Southern Directionz - Career Consultants

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Dave McKissock – Managing Director / Career Consultant

Dave’s strong standing and extensive contacts in the community have enabled him to build Southern Directionz’s reputation for ‘providing quality professional service that makes a difference’.

It’s that unique point of difference that Southern Directionz and Dave, in particular, stands by and an attribute he has carried throughout his life.

With special interests in education planning and advice, professional development for both individuals and businesses, the rehabilitation of spinal injury and mental health clients, and psychometric assessments, Dave’s long list of qualifications and experience back up his ability to get the best outcome for each and every client.

After more than 18 years in the education sector, concentrating in career advisory and facilitation within schools – where he was well-known throughout New Zealand for his career best practice and curriculum – Dave ventured in the Career Industry in 2005 when he started Southern Directionz.

Since then, under Dave’s guidance, the business has continued to expand and cater for the growing needs of people not just in Southland but across the southern region.

Dave has a Diploma in Career Practice from Otago Polytechnic, a Diploma in Teaching from the Dunedin Teacher’s College (now part of University of Otago) and a Diploma in Special Education from the University of Canterbury. He is a registered psychometric assessor, is a qualified engineering trades assessor and also holds his Advanced Trade Certificate in Heavy Diesel Engineering.

Dave has been actively involved in the development of career best practice initiatives and policy at national level as a Professional Member and past executive committee member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ), a member and past committee member of Career and Transition Educators (CATE), and a member of the Australia and New Zealand Recruiting and Consulting Services Association.

He is currently on the ACC Vocational Review Panel, is an active member of Southland Chamber of Commerce and has contributed to Venture Southland’s  Workforce Strategy Planning Team.

As president of the Rotary Club of Invercargill South, Dave is giving back to the community he loves and in the past, has contributed to the sport clubs and organisations as commissioner, administrator, coach and player at local, regional and national level. When he finds some spare time, he enjoys a round of golf, motorsport and holidaying in the Mackenzie Country.


Geralda Fogarty – Career Consultant

Geralda joined the Southern Directionz team in April 2012 and draws on more than 15 years experience as a career practitioner and brings a wide range of industry knowledge and contacts with her.

Her main duties and responsibilities at Southern Directionz include delivering occupational assessments and vocational programmes for long-term injury claim clients, one-on-one career coaching for private and business clients, and other career-related services.

Geralda has previously worked for private practices providing vocational interventions, career planning, assessment and support for clients referred through government agencies including ACC, Work and Income, Southern District Health Board and the Ministry of Justice. She also has a sound knowledge of the New Zealand Qualification Authority framework and in-depth knowledge into a wide range of educational options and pathways.

Geralda holds a Diploma of Applied Social Sciences in Career Practice (Level 6) from Otago Polytechnic and is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ).

Prior to entering the career development industry, Geralda worked in retail and hospitality sectors and when she is not working enjoys spending time with family and friends.


Helen Presbury - Career Consultant

With more than 25 years experience in human resource recruitment and professional development in Southland, Helen has had strong links with Southern Directionz since January 2009.

After working as a permanent consultant for the company for close to three years, Helen moved into a contract role in January 2012 to deliver occupational assessments for injury-claim clients and other career-related services.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Otago, Helen went on to work in the HR in the health sector for 15 years, before moving over to advise in best practice improvement in mental health. As HR advisor at Cook Adam (now WHK), Helen further developed her knowledge in recruitment and professional development.

Throughout her working life, Helen has continued to up skill and achieve further qualifications. She holds a Diploma in Business Studies from Massey University and has recently completed a Diploma in Career Guidance from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. She is also a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ).


Renata Gill - Career Consultant

Southern Directionz welcomed Renata to the team in 2013 and she quickly made her mark with her warm, infectious personality providing a calming influence for clients and colleagues alike. 

Renata’s extensive employment history and educational experience make her ideally suited to complement the company’s specialist services where her core duties include facilitating pre-employment services, career advice and course advice, sourcing work placements, and other human resources needs tailored to specific client needs and desires.

Renata has more than 10 years experience in human resources in a variety of roles – including Human Resource Consultant / Advisor / Administrator, Liaison Manager / Officer and Recruitment Consultant – for employers such as St John Ambulance (Christchurch), Lincoln University, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (London, UK) and Blue Arrow (London, UK).

With a thirst for professional development, Renata has an impressive array of qualifications to her name. After completing at Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Canterbury in the mid 1990s, she went on to gain a Master of Science in Industrial Psychology at Canterbury and, in 2013, achieved a Diploma of Career Guidance (Level 6) through Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology.

A mother of three, Renata relishes the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. She enjoys travelling and biking and relaxing on her quiet rural property.


Julie McKissock – Office Manager

Julie has been with Southern Directionz since day one and has played an important role in developing the business into the success it is today.

She is likely to be the first welcoming face you meet when you come through the door at our Yarrow Street head office or the first friendly voice you hear when you call over the phone.

Julie’s main responsibilities lie in overseeing the general administration duties and day-to-day operations of the business; assisting the career consultants with the administration of vocational services for ACC and Alliance referrals; and the facilitation of on-site venue hire.

With a Certificate in Business Administration and various Pitman qualifications, Julie has also developed her skills on the job and is largely self-taught to deal with many of the IT issues that arise.

The success of the annual TradeQual event since 2005 is largely down to Julie’s efforts and dedication and she also oversees the planning and implementation of the yearly Canterbury tertiary education campus tours.

With a strong interest in Interior Design, Julie and her partner are slowly remodeling their home. She also enjoys boxfit, spending quality time with her family and friends and camping in the summer months.


Margaret McKissock – Administration Assistant

Margaret joined Southern Directionz in August 2010 but has been involved informally in the business since its inception, supporting her husband Dave’s venture into Careers Practice.

She is crucial to the smooth running of Southern Directionz on a daily basis, processing invoices and accounts, coordinating incoming and outgoing correspondence and assisting the office manager and career consultants.

After more than 20 years experience in customer service and administration roles in the retail sector and church services, and more than five years as a teacher aide in Southland schools, Margaret has an empathy which puts many of our clients at ease in a relaxed and supportive environment.

In her spare time, Margaret enjoys reading, walking, spending time with her family and is a valued member of St David’s Presbyterian Church in Invercargill.