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Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award elects new chair and board member

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (The Award) is delighted to announce the appointment of Ken Hames as Chairperson and Emily Fabling as a Board Member at its Annual General Meeting on 17 August.

The Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award with more than 1.3 million young people taking part in 130+ countries around the world.  The Award creates opportunities for Kiwi young people to learn a new skill, get physically active, volunteer in their community and take part in an adventurous journey.


Ken Hames

Ken Hames joined the Board a year ago and bought with him a wealth of hands-on knowledge about the Award.  Ken assists students at Otamatea High School in Northland to gain their Award, including shadowing young people doing their adventurous journey.  His oldest child gained their Gold Award in 2017 and his youngest is on track to complete their Gold Award early next year.

“I enjoy being part of the Award at grassroots level.  I firmly believe that the skills young people learn by participating in the Award sets them up for life,” said Ken.

“As I take on the role as Board Chair, would like to sincerely thank outgoing Chair Prue Kelly for the significant contribution she made to the Award during her 12 years on the Board”, concludes Ken.

Ken has dairy and dry stock farming interests in Northland.  In 2009 his farming operation received several awards in the North Ballance farm environment awards.  He is currently Chair of the Northland Regional Extension Initiative, Chair of the Auckland Farm Environment Awards and is a member of the Beef and Lamb Northland Council.

Emily Fabling

Emily Fabling joins the Board with extensive knowledge of the education sector in New Zealand and governance.

Emily Fabling is a career public servant, and currently works at the Ministry of Education in the role of Deputy Secretary Strategy, Planning and Governance. In this role Emily is responsible for business strategy, education system stewardship, planning and governance, risk and assurance, legal services, communications and ministerial services.

Since March 2017, Emily has also been the Secretary of Education's nominee on the Fulbright NZ Board.

Emily has also led the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme through Immigration NZ - and with Pacific Island nations; and worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Originally from Waipukurau in Central Hawke’s Bay, Emily achieved her Honours degree in International Relations (Politics and Modern Languages) from Victoria University of Wellington. She is a wife and mother of two school-age boys.

As a result of the 2018 Annual General Meeting, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award Board of Trustees are:

  • Ken Hames, Chairperson
  • Richard Chilton
  • Andrea Duncan
  • Simon McDermott
  • Maxine Moana-Tuwhangai
  • Mason Stretch
  • Daniel Winfield
  • Emily Fabling


For more information, please contact:

Karen Ross, National Director, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award 

Tel: 027 645 6696

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