Meet the Trustees
The Otago Community Trust is governed by 11 Trustees who are appointed by the Minister of Finance for a four year term. The Trustees collectively hold a range of invaluable skills, experience and knowledge that guide the activities of the Trust. They meet monthly at the Otago Community Trust Offices to consider donation requests, operational items and strategic direction.
Stuart Walker, Chairperson
Stuart Walker is a consultant lawyer with the Dunedin Lawlink firm, Anderson Lloyd, and is a former chairman of the firm.
Stuart has a specialist banking, commercial and corporate law practice. He is a consulting editor to Lexis Nexis Conveyancing Bulletin and has co-authored several chapters of New Zealand Forms & Precedents. He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Otago, has lectured at the University's Faculty of Law for many years and is a regular New Zealand Law Society seminar presenter. Stuart is a Winston Churchill Fellow, having studied the use of plain legal language in the UK Banking Industry.
He is the chair of the Trust. He holds several local directorships and is a member of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal. Stuart has a strong interest in music, and has been musical director for a number of music shows, including recently, Les Misérables, The Rat Pack, Dusty, The Producers and The Rocky Horror Show.
Gary Kircher , Deputy Chairperson
Gary has held a number of public roles over the years and continues to be very involved in the community. He was brought up in North Otago and had 9 years as a councillor on the Waitaki District Council, including 3 years as Deputy Mayor. He was also a trustee for Sport Otago for around 9 years. Gary currently chairs the Waitaki Advisory Committee for the Otago Chamber of Commerce and is also chair for the Steampunk NZ Trust. He is a member of a number of other community groups.
Much of Gary’s working life has been spent in self-employment, but he is currently employed as a Work Broker for Work & Income. Gary’s business experience includes professional and retail photography, horticulture and hospitality. Spare time activities include football, travel, reading and enjoying his family.
Stephen was born and bred in Dunedin and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree (accounting) from the University of Otago and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. After time spent working in Dunedin and Auckland in both Corporate and Chartered Accounting roles, Stephen moved to Balclutha to take up a partnership with a local practice.
Stephen’s business experience covers a wide range of industries covering all aspects of accounting and business advisory services including taxation and business planning.
Stephen is well known in the Balclutha region having been involved in a wide range of community and development groups including experience as trustee of the Clutha District Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of Enterprise Clutha Trust and has been an auditor for various community organisations. In his spare time enjoys Karate, going to the gym and spending time with his children and their various activities.
Ken Lister is currently a Senior Investment Advisor with Forsyth Barr Ltd and has had a successful career in the finance sector since 1983. Ken has previously worked in London for Barclays Bank as well as the Saudi International Bank in a senior management capacity. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance, is a member of the Institute for Chartered Accountants and an active member of the NZ Institute of Directors. Ken is also a Trustee for the Southern Trust and on the Board of Trustees of Trustees for St Hilda’s Collegiate School.
He is passionate about food and wine and has a Diploma of wine and spirits. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about wine tasting as well as wine and food matching. He currently lives in Dunedin with his wife Barbara and three children aged 11 to 16 years.
Ross has a strong sense of community involvement which has been an on-going focus for him throughout his career. He was born and educated in Invercargill, completed his B Com at Otago University and has been a Chartered Accountant for over 30 years. This lead him into the radio industry, working around New Zealand, with strong community connections. He was also on the Board of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, Chair of the Santa Parade Trust and was active in many community initiatives in Christchurch throughout his career in radio ,marketing and management.
In 2008 Ross and his wife realised their dream of living in Central Otago when they purchased United Travel Wanaka and they have since expanded in business to Cromwell, with Active Travel Co. Ross’s community involvement has come forth again as Chair of Lake Wanaka Tourism and Wanaka Wastebusters and as a board member of Snowsports NZ. He also holds a position on the Red Bus Board in Christchurch. Ross also has his own business in mentoring and coaching.
Ross’s qualifications include a B Com, he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, is an Associate Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and is an Accredited Member of the Institute of Directors. He is a keen mountain biker, enjoys water and snow sports and is actively involved with his family.
Noeline Munro is an New Zealand Stock Exchange Ltd (NZX) Adviser with Craigs Investment Partners, involved in stockbroking and portfolio management. She holds an NZX Diploma, is an Authorised Financial Adviser and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. She has spent most of her working life dealing with finance, responsible for everything from large wholesale portfolios to individual retail clients. She has a passion for education and working with people needing advice on savings and investments.
Noeline was issued the New Zealand Womens Suffrage Medal in 1993 recognising her contribution to women in business. She has always been interested in the progression of women in business and other positions of responsibility.
Having previously been associated with both the Otago Chamber of Commerce as President, and the Otago Business Development Board as Chairman, Noeline is now enjoying her involvement with the Otago Community Trust. She has held board positions, both past and current, in private companies and State Owned Enterprises.
