When searching for a student with a wide range of talents, one could look no further than Marston Conder. He first attended Hinuera Primary, where his family farmed, before attending Matamata Intermediate. During his time at Matamata College, there was no aspect of school life he was not fully immersed in. He was a high-achieving academic student, a member of the hockey first eleven, an excellent runner, involved in school productions, and Head Boy to boot. There was nothing at college that Marston could not do, and it would seem that trend has continued throughout his life.
When he left school, he began studying at Waikato University, completing a Bachelor of Social Science, going on to complete his Masters. He then became a student at the prestigious Oxford University, where he completed his Master of Science and his Doctor of Philosophy. Throughout his extensive career he has been a lecturer, a senior lecturer, an associate professor, a professor, the head of the University of Auckland Department of Mathematics, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Auckland, and the Co-Director of the New Zealand Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.
This extensive list of prestigious jobs is rivalled only by Marston’s extensive list of prestigious awards and honours. To name just a few of the many, he was awarded the Senior Mathematical Prize from Oxford University in 1990, the Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award in 1989, and the NZ Mathematical Society Research Award in 1993. Marston himself considers the highest honours he has received to be his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (1997), Fellow of the New Zealand Mathematical Society (1998), and being made an Honorary Life Member of the same society in 2004.
Marston believes that his education at Matamata College was ‘brilliant’, and he is particularly glad that he had the range of cultural and sporting opportunities which catalyzed his success in these areas. He has fond memories of the year 13 common room, and of the many successes had by the College A netball team and the first eleven rugby team during his time at school. He also names the principal during his time, Arthur Lucas, and his teachers Alastair McLean, Jim Feist, and George Simpkin, as a few who helped and influenced his growth.
He has two children, Jonathan and Matthew, with his wife, Dr Jenny Hosking.