Malindi McLean (Taylor 2005-06) - OC of the Month - May 2022
Tuesday, 31 May 2022
For our May 2022 ‘OC of the Month’ we reconnected with Old Collegian Malindi MacLean (Taylor, 2005-06) to hear about her role as CEO for the Outward-Bound Trust.
Malindi’s appointment to CEO of the NZ Outward Bound Trust in January 2021 makes her the Outdoor Education charity’s first female CEO in its 60-year history.
Malindi was our King’s sportswomen of the year in 2006 and graduated whilst training to be a competitive cyclist, she represented New Zealand that same year at both the World Junior Cycling Champs in Belgium 2006 and at the Oceania Champs, she won the U19 Women’s 500m Time Trial and was runner up in the U19 Women’s Sprint. Malindi also won and was the recipient of a Scholarship to the World Cycling Institute in Aigle, Switzerland.
Fast forward a few years and Malindi has a degree in Politics and Psychology under her belt and has worked for some big-name brands, including being head of Coca-Cola Amatil’s hot beverage business, before moving into financial services and leading transformation delivery at IAG Insurance followed by her role prior to Outward Bound which was General Manager at Hubbards Food.
We caught up with Malindi in between Outward-Bound camping expeditions and off road 4 x4 adventures to hear about her time at King’s, her experience as a competitive cyclist, and her role at Outward Bound.
Malindi is pictured a) with her daughter Anakiwa - Kalifi who is accompanying Malindi to one of the Outward Bound satellite bases in the Sounds and b) as a young New Zealand cycling representative.
In sixth form we went to Ahuroa in Puhoi for PE camp. We went caving for a few hours underground and found a huge cave lit up by glow-worms called “Hong Kong City”. It blew me away. It was a memorable life moment, not just a memorable school moment.
Mr (Perry) Cunningham, who was the Athletics Coach. He always treated you like an equal, with respect and kindness. It was valuable to be taken seriously by adults when you were a teenage girl.
I live a pretty amazing life, and I’m really happy. My partner Howie & I have a beautiful daughter, and a big huntaway dog, and we spend a lot of time with whānau and doing things we love (mostly in the outdoors). We’ve adventured all over the world and are now enjoying living in Tamaki Makaurau. For work, I’m the Chief Executive of Outward-Bound NZ, which is the best job in the world. My entire working energy is put towards connecting young people with nature and empowering them to change for the better.
Actually, I was really proud to finish my degree. I had a stop-start go at university, as I was competing overseas, and eventually put it on the backburner when I started working. It always felt like unfinished business, so I chipped away at it in the evenings and eventually finished (before I was 30!) I was already running a multi-million dollar business by that stage, but I have found what I learned useful in my working life, and it was symbolic to go back and finish it.
That we take collective action against climate change & biodiversity loss and protect te ao turoa (our natural world) for my daughter and her generation. That would definitely help me sleep at night. Too much to ask?