DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD 2018
Much of Ivan Pivac’s professional life has been dedicated to supporting the needs of others. Having practised acupuncture for more than 40 years, he has more recently imported and designed technology to support those with disabilities. Mr Pivac’s commitment to supporting others is even more astonishing given he has been blind since the age of 12. While studying for a Bachelor of Business at Massey University (1991), Mr Pivac realised the limitations of acupuncture for treating those with severe disabilities, leading to his decision to import technology to support those with disabilities. Since then he has imported items such as augmentative devices to assist sufferers with neurological disorders to communicate, and feeding products to assist infants born with cleft palate deformities. Most notably however, he has personally designed several products. A voice amplifier designed to aid Parkinson’s sufferers to speak louder is exported to Australia and the United States. He has also developed an inexpensive talking computer keyboard interface that is used in developing countries to teach blind students computer skills. In recognition of his achievements he has received the Health Industry Lifetime Achievement Award, a New Zealand Post Business Award and a Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (now the Blind Foundation) Achievers’ Award.