UCOL is set to present its inaugural Alumni Awards, which recognise the excellent contribution of UCOL graduates in their particular industry and communities.
UCOL established the Alumni Awards in 2018 to honour alumni who have made outstanding contributions to UCOL, their profession, their communities, or the nation. The awards will be presented for the first time at UCOL’s Graduation.
Photographer Kelvin Gilbert will receive the Alumni Achievement Award after receiving numerous industry awards and accolades for his work. Kelvin was the youngest person to be named a Grand Master of Photography by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP). Kelvin and his partner, fellow UCOL graduate Amy Fowler, currently own and operate Palmerston North creative agency Origin Eight.
Designer Leilani Krans-Tunnage will receive the Young Alumni Award. Leilani, a furniture design graduate, received national attention as the winner of the first season of TVNZ’s Design Junkies in 2018. After graduating from UCOL, Leilani established her own business, Designpilot. She specialises in making high end furniture as well as other products such as longboards and instruments.
Beauty Therapist Neunglatai Morrison will also receive the Young Alumni Award, having established Empire Lashes and Beauty
in Palmerston North. The business, which began as Neunglatai working out of her flat, has grown so much in the past 12 months that Neunglatai employed a Junior Beauty Therapist and moved into a commercial property to meet the needs of her expanding client base. Neunglatai has maintained strong ties with UCOL mentoring students and providing industry advice to staff.
Artist Tim Wilson will receive the Alumni Service Award. Tim who studied a Certificate in Art and Design, founded charity No Duff
with a group of friends after a 16-year military career. The charity supports veterans facing difficulties such as mental health issues, adjusting to civilian life, financial struggles, and finding employment. In 2017, Tim showcased his art in the Soldiers Five: A Veteran's Journey exhibition at Parliament’s Bowen House Gallery, and donated the proceeds from his art sales to No Duff.