Alumni Achievement Award
Kelvin Gilbert graduated from UCOL in 2013 with a Diploma in Photographic Imaging, and has gone on to gain national and international acclaim for his work. Kelvin has had great success in the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Iris Awards, having won medals each year since 2013. He won the NZIPP Illustrative Photographer of the Year in 2013 and 2018, and was a finalist in three separate NZIPP categories in 2017. Kelvin was also a finalist for New Zealand Photographer of the Year each year from 2016 to 2018. In 2016, Kelvin was awarded the title of Grand Master of Photography, the highest honour of the NZIPP. He was the youngest photographer to gain this title, and accumulated the required number of competition points quicker than anyone before him. Outside of New Zealand, Kelvin was named Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Overseas Photographer of the Year in 2017. He has also represented New Zealand in the World Photographic Cup on three occasions. Kelvin was featured in advertising industry magazine Lürzer’s Archive’s 200 best digital artists worldwide for 2015/2016. Kelvin and his partner, fellow UCOL graduate Amy Fowler, currently own and operate creative agency Origin Eight. Together they provide photography, video production, graphic design, website design, motion graphics, and communications for clients around Palmerston North. They have worked with clients such as the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Sport Manawatu, and UCOL. Origin Eight handling the photography and video production for UCOL’s Make a Difference marketing campaign.
Young Alumni Award
Leilani Krans-Tunnage is an accomplished designer known for her beautiful timber creations. Leilani graduated from UCOL with a Diploma in Furniture Design and Making in 2015. Her talent was clear while at UCOL; in the second year of her studies, Leilani won the Pinus Radiata open category at the National Woodskills Competition for her detailed pine longboard. After graduating, Leilani established her own business, Designpilot, with the name being a nod to her former career as a helicopter pilot. Leilani specialises in designing and making high end furniture as well as other products such as longboards, instruments and any timber items that require a degree of skill and vision. Her work caught the attention of the producers of television show Design Junkies, which saw New Zealand designers compete in a range of challenges using salvaged materials. Leilani’s skills, creative flair, problem solving ability, and drive to learn new techniques saw her win the first season of the show in 2018. Leilani won three of the six challenges on the show, with her winning creations including a coffee table made of old bed parts, a lamp made from marine salvage, and a bike using all recycled parts. Leilani credits her UCOL lecturers for pushing her creatively and instilling in her a drive to produce the highest quality work.
Neunglatai Morrison completed her Certificate in Beauty Services in 2014, and then the Diploma in Beauty in 2015. Since then she has become the Managing Director of her own business, and a great supporter of UCOL students and graduates. After finishing her studies, Neunglatai worked at Hair, Beauty and Nails in the Palmerston North Plaza. There she developed an interest and passion for eyelash extensions and threading. This passion led Neunglatai to set up her own business, Empire Lashes and Beauty, offering a variety of eyelash and eyebrow treatments. Demand for her services grew so high that in 2018 Neunglatai employed an additional staff member and moved into a new shop. Neunglatai continues to be a great supporter of UCOL beauty students. She is a regular guest speaker in classes, and provides demonstrations and training for students on threading and lash extensions. She is pivotal in helping graduates find work, letting UCOL beauty staff know about any jobs available in the local industry. Neunglatai is also part of UCOL’s Beauty stakeholder group, and was one of the stakeholders who met with NZQA during UCOL’s most recent External Evaluation and Review. Neunglatai is very involved in the community; for example, last year she held a free eyebrow shaping and threading event at the Palmerston North Library Youth Space. At 22 years of age, Neunglatai has a very bright future ahead of her.
Alumni Service Award
Tim Wilson is a military veteran, artist, and one of the founders of the charity No Duff. Tim came to UCOL in 2015 to study a Certificate and Art and Design after a 16 year military career. He had always had a passion for art, and it has given him the mental and stress release that he was looking for after leaving the military. Since graduating in 2016, Tim has been involved in three major art exhibitions, with the majority of his work being in bronze sculpture and print. After seeing the struggles many veterans go through, Tim and a group of friends established the charitable trust No Duff. No Duff supports veterans facing difficulties such as mental health issues, adjusting to civilian life, financial struggles, and finding employment. The charity has a network of hundreds of volunteers across Australasia. In 2017, Tim and two fellow veterans held the Soldiers Five: A Veteran's Journey exhibition at Parliament’s Bowen House Gallery, highlighting the experiences of soldiers returning from conflict zones. The exhibition covered the themes of transition, isolation, determination, and hope that many veterans face after they leave the military. Proceeds from Tim’s art sales went to No Duff. The exhibition was a great success, not only raising awareness and funds for No Duff, but also highlighting the importance of creative expression in helping veterans cope with post-traumatic stress.