Leadership Academy Alumni


In its fifth year, the Southland Leadership Academy has delivered some great leaders for business and the Southland community.

The Southland Leadership Academy alumni now number 300, and are well represented in professional, manufacturing, construction, business, IT, transport, tourism, financial, primary sector, and not for profit leadership.

We wish to thank those who have provided funding and scholarship opportunities for Southlanders’ to attend the Leadership Academy including Community Trust South, Welcoming Communities – Newcomers Leadership Scholarship, Southland District Council, Arts Murihiku Creative NZ, COIN South, and Thriving Southland.  

Leadership Academy alumni will be invited to exclusive events. These have included Thought Leadership panel discussions, and hearing from topical guest speakers; Andrew Barnes – The 4 day week is the future of work, Amy Allison – How business and community can thrive together, Robin Rawson and Richard Roberts – Courageous conversations; Mark Greaney – Leadership Skills for practical, technical and creative people; Susannah Batey and Alice Rountree from Sharesies; Shaun Dylie – Do you still have currency after being a bank CEO?; an opportunity to meet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Women Jan Tinetti MP. 

The next learning step for Leadership Academy alumni may include The Governance Internship Programme, or attending The Icehouse Business Owner Programme. Click here to view our upcoming training and events calendar.    

Meet our Alumni


2023 Intake 24

  • Carly Thomson – Kyber Health Care Ltd
  • Cristine Dantas – Yunca Group
  • Dale Booth – Great South
  • Danelle Harris – Mrs Tradie Ltd
  • Ingrid Campbell – Rewoven Therapy Charitable Trust
  • Jennifer Lee – Embrace Orthodontics
  • Kari Tilson – Invercargill City Council
  • Kate Tiriaere – Tooth Works
  • Max Collins – Mrs Tradie Ltd
  • Morgan Smith – Invercargill City Council
  • Nicole Wouterson – McIntyre Dick
  • Scott Purdue – Recycle South
  • Vijai Lal – Mataura Valley Milk Limited
  • Bevan Thompson – Invercargill Licensing Trust

2023 Intake 23

  • Amy Robinson, Ernslaw One
  • Deidre Caldwell, Caldwell Contracting Ltd
  • Hannah McLeod, Te Puka Rakiura Trust
  • Heather Guise, Invercargill City Council
  • Julie Phillips, HW Richardson Group Ltd
  • Kenny James, South Port NZ Ltd
  • Krystal Thwaites, Venom
  • Maania Niha-Dobson, SIT | Te Pūkenga
  • Michael Spalding, Fonterra
  • Peter Patton, Invercargill City Council
  • Ryan Keenan, Macaulay Motors
  • Suraj Thapa, Invercargill Licensing Trust

2023 Intake 22

  • Arama Aragao Antunes, Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Jack King, Rugby Southland
  • Kate Gough, Invercargill City Council
  • Leanne Humphrey, Southland Business Chamber
  • Leigh Alsop, Back Country Foods Ltd
  • Mariegrace Las, Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Mike Wyeth, Invest South GP Ltd
  • Paulette Geary, (ILT) Invercargill Licensing Trust
  • Phil Dobson, NZ Red Cross Invercargill
  • Robin Wilks, Daiken Southland Limited
  • Regan Thwaites, Craigs Investment Partners
  • Sarah Hughes, Ascot Park Hotel
  • Tammi Topi, Awarua Whanau Services

2023 Intake 21 - Eastern Southland

  • Angus Gray, Sgt Dan Stockfoods Ltd
  • Brendon Stuart,  Stuart Timber Co. Ltd
  • David Beel, Stuart Timber Co. Ltd
  • Jamie Maginn Square Up Building Limited
  • Katherine McCallum, On behalf of Thriving Southland
  • Larni Farquharson,Southland Business Chamber
  • Laurie Robertson, Gore District Council
  • Shane Stevenson, Ajax Building Contractors Ltd
  • Xiaoli Wang, Southland Newcomers Scholarship

2023 Intake 20

  • Alana Conroy, Transcare 2021 Ltd
  • Amie Young, Great South
  • Amy de Vries, Awarua Whanau Services
  • Anna Ford, Copeland Ashcroft Law
  • Caleb Burke, fi innovations
  • Charlotte Scoles, South Port NZ
  • Jo Fife, Invercargill City Council
  • Kelly Burgess, ILT (Invercargill Licensing Trust)
  • Leeann Tautari, Rent South Ltd
  • Sarah Brown, Invercargill Public Art Gallery
  • Sarah Matheson, Back Country Foods
  • Sheree Williams, SW Real Estate

