Farewelling Selena Armstrong

By NZISM Master account


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM. On Friday of this week, NZISM will mark the end of an era. After nearly seven years in the seat our inaugural CEO, Selena Armstrong, leaves us to take up an exciting opportunity as CEO of another organisation in the OHS sector and we would like to take this opportunity to wish her every success in her new role. NZISM has achieved huge growth under Selena’s stewardship and while I can’t recognise everything she’s achieved in this short article, I’d like to acknowledge some key accomplishments.

  • Growth. In 2020, just three years into her leadership, Selena succeeded in hitting a major milestone of 2,000 members and thanks to positive word-of-mouth and member recommendations we have continued on this upward trajectory. Today, we have 2,700 members which means, if the HASANZ estimate of 3,500 is accurate, NZISM supports 77% of the generalist OHS workforce in New Zealand.
  • Restructure. To prepare for growth, organisations need leadership structures that allow room for development and Selena oversaw the move from an Advisory Board to a Governance Board. This included the establishment and the setup of the NZISM Senior Leadership Team with two key members elected from branch leadership. It meant that our strategic direction could be set by an experienced board whose focus was sector leadership whilst our delivery of core benefits remained member-centric.
  • Accreditation. Selena managed the project to revitalise the internationally aligned NZISM accreditation programme ensuring it recognises both academic learning and workplace experience. The programme now attracts nearly 200 applications a year and accredited employees are sought after by some of NZ’s biggest employers.
  • CPD programme. The arrival of Covid and lockdowns to NZ meant NZISM’s CPD programme had to change overnight, and Selena introduced a hugely successful online webinar programme, ultimately creating a more equitable learning experience for members no matter where they were in the country. Through this programme we were also able to continue our National Roadshows, bringing international superstars to our shores via Zoom – including Nippin Anand, Sidney Dekker and John Green.
  • Continuity and support. By hiring a dedicated group of admin superstars, Selena has succeeded in her goal of ensuring that NZISM is set up for whatever exciting new turns the future takes in our constantly changing world.
I would like to personally thank Selena for all her hard work and support during my time as President of NZISM. On behalf of the Governance Board, the SLT, the national office team and all members, we recognise Selena for everything she has done for NZISM. Her vision and mahi has propelled us forward and her legacy will be forever woven into the fabric of NZISM.

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett
NZISM President