Community Judging Panel

Michael Dowling


Family, farming and community - the foundations of Michael Dowling's life. Michael is a long standing stalwart of the Maniototo community, a 3rd generation farmer of Pine Terrace that's been in the Dowling name for over 100 years. Michael has been married to Joan for nearly 50 years; they have seven children and is a much-loved 'Grandy' to 16 grandchildren. Michael believes in the importance of service -  over the years he has given his time to rugby clubs, school boards and charitable trusts. He served on the Maniototo Community Board for many years, including seven years as chairperson and was a Central Otago District Councillor, a role he greatly enjoyed.

Carole Gillons


Carole and her husband moved to Central Otago in 2002, where they have since raising their family. As manager of the Alexandra Community House, Carole gets to see organisations and individuals making a difference to Alexandra and districts. She is also involved with Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust, Clyde Primary School Board of Trustees and Alexandra BMX Club and enjoys being part of the vision these groups bring to our community.

Carole believes that the health of a community is a direct reflection on all the volunteer effort and passion that comes from the people who live here.

Russell Marsh


Russell is an Ettrick beekeeper who previously practiced as a Chartered Accountant. Educated at Otago Boys High School and the University of Otago, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant before travelling and working overseas based in Hong Kong and London.

On his return, he spent 5 years with Nestle NZ and Mainland Dairy Products before heading home to Ettrick with his wife Trudie and children Charlie and Molly to take over the family Apiary business "Marsh's Honey" in 2003. The beekeeping business runs around 2000 beehives and approximately half of these are in Te Anau, Southland.

Russell is a Board Member of Apiculture NZ, Otago Boys High School, St Hilda's Proprietors and a member of the Teviot Valley Governance Group. He is passionate about Central Otago and the community that surrounds us all.

Ainsley Webb


Ainsley came to Cromwell as a midwife in 1973 for a maximum of two years, or so she thought. Quite some time ago, that changed to 'why would I ever leave!'. Ainsley, now retired, worked as a midwife for 20 years and as a practice nurse for 20 years.

When Ainsley married John Webb she embraced the progressive and quality fruit growing ethos of the long established family business.

Over 14 years ago Ainsley was elected to the Board of Central Otago Health Incorporated and has served as Chairperson for the past eight years.

Ainsley has been involved in various organisations within the community, particularly Rural Women New Zealand where she has served in positions at local and regional levels.

Doug White


Doug feels privileged to have led a great team at Clyde School since 2005. As Principal he gets to be in daily contact with the many volunteers who make the community tick, as well as experience first-hand the enthusiasm for life that children bring to his school.

His interests include gliding, skiing, geography and history, the arts and exploring the world on his mountain bike.

Doug relishes living and working in a positive community particularly one that celebrates its heritage, has a lively arts scene and that respects and works to enhance its unique environment, and that also has an energy and vitality that supports innovation and enterprise.