2022 Intake 19

  • Abbigail Surridge, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Adam Leask, Invercargill Licensing Trust
  • Holly Flannery, CH Faul
  • Hunter Kingsford-Smith, JK’s Engineering – COIN South Scholarship
  • Luke Macpherson, Waianiwa Dairy Farm / Rabobank
  • Mike McManus, Nind Electrical Services
  • Robert Dennis, Southland Business Chamber
  • Ruth Prankerd, Southern Dariy Development Trust
  • Jessie Clearwater, Invercargill City Council
  • Justine Paul, NAKED Creative
  • Jodi Conway, Southern Institute of Technology – Te Pukenga
  • Scott Faithfull, South Port NZ Ltd

2022 Intake 18 - Western Southland

  • Adrian Fletcher, Aquila Sustainable Farming
  • Amanda Lonneker, Pankhurst Sawmilling Ltd
  • Bridgett Aitken, Aparima Community Environment
  • Brooke Flett
  • Colin Lawry, Lawston Farms Ltd
  • Dale Wairau, Fiordland Community House
  • Jessica Goodwright, On behalf of Thriving Southland
  • Linda Jones, Auld Farm Distillery
  • Logan de Groot, L & SD Dairies Ltd
  • Louise McKewen, Kennedy Building
  • Mutala Aliu, Otautau Hotel  
  • Natalie Carran, Otautau Health Trust
  • Philip Mercep
  • Royden Brown Auld Farm Distillery
  • Sharon Soper, Jubilee Budget Advisory Service

2022 Intake 17 - Eastern Southland

  • Andrea Greer – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Andy Stuart, Stuart Timber Co. Ltd
  • Charlie Gilder, Daiken Southland Limited
  • Christian Harvey, Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Ltd
  • Jason Craig, Aquila Sustainable Farming
  • Josie Robinson, Robbies NZ Pickles & Preserves
  • Kyle Hewlett, Daiken Southland Limited
  • Karen Nicholson, Combined Veterinary Services
  • Michael Stuart, Stuart Timber Co. Ltd
  • Pauline Smith, Southland Business Chamber
  • Sam Grant, Craigs Investment Partners

2022 Intake 16

  • Adam Reinsfield, Transport World 
  • Brett Murray, Wallace Murray Electrical
  • Bryony Clarke, Fortuna Group
  • Ellice D’Arcy, Makarewa Coolstores Ltd – COIN South Scholarship
  • Gemma Scott-Hall, DriveTech
  • Leeanne de Vries, Tonic Interior Systems Ltd
  • Luke Futter, Aquilia Sustainable Farming
  • Megan Watt, H & J Smith Ltd
  • Rachael Crothers, J Fraser & Sons Ltd
  • Rodrigo Borges Teodoro, Active Southland – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Selena Reece, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Shane Youngman, GWD Motor Group
  • Steph Burgess, H & J Smith Ltd
  • Tania Hubber, Lighthouse Southland 
  • Yudi Suseno, F45 Invercargill – Southland Newcomers Scholarship

2021 Intake 15 - Eastern Southland

  • Alan Thomas, Aon New Zealand
  • Craig Tutem, Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Ltd
  • Delwyn Soper, Gore Health Ltd
  • Garth Devereux, Westpac (Gore)
  • Gurmeet Kaur, AdvanceQuip – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Hilary Copland, Bannerman Cruickshank Pryde
  • Jessica Fraser, Aquila Sustainable Farming
  • Joel Philpot, Daiken Southland Ltd
  • Michelle Davers, VetSouth Ltd
  • Nathan McRae, Mataura Valley Milk
  • Nicole Cronin, Ray White Gore
  • Nitya Bisht – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Renatta Hardy, Gore District Council
  • Rhonda Reid, Gore Health Ltd
  • Sonia Morrison, Mataura Valley Milk

2021 Intake 14

  • Jaeun (Alice) Lee, Habitat for Humanity Invercargill – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Craig Phillips, The Grocer
  • Debbie Smith, Prime Range Meats
  • Fernanda Cristina Goulart Souza, H & J Smith Ltd – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Geoff Carter, Southland Home Ventilation
  • Grant Harris, Segard Masurel
  • John Douglas, Southland District Council
  • Laura Faherty, Active Southland 
  • Leon Hartnett, IHC NZ
  • Lynn Grace, On behalf of Arts Murihiku Creative NZ 
  • Nicolette Bottger, South Port NZ Ltd
  • Rupert Mitchell, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Simon Owen, Orange Sheep Creative
  • Tim Fletcher, On behalf of Arts Murihiku Creative NZ 

