OSEA provides tailored and specialist support to Otago and Southland businesses across business critical areas such as employment law, human resources, health and safety, business training and professional development.
We are a founding member of Business New Zealand, New Zealand's largest and most influential voice for businesses and employers, and work in partnership with a range of business advocacy and business development organisations to support business growth and sustainability in the south.
OSEA’s team brings together a wealth of expertise and practical experience to support OSEA member organisations with the right advice and advocate on behalf of business.
Virginia Nicholls LLB, BCom, DipHSc, DipTchg, FCIM
Chief Executive Officer
Virginia oversees all aspects of OSEA operations. She brings experience in small, medium and large businesses across the manufacturing, education, tourism and the not-for-profit sectors including senior management roles in FMCG companies and tertiary education. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Diana Hudson LLB, CMInstD
With extensive experience in employment law, health and safety and human resources, Diana heads our in-house legal team. She is a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors and a qualified mediator.
David Browne LLB, BA, MFA, Grad Dip Tch Sec
David earned his law degree from the University of Otago in 2009 and joined our legal team in 2014. He hails from the state of Virginia on the east coast of the US. He is pleased to now call Aotearoa his home.
Angela Mackenzie LLB, BCom
Angela is our Solicitor based in Invercargill. She has been practicing law, primarily in the areas of employment and family, since 2004 with a stint of dairy farming and banking in between. She enjoys working with our members to find practical solutions to the wide range of employment-related matters they face as well as facilitating the range of employment and HR training that we have to offer.
Grant Walker LLB
Grant is a member advisor at OSEA. During 20 years working and advising and running training on employment matters he has gained invaluable experience and knowledge in resolving personal grievances, collective bargaining with unions, holiday and leave issues, drafting employment documentation and practical human resources management issues. He has worked as a lawyer in these areas and also as a business lawyer as a partner in a legal firm. He also had governance roles in not for profit organisations especially in the mental health area and maintains an interest and involvement in this area. Grant has also trained and worked in the areas of group facilitation and interpersonal communication.
Grant previously worked for OSEA as an employment lawyer and has now re-joined us as an Advisor in 2017.
Business Development Manager
John manages member relations as well as our relationships with Export NZ, Business Mentors NZ, Callaghan Innovation research and development grants and NZTE capability development vouchers, and our other important business partners throughout Otago and Southland.
Tracey Scurr MBA, DipBusStuds
Health & Safety and Training Manager
Tracey joined us in May 2018 and is responsible for the Health & Safety and Training team who operate from both our Dunedin and Invercargill premises. She bring professional experience in human resources and change management, and health and safety skills from three decades co-leading a contracting operating in three high-risk sectors. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Massey University.
Stacey Burrell BCom, BHM
Stacey joined the OSEA team in January 2019 taking on the role of Membership Advisor and has a broad background in the hospitality sector, adult education and training, event co-ordination and management, marketing, sales, and customer service. Her role with us will cover Southland and Queenstown Lakes where she will be promoting the benefits of membership and the range of services we provide.
Health and Safety Advisor
Loretta’s role is to provide high level health and safety advice to members. She also liaises with members regarding OSEA’s training and health and safety. Loretta joined OSEA in June 2012, and has had a number of years administration experience. Loretta and a team of consultants are available for all your health and safety requirements.
Training & Events Co-ordinator
Ann is our Dunedin based Training & Events Coordinator. With a background in IT, customer support, marketing and sales, Ann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Training and Events role. Ann will be specialising in Health & Safety and Dunedin Training Events so get in touch with her for all your training needs.
Madusha Kaluarachchi BSc (HRM) Special (USJP), PGDipBE
Madusha joined the OSEA team in February 2019 and comes to us with a background in human resource development within the manufacturing industry and experience as a supervisor working within the New Zealand dairy sector. Madusha will be specialising in Invercargill Training Events so get in touch with her for all your training needs.
Nadia manages administration including our accounting and financial services here at the OSEA. Nadia previously held administration and finance management positions and has a number of years administration experience.
Receptionist / Member Services
Anne-Marie is the first point of contact for most people with the Association. She has an effective background in administration and her outstanding service is well respected among members.
Our board members come from across the region and represent a broad range of business skills and governance experience.
Andrew is Chief Executive of Hospice Southland. Previously, he held the position of CEO for Credit Union South, where his achievements were recognised by the World Council of Credit Unions when he was the inaugural winner of the WOCCU Young Credit Union Professional Award. Other appointments include director of the NZ Association of Credit Unions and President of the Chamber of Commerce Southland.
GS McLauchlan & Co
Stuart is a chartered accountant, partner of GS McLauchlan & Co. He is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors. Stuart is currently chairman of Scott Technology Ltd, PHARMAC, UDC Finance Ltd and Dunedin International Airport Ltd, as well as being a director of a number of private companies. He is also pro-chancellor at the University of Otago and governor of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.
Waikaka Station Ltd
Sharon is a director / owner in a family Sheep and Beef farm “Waikaka Station Ltd.” Married with two grown married sons, she worked for six years in the corporate world as a Rural Manager on the road for an Insurance company.
Currently she is secretary/event manager for Southern Field Days, the second largest agricultural based field days in New Zealand.
Michael is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Accounting and Business Advisory firm Polson Higgs where he works with large and small businesses mainly in the tax area. He has been advising clients for 26 years and a Partner for the last 16 years. Michael is passionate about business and in particular how to minimise the impact of taxation on business.
Queenstown-based, Joanne’s background is in the property industry, with a focus on commercial and government property. She owned APL Property Queenstown for which she continues to provide advisory services. Her other governance positions include Chair of the South Island Trust Board of St John, membership of the Priory Trust Board of St John and Trustee of the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust. She is a board member of the Property Advisory Council of the New Zealand Property Institute.
Having moved south from Auckland at the inception of Mainland Poultry 18 years ago, Hamish is now General Manager of Zeagold Foods, the egg division of Mainland Poultry. Zeagold is now ranked within the top 30 suppliers of branded goods to supermarkets in New Zealand. Prior to commencing at Mainland, Hamish was the General Manager Marketing for Goodman Fielder Milling and Baking.
Lesley is employed in the Research and Postgraduate office of Otago Polytechnic, with a focus on delivering research by staff and students that benefits industry and the wider community. Previously Lesley was a lawyer for 22 years including 12 years as a partner at Anderson Lloyd. She has previously served on the Council of Telford Rural Polytechnic and is currently on the Audit and Risk Committee of the Cancer Society (Otago/Southland).
Human Connections Group Limited | Stepping Stone Career Coaching Limited
After moving to Dunedin in 2013 Emily established Human Connections Group, a Dunedin-based consultancy offering affordable recruitment and HR solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. She brings a strong background in recruitment, human relations and management from the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
University of Otago
Will is currently Legal Advisor at the University of Otago. Prior to this he worked with a Queen’s Counsel and as a lawyer at a commercial firm, prior to joining the Otago Southland Employers’ Association as a lawyer and then Business Manager.
In other voluntary roles, Will was a volunteer at the Community Law Centre for 15 years, and was an officer in the Navy Reserve for 12 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant. He is also a former chair of the Dunedin RSA Welfare Trust, and currently a Dunedin Area Committee member of the Order of St John.
TechWeek - Learner capability and employability project
We have a presentation to employers in Dunedin about the capabilities they've told us they want graduates to have on starting employment, and how technology (an e-portfolio) can help employers have confidence that job applicants actually have the soft skills, or capabilities, that they claim, and also capture ongoing learning by employees.