Hillary Outdoors Instructors stand out from the crowd
We love to celebrate success, and it has been a big week for two Hillary Outdoors staff members who have achieved success at the NZOIA (New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association) Excellence Awards 2023.
Michaella Wills (Miki) and Matt Hanson were honoured with the Emerging Instructor Award, an award that celebrates their exceptional potential, commitment to growth, and showcases standout instructors within their field.
The NZOIA Excellence Awards recognise the highest achievements of individuals involved in outdoor recreation, education and guiding in New Zealand. There are five awards: Emerging Instructor, Emerging Guide, Wahine Toa, Tall Tōtara, and Life Member.
Miki took out the Emerging Instructor award thanks to her continuous growth, tireless commitment, and thirst for knowledge – she is always willing to throw 110% at everything she does – an inspiring and fantastic role model, particularly for female students.
Inclusive of everyone regardless of background, passionate and embracing of Mātauranga Māori, Miki incorporates this into her teaching. To say students love her would be a gross understatement – she already has, and is having, an impact on the future of outdoor education, instruction and the people in it.
Matt is also a winner of the Emerging Instructor Award thanks to his incredible all-round skill set, not only in hard skills but also in his facilitation, group management, and ability to push each group just enough to get the most out of them.
Matt strikes that balance between delivering just enough adventure to elicit change whilst ensuring his students have a memorable and positive experience.
Super enthusiastic, thoughtful, analytical, smart and driven, Matt’s baseline of experience to inform his judgment is impressive in how he operates.
Topping it off, Matt is always humble in his achievements, always the first to volunteer to help with SAR callouts regardless of personal plans and is always looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Matt is an excellent example of the future of the outdoors industry in Aotearoa.
Miki and Matt, this award is a testament to your unwavering passion, remarkable instructional abilities and commitment to outdoor education – you are both such worthy recipients. We cannot wait to see the heights you will conquer and the lives you will inspire in the years ahead.