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2018 UCOL Council Honours recipients announced

By UCOL on Friday, 16 March 2018

A photograph of Palmerston North Town Crier Caroline Robinson leading a UCOL Graduation parade.

Nine individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to UCOL or the communities that UCOL is a part of will receive UCOL Council Honours awards at Graduation ceremonies in Palmerston North, Wairarapa and Whanganui this month.

The UCOL Council Honours Awards recognize people who act as role models and inspiration to UCOL students, and reflect UCOL’s connections with the community.

Palmerston North

Professor Tom Prebble will receive the Honorary Fellowship, UCOL’s highest honorary award, for his contribution to the tertiary education sector. Professor Prebble is an education consultant and former UCOL Council member who began his long and distinguished academic career at Massey University. He previously served as Establishment Director for Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. His reports and research publications are highly respected and frequently referenced by academics and tertiary institutions around the world. 

Palmerston North Town Crier Caroline Robinson will receive the Honorary Associate award. Mrs Robinson has added to ceremonial traditions at UCOL Graduation, leading the post-ceremony processions through town. She is New Zealand’s current National Champion Town Crier, has competed in the World Championships for Town Criers, and won the world’s inaugural women’s-only Town Crier Championship.

In recognition of their extended contribution to graduation ceremonies over a long period of time, Manu Kawana and Lorraine Himiona will each receive a UCOL Institutional Medal. Both Mr Kawana and Mrs Himiona have also played a huge role in providing Māori cultural advice to UCOL staff and students, for example, participating in pōwhiri to welcome new staff and students and sharing their knowledge with staff.

Former UCOL Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Darryl Purdy will also receive the Institutional Medal for his 18 years of service to UCOL. Mr Purdy earned a reputation as one of the best CFO’s in the polytechnic sector and a staunch advocate for UCOL’s interests among Government officials in Wellington. His time at the finance helm included UCOL’s mergers with the Wairarapa Regional Polytechnic and the Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic. 

UCOL Council Chair Malcolm Inglis says each of the award recipients has made an outstanding contribution to UCOL and the wider Manawatū community.

“Tom, Caroline, Manu, Lorraine, and Darryl have each played a key role in the journey UCOL students take at Palmerston North, from first contact with the institution, through their time studying, graduating and beyond.  These awards are our way of acknowledging their contributions and thanking them for everything they have done.”


Former Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell will be named an Honorary Associate for his contribution to the Wairarapa community. Mr Daniell served as Mayor of Masterton from 2007 to 2013, following an 18 year stint as a Masterton District Councillor and Deputy Mayor. Mr Daniell has championed the economic development of the district, been a great supporter of local health services, and made retaining the region’s heritage a high priority. Mr Daniell was also a Director of Mitre 10 New Zealand and expanded the operation of the Masterton Mitre 10 franchise. 

UCOL Kaumātua Mike Kawana and ‘Aunty’ Lou Cook will each receive a UCOL Institutional Medal in recognition of their extended contribution to graduation ceremonies over a long period of time. Both have also played a siginifcant role in providing Māori cultural advice to UCOL staff and students. 

Mr Inglis says each recipient has made a significant contribution to life in the Wairarapa.

“Garry’s record in local government as well as business is quite outstanding. Mike and Aunty Lou have played significant roles in UCOL graduation celebrations over the years, and the impact they have had by providing cultural support and representation extends far beyond our campus.” 


Q-West Boat Builders Managing Director Myles Fothergill is set to receive the UCOL Honorary Fellowship. Mr Fothergill has more than 35 years of experience in the marine industry, which has included boat designing and building, as well as commercial fishing.

Under Mr Fothergill’s leadership, Q-West has become a leading commercial boat builder in New Zealand. Known internationally for producing quality vessels, Q-West has completed builds for clients in New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, the Middle East, USA, and Europe.

Mr Fothergill is a long-time supporter of UCOL and education in the region, having given his time as a guest speaker at Graduation, industry stakeholder engagement events, business forums, and other UCOL events. 

Mr Fothergill is also an eminent leader in the Whanganui community and the marine industry, chairing or sitting on a number of local and national boards. 

“Myles is a great leader in the Whanganui community,” says Mr Inglis

“The way he has built up Q-West Boat Builders to become an internationally recognised business is an excellent example of what our students can aspire to. We appreciate Myles’ contributions to UCOL, and this award is our way of acknowledging that and thanking him.”

Pictured above: Palmerston North Town Crier Caroline Robinson leading a UCOL Graduation parade.