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Mrs O’Malley has received an emerging director award from the Institute of Directors’ Canterbury (IoD) branch. The awards were presented annually to people who showed leadership, integrity and enterprise in their careers.
Recipients received a year’s complimentary membership of the IoD, funding towards IoD governance development courses and a board internship and mentoring from an experienced director.
Mrs O’Malley would now be able to intern on the board of civil contracting and construction firm Westroads.
Mrs O’Malley was very pleased, as she had been doing "bits and pieces"in governance for some time and she was always looking for an opportunity to help take governance to a different level.
She and her husband, Christopher, have been sharemilking in Canterbury, North Otago, Tasman and the West Coast since 2011 and now milked a 400 cow herd at Hokitika.
In 2017, the couple won the New Zealand Sharefarmer of the Year award at the NZ Dairy Awards.
Farming was not something Mrs O’Malley was familiar with. She studied classics at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and then teaching.
"I never set foot on a farm until I met my husband".
Mrs O’Malley is a minor shareholder and director of Christchurch-based Red Quantity Surveying and REDQS IQ and director of natural fibres start-up Hemprino. She was also parent trustee of Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School Board of Trustees and co-founder and chairwoman of Meat the Need Charitable Trust.
The trust, which was set up in the first week of lockdown, allowed farmers to help feed those in need. It received the industry champion award at the Primary Industries New Zealand Awards.
Aside from her busy schedule, family was also important to Mrs O’Malley and she always tried to make sure she had time for her three children aged 4, 7 and 9.
Having a supportive husband helped her get through tough times, she said.
She was a busy mother and hoped to "try not to have too much to do", so she could still make some time with her children on school holidays and attend school events, such as athletics day.
- By Natasha Parrant