Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Outdoor leadership excellence recognised at 2019 NZOIA Awards

Outdoor leadership excellence recognised at 2019 NZOIA Awards
October 21, 2019

A man who has climbed 10 of New Zealand’s highest peaks, a dedicated outdoor instructor who has been known to dress as a pirate and a guide with a passion for marine life were among nine inspiring individuals  recognised for excellence in outdoor leadership on Saturday.

The awards were presented at the annual New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) Excellence Awards dinner, hosted by Outward Bound in Anakiwa, on the shores of Queen Charlotte Sound.

The prestigious ‘Tall Totara’ Award was presented to Timaru’s Sash Nukada in recognition of his contribution to outdoor instructing and dedication to passing on his love of adventure.

Nukada is the Sustainability and Outdoor Education Programme Leader at Ara Institute of Canterbury’s Timaru campus. He holds NZOIA Bush 2, Alpine 2 and Rock 2 qualifications and brings a lifetime of experience in the outdoors, from climbing in Yosemite, Arapiles and Thailand to trekking in Nepal, snowboarding in Japan and mountaineering in the Indian Himalayas.

Commenting that Nukada was an accomplished climber and educator who had remained humble despite his considerable achievements, NZOIA Chair Gillian Wratt stated “humorously described in by one his nominators as ‘the love child of a fling between rock climbing legend Dan Osman and the Dalai Lama’, Sash personifies excellence in outdoor leadership.

“His mix of technical ability, patience and humour are renowned in the industry and he has played an important role in inspiring many of the outdoor instructors who are working across New Zealand today.”

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the ‘Emerging Instructor’ award to Lacey Beadle, who works as an outdoor instructor at Outward Bound.

Beadle’s award nomination noted her expertise in tramping, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking, as well as her penchant for dressing up in costumes - including as a pirate - to bring a touch of humour to her lessons.

Noting her achievement, Wratt advised “Lacey is an outstanding individual who teaches with charisma and a strong dose of humour.

“She has a knack for building rapport with students and shows an impressive commitment to ongoing professional development.”

The 2019 ‘Emerging Guide’ award was presented to Cowan Fearn, who works as Head Guide at Kaikoura Kayaks in North Canterbury.

Wratt said Fearn’s energy and dedication to the marine environment he works within made him a worthy role model for others in the industry, adding “anybody looking to get into a career as a guide would do well to follow Cowan’s lead. Not only is he a knowledgeable speaker and an outstanding kayaker, but he also practices the sustainability he preaches, biking to work, going out of his way to remove litter from the beach and ocean, and actively participating in wildlife education.”

The awards dinner also saw the presentation of six Tertiary Awards for recently graduated guides and instructors who have shown outstanding potential during the studies. This year’s tertiary recipients were Aaron Aldersly of Wintec, Shania Kuipers of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Sophie Richards of Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Braden Hodgson of Hillary Outdoors, Reece Saywell-Emms of Ara Institute of Canterbury and Jake White of Otago Polytechnic.

The NZOIA Excellence Awards dinner was one of the highlights of the 2019 NZOIA National Training Symposium. More than 150 outdoor guides, instructors and assessors from around New Zealand attended the four-day symposium to share knowledge and take part in a wide range of professional development and revalidation workshops.

Images: NZOIA chair Gillian Wratt presenting the Tall Totara Award to Sash Nukada (top, courtesy of Andy Thompson Photography NZ), Lacey Beadle receiving the Emerging Instructor Award from NZOIA Committee Member Jo Thompson and Emerging Guide Cowan Fearn out in his kayak.

Related Articles

23rd November 2018 - New guide flags environmental changes in New Zealand’s highest mountains

8th November 2018 - New qualification framework to develop New Zealand’s professional mountain bike workforce

10th October 2018 - Inspirational people of the outdoors celebrated at NZOIA awards

4th September 2018 - New Zealand Walking Access Commission announces availability of new funding to help public access to the outdoors

7th May 2018 - Mountain Bike instructors skills in outdoor leadership assessment

11th January 2018 - Mountaineering and adventure activities present new opportunities for Asian tourism

25th September 2017 - Dedication to adventure recognised at NZOIA awards

23rd September 2016 - Outdoor instructors and guides gather for national training program

11th November 2014 - Outdoors New Zealand honours industry achievements and memories

24th October 2014 - Walking and cycle trails connect Upper Hutt to great outdoors

10th September 2012 - Forum to explore value of the outdoors

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety



Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology



Links Modular Solutions are a leading provider of high-quality, innovative software solutions for leisure facilities. Our software suite includes modules such as POS, Classes, Members, Facility…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


AIS Water

AIS Water, the trading name of Australian Innovative Systems, is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology



About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business