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Alpine Club super volunteer takes Outstanding Award

Wednesday, 25 May 2018

New Zealand Alpine Club super volunteer, Gillian Crombie, takes Outstanding Volunteer Award at annual NZRA Outdoors Awards in Auckland.

The New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) and its large pool of dedicated volunteers have a firm grip on the Outstanding Volunteer Award at the annual NZRA Outdoors Awards, having won it for the past three years. On Monday night the 2018 award was made to Gillian Crombie, NZAC Treasurer and Matukituki Charitable Trust Trustee, for outstanding dedication to building financial stability in the NZAC and foresight and vision in Conservation with her work for the Trust.

Club General Manager, Karen Leacock commented “It reflects the depth and number of extremely dedicated and motivated volunteers that we have in the Club that this is our third year winning this award. Gillian is a thoroughly deserving winner who has dedicated many days and weekends to the club over a sustained period and I am so pleased to see her get some recognition for the outstanding work that she does”.

“Successes of the club and club members typically relate to climbing and are celebrated through its publications, which focus on climbing, and awards associated with climbing or associated activities. Yet these successes and the services provided by the club would not be possible or as effective were it not for reliable, robust and rigorous financial management. Gillian has been the mainstay of such management for 12 years and continues in the role of honorary treasurer” said John Cocks, NZAC Past President.

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Activities of the treasurer include preparing annual financial budgets and monitoring financial income and expenditure, preparing financial reports, attending and reporting at the annual general meetings, meetings of the Club committee, monthly meetings of the management committee and meetings of other committees and liaising with the financial auditors. During Gillian’s period as honorary treasurer, the Club has experienced strong growth in membership, extended its services and undertaken major projects. Gillian’s contributions in addition to routine daily treasurer work have included restructuring the financial management system, preparing comprehensive and detailed annual financial budgets, securing loans for and project financial overview of the largest projects undertaken by the club; the redevelopment of the Unwin Lodge at Mount Cook and the Home of Climbing building in Christchurch. She also assisted with the securing of grants for instruction and for many other projects, oversaw the financial management of an international conference held by the club and provided wise counsel to four general managers and seven presidents of the club.

Gillian and her husband, Derek, are also founding Trustees of the Matukituki Charitable Trust which is working to support the restoration of native flora and fauna in the namesake valley. Through a pest eradication project and working in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and volunteers, the trust has seen significant advances in the survival rates of native birds in the valley since this initiation of the project in 2013.

Through these dual roles in the New Zealand outdoors community, Gillian has made an enduring contribution that will influence outdoor recreationalists for years to come.


The New Zealand Alpine Club was formed in 1891 and aims to promote and support climbing at all levels within New Zealand. The club has 4000 members, twelve regional sections and five full-time staff based at its headquarters in Christchurch. The scope of its activities are broad including publishing, the provision of 17 alpine huts and base lodges, instruction, events, advocacy, insurance and support for overseas climbing expeditions.


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