Series about Kiwi expats’ success to aid education

Former Dunedin man Barrie Neilson shows Hilary Timmins some of his flotilla of yachts at berth in...
Former Dunedin man Barrie Neilson shows Hilary Timmins some of his flotilla of yachts at berth in Corfu. PHOTO: TVNZ.
A television series featuring several former Dunedin people who have found success in the United Kingdom is about to be released as a motivational aid to New Zealand school and tertiary education sectors.

Dream Catchers, produced and directed by Hilary Timmins, celebrates more than 30 inspirational New Zealanders who are making an impact in the United Kingdom.

Working in association with Careers and Transition Education New Zealand (Cate), Dream Catchers is being distributed as an educational resource and motivational tool to be used by careers advisers throughout New Zealand.

"How many of us leave school without any real idea of what we want to do?

"The series explores inherently Kiwi traits that helped these New Zealanders reach their goals," Ms Timmins said.

"The series offers insights into why there are so many high-achieving New Zealanders and highlights the career journey of those featured.

"I hope this series will encourage our young people to reach for their dreams whether at home or as part of our global whanau."

Cate president Warwick Foy said: "The Dream Catchers stories will be inspirational for the young people of Aotearoa New Zealand."

The series was first shown on New Zealand television in 2018 and in 2019 Ms Timmins received a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s Office in recognition of its innovative approach to showcasing the global success of New Zealanders.

Southern people feature strongly throughout the eight-part series.

Each programme explores a different theme — arts and culture, entertainment, high performance, global leaders, food and wine, home and gardens, film and fashion, and entrepreneurs.

Among the southern subjects are two businessmen — former King’s High School pupil Barrie Neilson, who arrived in the UK with £32 and now owns the largest privately owned flotilla holiday sailing business in the world, and Dunedin-born and educated philanthropist Kent Gardner, who has had some of London’s iconic landmark buildings, including "The Gherkin", in his property portfolio.

Also featured are former Fortune Theatre stage manager Milly Olykan, who has since become vice-president of international relations and development at the Country Music Association of America, Grammy Award-winning baritone Jonathan Lemalu and former Otago Girls’ High School head girl Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, the first woman to lead the City of London, chair the Royal Opera House and become provost of King’s College Cambridge.

- Peter Donaldson

 

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