2021 Intake 13 - Lumsden

  • Alicia McLean, Route 6 Café & Bar
  • Clare Ngakai, Kowhai Farming Ltd
  • Dale Kington, Northern Southland College
  • Fleur Worker, The Regions Immigration Law
  • Geraldo Miranda, Flying Kiwi – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Kelly Tagg, Southland District Council
  • Natasha Mangels, Oreti Community Board
  • Hilary Kelso, Mountain Bike Trails 
  • Noortje Hamers, Hamers Dairies Ltd
  • Rachel Heslip, Lumsden Medical Centre
  • Rosie Forbes, On behalf of Thriving Southland 
  • Wendy Den Hertog, Fiordland Medical Centre
  • Zebulon (Zeb) Horrell, Future Whenua

2021 Intake 12

  • Adriana Rincon, Southern Lakes English College – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Anna O’Connor, Southland Business Chamber  
  • Clare Officer, Offrey Farms Ltd
  • Chris Fox, Invercargill Airport Ltd
  • Craig Hamilton, The Grocer
  • Erin Morgan, Southern Lakes English College
  • Gareth Lyness, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Isuru Rodrigo, Front-line Training – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Jordan Saville, FANZ Private Wealth
  • Kelly Watt, Great South
  • Lincoln Harrison, Westpac (Gore)
  • Meggy Bartlett-McBride, Southland Multicultural Trust
  • Michelle McSoriley, Southland Business Chamber
  • Peter Zotov, South Port NZ Ltd
  • Steve Mitchell, Rugby Southland

2021 Intake 11 - Edendale

  • Aarzoo, Mataura Valley Milk – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Brooke Cameron, Noremac Ag
  • Bradley Rodgers, PowerNet Ltd
  • Cathie Cotter, Southland Rural Support Trust
  • Douglas Caldwell, Caldwell Contracting Ltd
  • Emily Butters, Fortrose Cafe
  • Hayden Peter, Strathallan Run Ltd
  • Karen Purdue, Southland District Council
  • Laura Todd, Invercargill TOP Ten Holiday Park
  • Maria Davers, Fonterra
  • Megan King, On behalf of Thriving Southland 
  • Melanie Shepherd, Marshall’s Excavating Ltd
  • Mehul Gupta, Southland Newcomers Scholarship 
  • Nancy Larrauri, Number 10 – Southland Newcomers Scholarship
  • Serena Lyders, Whanau Consultancy Services
  • Shella Destiana, H & J Smith Ltd – Southland Newcomers Scholarship

2021 Intake 10 - Fiordland

•  Christine Wallace, Milford Sound Lodge
•  Craig Horrell, Fortuna Group
•  Dawn Farrell, Farrell Events
•  Illeana Taylor, Fiordland Lakeview Motel and Apartments
•  Johnathan Hodson, Bonisch Consultants
•  Kirsty Pickett, Advocate Communications Ltd
•  Kylie Krippner, Wings and Water Te Anau
•  Madeleine Peacock, Destination Fiordland
•  Rebecca Daikee, Paper Plus Te Anau 


2021 Intake 9

  • Chris Hughes, MPE Ltd
  • David MacDonald, A Taste of Scotland Ltd
  • Hamish McMurdo, Southland disAbility Enterprises 
  • Ignacio Sande, Southland Football
  • James Alexander, Alliance Group Ltd
  • Jan Hibbs, Southland Help
  • Julie Jack, Invercargill Airport Ltd
  • Luke Templeton, Oyster Flats Trust
  • Matt Marr, Bank of New Zealand
  • Michael Farmer, M K Farms 
  • Rachael Halder, AP & SM Verhaegh Ltd  
  • Scott Waddell, Mataura Valley Milk Ltd
  • Steve Ledington, Rayonier NZ

2020 Intake 8

  • Anna Dix, Bank of New Zealand
  • Bharat Guha, Southern Lakes English College
  • Dallas Peters, Vet South NZ
  • Gillian Cavanagh, Southland District Council
  • Hamish Fitzgerald, Rayonier NZ
  • Iain Ward, Power Farming
  • James Wards, Your Corps – COIN South Scholarship
  • Jessica Domigan, Sport Southland
  • Mark Reece, Blue River Diary LP
  • Monique Morton, FANZ Private Wealth
  • Nicola McAra, Cycling Southland
  • Nicola Wills, Cycling Southland
  • Peter Bruce, Fortuna Group
  • Reece McDonald, Ricoh Southland

2020 Intake 7

  • Benjamin McIntyre, SourceDevelopment
  • Bridget Napier, Great South
  • Emma De Groot, Focus Technology Group
  • Kate Stainton-Herbert, WJ Herbert Ltd
  • Kent Blythe, Power Farming
  • Michelle Findlater, GWD Motor Group
  • Olivia Ross, Beef and Lamb New Zealand
  • Paul Searancke, Habitat for Humanity
  • Phil Orr, ArchDraught
  • Robbie Fleck, Whats On Invers
  • Timothy Garrett, Prime Range Meats
  • Toni Auld, Auld Farm Distillery – COIN South Scholarship
  • Warrick Low, VetSouth Ltd

