Canterbury Branch

First Steps in Governance Award

This Award provides opportunities for young professionals to gain governance experience in the not-for-profit sector. Applicants must be under 40 years of age.

Our 2019 First Steps in Governance Award recipient

The Canterbury Branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) has announced that banking and finance professional Wendy Schmidt is their 2019 First Steps in Governance Awardee.

As part of the award, Wendy will sit on the board of Ronald McDonald House South Island (RMHSI) for two years. She will also receive professional development training with the IoD, a year’s complimentary IoD membership, free attendance to IoD Canterbury Branch functions, and one-on-one mentoring from an experienced director. 

A member of the judging panel, Ara Institute of Canterbury board member Jane Cartwright, said Wendy is “bright, enthusiastic and has the competencies the RMHSI board needs and which complement other skills they have on their board.” Read more


David Whalley, Wendy Schmidt and Jock Muir


About the First Steps in Governance Award

This Award provides opportunities for young professionals to gain governance experience in the not-for-profit sector. Applicants must be under 40 years of age.

Applications are sought from individuals who:

  • Are motivated to further their business experience, gain an insight into good governance practice and learn about the dynamics of sitting on a board or trust
  • Are able to demonstrate leadership, integrity and enterprise in their careers
  • Have a range of experience and skills (commercial, community, public service)
  • Able to commit the time to prepare for and attend meetings and associated events
  • Are under 40 years of age
  • Have not held a significant governance role to date (this does not include a role in a local sports, school or community organisation or club)


Benefits include:

  • A governance Internship with Ronald McDonald House South Island
  • One year’s complimentary membership of the Institute of Directors
  • One year’s complimentary attendance at all Canterbury branch members’ functions where members can learn and share their experiences
  • $850 towards an IoD director development course of your choice to be taken in the 12 month period following the Award
  • Mentoring from an experienced director

Ronald McDonald HouseRonald McDonald House South Island is an independent registered charitable trust established to help and support the families of children who are receiving medical care. It is managed by a voluntary Board of Trustees, a small staff and many volunteers.


Reflections from past recipients

Katherine Allen (2018):

"The First Steps in Governance Award through the Institute of Directors has been an invaluable step in helping me establish a future in governance. The value of the award cannot be quantified as the biggest benefit has been access to sitting on a very high functioning board. This alongside developing experience with board members whom are very encouraging and supportive.

The Institute of Directors provides access to a wide variety of events through the year offering an opportunity to meet and network with Directors who are at early, mid and established career stages. Attending the Institute of Directors Governance Essentials course has given me a grounding of governance knowledge and every month I get to further this at board meetings and events.

I cannot recommend this award highly enough. If you are interested in establishing a board career and furthering your own development as a leader this is an invaluable opportunity. You don’t have to have directorship experience to apply, you will learn so much and meet a wide range of people alongside developing your career and networking skillset.“


Maddy Surie (2017):
“In 2017 I was fortunate to receive the First Steps in Governance Award from the Institute of Directors. The award has given me an incredible introduction to governance and has set me in the direction for a future career as a director. Being able to attend the Institute of Directors events and courses was not only an invaluable learning opportunity but a great way to meet and learn from well-established directors. As part of the award, I was also given a two-year internship on the Ronald McDonald House South Island board. I was embraced by the board and staff as a member of their team, they took me on their journey and invested in my learning. I will always be grateful for the guidance and support they gave me. I couldn't speak highly enough of this opportunity and would encourage anyone seeking a new challenge in their career to apply.”

Past recipients

2018
First Steps in Governance

Christchurch senior manager Katherine Allen has won an Institute of Directors award that puts her on a governance board of Ronald McDonald House South Island for a year.

Katherine, who lives in Spreydon, has recently started a new role as South Island Operations Manager for Thrifty Car Rental who see this Award as a great opportunity for Katherine and are very supportive of her governance development.

Previously Katherine was the national retail manager for Oderings Garden Centre managing nine garden centres, 200 staff and a multi-million dollar turnover across New Zealand.  She was also a cave guide at Waitomo and Westport, then later responsible for 11 Bivouac Outdoor stores and 150 staff.

The First Steps in Governance Award is given annually to aspiring business and community leaders by the Institute of Directors Canterbury Branch. Seventeen people vied for the 2018 Canterbury IoD governance award. 

Read more


2017

Maddy Surie with Ronald McDonald House South Island trusteesA Christchurch woman whose futuristic mind-set has helped her empower future female leaders has been rewarded herself, as the newest member on Ronald McDonald House South Island’s board table.

Maddy Surie has been awarded the Institute of Directors Canterbury Branch’s First Steps in Governance Award, giving her an internship position on the charity’s board for two years.

Institute of Directors’ Canterbury Branch Chairman Vincent Pooch said the judges were impressed by Ms Surie’s enthusiasm to support others and desire to professionally develop as a director.

“Maddy is an inspirational young woman who has a strong professional and personal desire to make a real difference in governance. Her experience combined with her long term career goal to ensure other females have opportunities, makes her a real asset to the Ronald McDonald House South Island board.”

The First Steps in Governance Award was established in 2013 to develop future leaders through formal governance training, mentoring, and practical experience.

Read more.


2016

A South Canterbury woman will get to revisit a career highlight as the newest member at Ronald McDonald House South Island’s board table. Rebecca Biggs has been awarded the Institute of Directors Canterbury Branch’s First Steps in Governance Award, giving her an internship position on the charity’s board. Institute of Directors’ Canterbury Branch chair Vincent Pooch said the judges were impressed by Ms Biggs’ ambition, step by step focus and leadership potential.

“Rebecca is an inspirational young woman who has a strong professional and personal desire to make a real difference in governance. Her experience combined with her desire to professionally develop as a director will make her a real asset to the Ronald McDonald House South Island board.” Read more


2015

A young Christchurch lawyer gets to help keep families together as the newest member at Ronald McDonald Southland’s board table.

Julie Hands has been bestowed the Institute of Directors’ First Steps in Governance Award, giving her an internship position on the charity’s board.

Institute of Directors’ Canterbury Branch chair Janice Fredric said the judges were impressed by Hands’ ambition, focus and leadership potential.

“Julie is an exceptional young woman who has already taken on a range of leadership roles in both her career and the community. Her breadth of skill and empathy for the cause will make her a real asset to the Ronald McDonald House board.”

Full media release


2014
The inaugural First Steps in Governance Award has been awarded to Gareth Reed.

Gareth Reed receives a two year internship with Ronald McDonald House South Island, $750 towards an IoD Director Development course, a year’s complimentary membership of the IoD, one year‘s complimentary attendance at IoD member functions and mentoring with an experienced director.

Read more