Southern Directionz - Career Consultants

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Our People

Dave McKissock – Managing Director / Career Consultant

Dave McKissock’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 business, and the rehabilitation of spinal injury and mental health clients, 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 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), and member and past committee member of Career and Transition Educators (CATE).

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-elect of the Rotary Club of Invercargill South, Dave is giving back to the community he loves and in the past, has contributed as 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 holiday in the Mackenzie Country.

Geralda Fogarty - Career Consultant

Geralda joined the Southern Directionz team in April 2012 and draws on more than 24 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 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, Geralda enjoys spending time with family and friends


Julie McKissock Office Manager

Julie has been with Southern Directionz since day one and has played a key 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 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.

Julie and her partner have two young children. She also enjoys walking her dog, spending quality time with 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 in into Careers Practice.

She is crucial to the smooth running of Southern Directionz on 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 services 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.

Shirley Pratt - Numeracy and Literacy Tutor

Shirley joined the Southern Directionz team in 2014 and is responsible for literacy and numeracy training. In your first appointment with Shirley she finds out your interests and relevant learning experiences, along with figuring out your literacy and/or numeracy strengths and gaps. Following on from there, she works out a programme to help bring you up to speed so that you have the skills to cope with the literacy and numeracy demands of adult life.

Shirley has a Bachelor of Arts in Education, a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts in Education, a Diploma in Teaching and about 25 years of classroom teaching. She draws on her wide knowledge and experience in education as she works with people of all ages and abilities. Along with the work she does with Southern Directionz clients, Shirley enjoys working at Southern REAP where she looks after gifted and talented children and  helps adults gain qualifications. After her own consultation with Dave, Shirley became a marriage celebrant. She enjoys this role and finds it fits in well with her desire to see people thriving.

Shirley says that supporting people in the transitions and celbrations of life is a privilege in the role she plays in our community. She brings vision, wisdom and humour to many situations

Juliana Baxter - Career Consultant

The newest member of our team, Juliana has over 20 years of business management experience having worked in a wide variety of leadership roles in the finance, insurance, retail and tourism industries. She has a particular passion for customer service excellence and relishes working with individuals and teams to help them understnad and develop their skills and strenghts inorder to achieve sucess. Julieana is experienced in recruitment, training development and delivery, performance appraisal, coaching and mentoring. She also has a wealth of knowledge in respect of health and safet and risk management as well as job task analysis and process documentation.

To complement her practical experience Juliana also holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies which she completed through extramural study.

When not at work or spending time with family and friends, Juliana likes to take on different creative and craft projects from patchwork and handcrafts to interior design and decoration, she is up for the challenge.