Dr Wensley is the PEN (NZ) representative for freedom of speech in New Zealand. Her governance experience includes positions as a Director on the Copyright Licensing Board, a Committee member (Legal Representative) on the National Ethics Advisory Committee, and a consumer representative on the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Hospital Advisory Committee.
She is a professional member of the New Zealand Society of Authors and a Committee Member of the Top of the South Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors.
She has a Ph.D. from King’s College, London, an LLB (Hons) from Auckland, an M.A. (Distinction) from King’s College, London, and a postgraduate diploma in writing from the School for Writers, Humber College, Toronto. She has been a Research Fellow at the University of Otago, an assistant editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics in London, and a member of the Guelph Mercury Community Editorial Board in Canada.
Her work is published in academic journals, and as book chapters, commissioned reports, and columns for newspapers in New Zealand and Canada. She has received a number of awards for her research and writing. She received a prestigious Wellcome Trust Biomedical Studentship (UK), and the Sir Eric Scowen Prize (King’s College, London) for best M.A. thesis in her field. She has also been the recipient of a Spencer Mason Trust Travelling Scholarship in Law (1997), and a Fellowship from New Zealand Federation of University Women (1998).
For the years 1999-2003 she was awarded a highly contested Overseas Research Award (King’s College, London) from the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of the Universities of the United Kingdom. In 1990 she was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Dana writes on issues touching on the intersection of law, society, politics, and morality. Her opinion pieces have been published in the New Zealand Herald, the Otago Daily Times, the Guelph Mercury, and the Winnipeg Free Press. She currently writes a bimonthly column for the New Zealand Author and a fortnightly piece on PEN for the New Zealand Society of Authors ‘E-news’.
While her main focus is on academic / non-fiction writing, Dana has a postgraduate diploma in writing from Humber College (Toronto) where she received the prestigious James Appel Scholarship. Her short story writing has appeared at the Eden Mills Fringe Festival in Canada, and she has received a mentorship from the New Zealand Society of Authors to assist in the completion of her novel.