As a first year baby boomer, Noeline is fascinated to be part of a generation who are breaking down expectations and assumptions of this group. As a grandparent and a full time broker, she enjoys a balanced lifestyle reading, running and fitting in as many movies as possible.
Louise Rosson QSO, JP born and bred in Dunedin and of Ngai Tahu ancestry, has lived in Cromwell since 2005. A former high school teacher (Head of Economics & Commerce), Louise was elected to the Dunedin City Council in 1986 and in 1989 she also won a seat on the new Otago Regional Council. She went on to become the Regional Council Chair for nine years, and also the Vice President and President of Local Government NZ. In this role, she was the keynote speaker at The Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Durban South Africa in 1999. While there, Louise undertook a study visit with the Capetown City Council – Community Development and City Planning in Urban Capetown. In 1997 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to USA and Canada – Environmental Law and the Community.
2004 saw Louise appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for community service. Louise has served on eight Crown Boards and is a current appointed member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee and the Otago Community Trust. While she thrives on her community work, it is her family that brings her the most joy – her three grown-up sons and three grand-daughters are “the joy of my life”.
Lauren is a partner specialising in resource management law in the firm of Anderson Lloyd. Her passion and expertise is in urban planning and she has been responsible for consenting some of the largest new developments and subdivisions in the South Island. At present she is actively involved in development plans to assist with the rebuilding of residential Christchurch.
Lauren was born and bred in Dunedin and has been involved in a range of community organisations. As an ex-girl of Queens High School, Lauren served for a number of years on its Board of Trustees. She is a former trustee of the Otago Youth Wellness Trust and the Methodist Mission Board. More recently Lauren has been a member of the St Bernadette's School Parents Association. As the recipient of a Rotary International Group Study Exchange in her early years of legal practice Lauren remains committed to the principles of Rotary International and is proud of her alumni status.
Lauren has three children aged 12, 9 and 7 and as such is also involved in swimming, soccer, netball and dance activities within the city. In her leisure time Lauren is a keen walker and an enthusiastic although not yet proficient devotee of Bikram yoga.
Nicola Taylor is the Director of the Anglican Family Care Centre, an Otago based social service agency that responds to issues of child neglect, poverty and family violence. She was previously the General Manager of Te Runanga o Otakou and has more than two decades of professional experience in the fields of care and protection social work.
Nicola completed a Master of Literature thesis at the Department of English, Otago University on the writing of Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce and also holds qualifications in secondary teacher training and Social and Community Work.
She is currently the Chair of the Ngai Tahu Maori Law Centre Board, a member of Komiti Kawanataka at Otago Polytechnic, Director of A3 Kaitiaki (Runanga Company), Chairperson of Purakaunui Block Inc. This follows a dedicated interest in governance including serving as a former member of the Grievance Panel, Puketai Residence, Araiteuru Kokiri Centre Board, Te Runanga o Otakou Company, Pikiake te Rito Board, Otago Polytechnic Council.
Nicola was also involved in the production of DVD ‘Purakaunui te Turangawaewae’ on the history of Kai Tahu people and their associations with Purakaunui. She is passionate about her Kai Tahu links, her responsibilities for our Maori land, her home (turangawaewae) at Purakaunui, the preservation of whanau, hapu and iwi history and whakapapa for the future of her own whanau and mokopuna.
Helen Webster was born and raised in Central Southland but has lived in North Otago since 1978. Helen and her husband have three adult children and two beautiful grand-daughters. She has been a Trustee with the Otago Community Trust since October 2009. Helen and her husband are arable farmers in partnership with their son, daughter-in-law and the Mitchell Family in North Otago. The Mitchell & Webster Group own and operate Topflit bird and small animal feeds manufacturing & marketing company.
Her significant business skills and community knowledge have assisted a number of groups including a long association with the Young Farmers Clubs, having served on the National Committee and is a past Otago/Southland Regional Chairwoman. Helen has also been the President of the North Otago Plunket Society, President of the Rotary Club of Oamaru and a trustee on the Waitaki Boys High School Board. She is currently a Community Representative on the North Otago Safer Communities Council Restorative Justice panel and has recently been appointed as a Marriage Celebrant. She has also been involved in organising large events for the past two years as the Co-ordinator for the Oamaru Wine and Food Festival. She has also been involved in organising large events in North Otago including "The Big Splash" (The opening of the North Otago Irrigation Scheme) Oamaru Wine and Food Festival and CCS 75th Jubilee celebrations and is currently on the organising committee for the Waitaki Golden Oldies Rugby Festival and Concert being held in conjunction with the Rugby World Cup.
For 6 years Helen worked as the North Otago Electorate agent for Gavan Herlihy when he was the member of Parliament for Otago. Helen has always been interested in assisting young people to take advantage of educational opportunities and gain leadership skills to assist them in reaching their potential. As her own children were always involved in sports teams she has spent many enjoyable hours supporting their team committees and fund-raising for rugby, hockey and netball organisations at club and provincial levels. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking, gardening and attending as many shows as is possible in Oamaru's wonderful refurbished Opera House.