of scientists, technologists together with New Zealand companies and Nobel Laureates support him and somehow everyone finds themselves donating their time and knowledge for free and they are rewarded by making a difference.

Ray has also invented the Acuset IV Flow Controller which was a finalist in the 2008, Saatchi & Saatchi World Changing Ideas Award, and Proteinforte a revolutionary treatment for Protein Energy Malnutrition and a low cost infant incubator specifically designed for use in the developing world.

Ray is also the Patron of the Non Resident Nepali Association of New Zealand a position previously held by Sir Edmund Hillary and is the chair of the World Class New Zealand advisory committee.

His work has been recognised by his peers and he has received numerous awards including a Rotary Paul Harris Medal, The Bayer Research and Development Innovator Award 2008, World Class New Zealand Award for Biotechnology 2009,TBWA Disruption Award 2010, Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the year 2010 and The Blake Leadership Medal 2010.

In 2011 Ray was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit Knight of the Grand Companion in the New Year Honours for services to philanthropy. Ray's book Rebel with a Cause is on its seventh reprint.

Ray is a compelling and entertaining keynote speaker, who would be a great addition to your next function.

Sir Ray was a great way to end our conference. His life story is extremely inspirational and he appealed to our very diverse range of attendees - our support staff, farm staff, developers, researchers, scientists - there was something for everyone!! We were also pleased that Ray was able to weave real life experiences into relevance for our attendees - making science practical; the power of observation; customer service (provided to our farmers); partnerships - all tying in with our overall theme of “Foundations for the Future”. DairyNZ

We have had some great feedback, but of course it wouldn't have been so successful without your participation. Our members always get so much from this time they get to share information with their peers and your contribution is hugely appreciated. Some of the comments we had in regard to you were "amazing man", "amazing speaker", "awesome", "what a delightful speaker, WOW!" Speaks for itself really! What more can we say except to thank you once again for entertaining and enthralling our (sometimes hard to please) audience!

Professionals Real Estate Group

Sir Ray Avery is a personable and charming character who provided humorous and interesting tales about his life that were relevant to the audience. Very inspirational and obviously passionate about what he believes.

New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores

He was entertaining, inspiring and hilariously funny. He engaged the audience, and was a wonderful story-teller. The feedback from our staff has been overwhelmingly positive.


Ray was interesting, entertaining and inspiring. He captured the attention of all of our attendees who were a variety of different ages and came from a variety of walks of life.

New Zealand Home Loans

Sir Ray’s presentation had wide appeal for the mixed audience from teenage to elderly. Inspirational stories for all.

Royston Hospital

Very engaging and relatable. The audience were in awe.

NZIQS Annual Conference

Great speaker, approachable and prepared to make everyone's night enjoyable. Incredibly passionate!

New Zealand Society of Accountants
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