2020 Intake 6

  • Breidi McStay, Windsor Architectural Hardware
  • Glenn O’Connor, Bonisch Consultants
  • Jenny Donnelly, IFS Growth Ltd
  • Jock Hale, Southland District Council
  • Kirsty Fisher, Windsor Architectural Hardware
  • Kristina Benipayo, Southland Multicultural Council
  • Lutz Schaefer, Stabicraft Marine
  • Nigel McClymont, Nind Electrical Services
  • Paul Jackson, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Phil Robinson, Back9Design
  • Robert Bruin, R & A Bruin
  • Sian Tarrant, South Port NZ Ltd
  • Simon Topham, Hedgehope Grazing Ltd
  • Tim Driscoll, T & J Driscoll Family Trust

2019 Intake 5 - Rakiura / Stewart Island

  • Bridget Carter, Predator Free Rakiura
  • Charlotte Jenkinson, Stewart Island Four Square
  • Cherie Hemsley, Department of Conservation
  • Edward Small, Rakiura Charters and Water Taxi
  • Josephine Shepard, Stewart Island Experience, Real Journeys
  • Kirsten Hicks, Southland District Council
  • Kylie Bakker, Stewart Island Experience, Real Journeys
  • Lania Edwards, Rakiura Charters and Water Taxi
  • Leah Rudin-Jones, Real Journeys, and Ulva’s Guided Walks
  • Letitia McRitchie, Department of Conservation
  • Mary Chittenden, Department of Conservation
  • Megan Cowley, The Stewart Island Gift Shop
  • Melanie Miller, Halfmoon Bay School
  • Rakiura Herzhoff, Rakiura Adventure Ltd
  • Sam Jenkinson, Stewart Island Four Square
  • Teri McCracken, Stewart Island Flights

2019 Intake 4

  • Andie Sherlock, Royal Wolf NZ
  • Brent Webster, EIS Group Ltd
  • Carl Hamilton, Jennian Homes Southland Ltd
  • Charlotte McCurdy, Todd & Co Realty
  • Christina (Tina) McColgan, Careerforce
  • Christine Shearer, Habitat for Humanity Invercargill
  • Courtney Forde, Presbyterian Support Southland
  • Daniel Alexander, Invercargill Airport
  • Dave Gibbs, Graeme Dingle Foundation Southland
  • Gareth Dykes, FI Innovations
  • Jon Pemberton, Lowburn Ag Ltd
  • Jono Bavin, Highflow Dairies Ltd
  • Lynn Tong, Southland Business Chamber
  • Steve Smith, Mataura Valley Milk
  • Vinay Sood, Immigration Law Advice NZ Ltd

2019 Intake 3

  • Adam Ronald, Bonisch Consultants
  • Brian Hopley, Rugby Southland
  • Carla Harper, FMG
  • Claire Hunter, VetSouth NZ
  • David Denholm, Southern Steel Windows Ltd
  • Fiona Adams, Habitat for Humanity Invercargill
  • Kirsty Bell, Invercargill City Council
  • Mike Sanford, What’s On Invers
  • Michael Flynn, BDO Invercargill
  • Rachael Poole, HW Richardson Group
  • Steve Winter, Nind Electrical Services
  • Tracey Marshall, Rugby Southland

2019 Intake 2

  • Aaron Higham, BDO Invercargill
  • Alexis Wadworth, BNZ/Bare Hill Farming Partnership
  • Amanda Kingi-Potiki, Hokonui Runanga Research and Development
  • Jaime McNaught, McCallums Group Selector Uniforms
  • Janina Bautista-Santos, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Jason Paul, South Port NZ Ltd
  • John Mander, Migamz Ltd
  • Lindsay Bowmar, Calder Stewart Construction Ltd
  • Paul Agnew, Lewis Windows Ltd
  • Penny Nicholas, Hokonui Runanga Research and Development
  • Rachel Lock, VetSouth NZ
  • Tim Lindsay, AWS Legal

2019 Intake 1

  • Brenda Nom, Brenda Nom Ltd
  • Catherine Frost, EIS Group Ltd
  • Dave Bennie, Focus Technology Group
  • Debbie Hodges, E Hayes & Sons Ltd
  • Erin McCall, Market South
  • Hayden Mikkelsen, South Port NZ Ltd
  • Jenny Green, Southland District Council
  • Joanne O’Connor, Southland Business Chamber
  • Louise Evans, Lemon Creative
  • Rebecca Amundsen, ArchDraught
  • Ryan Harvey, Sheet Metalcraft
  • Suzii Chen, Blue River Dairy LP
  • Tony Wills, Craigs Design & Print Ltd

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