News | 24 June 2016

Accessibility leadership and public artistry are absolutely positively celebrated

Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian awards for June 2016 are set to celebrate two Wellingtonians making life better – and more interesting – for their fellow Capital citizens.

At 5.30pm next Wednesday 29 June at a meeting of the Wellington City Council, local tourism lynchpin Olivier Lacoua will be recognised for his significant leadership in accessibility action, both for his staff and his guests, and Stavros Kyriakides will be awarded for his commitment to eye-catching public art.

French-born and a proud Kiwi citizen, Olivier is currently the General Manager of CQ Hotels in Wellington. Through Olivier’s leadership, CQ Hotels Wellington was the first hotel group in New Zealand to train its employees in sign language and now, working with Workbridge, it employs numerous people with disabilities.

“Olivier’s good work reflects Wellington’s belief in the appreciating diversity and accessibility,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. 

“Being socially responsible is the right thing to do. We chose CQ Hotel as the place to launch Wellington City Council’s own accessible Emergency Preparedness Poster because of the commitment to community and inclusion.”

In addition to his work with accessibility, Olivier is a member of numerous economic development groups, volunteers at the Wellington soup kitchen and is more than halfway through a goal to run 100 marathons to support the Red Cross.

Since 2013, Stavros Kyriakides has been constructing public art of a very organic and temporal nature by constructing installations of driftwood, stones and shells along the beaches of the South Coast through to Evans Bay.

“Often dramatic, sometimes subtle, large and small, his works of art draw attention to the local materials and the views beyond in a very Wellington way,” says the Mayor.

“Inspired by the strong weather that sometimes pummels our wild South Coast and motivated to share a bit of fun with his fellow citizens, Stavros shapes, changes and maintains dozens of sculptures, without any other reward than the act of creation and our appreciation.”

APWs are civic awards which show the Council’s appreciation for people in Wellington who have made a significant (and usually voluntary) contribution to their community. 

The presentation of the awards will take place at the beginning of the full Council meeting on 29 June, due to begin at 5.30pm at Council’s Committee Room 1, at 101 Wakefield Street. Citations and contact details for the recipients available on request. Photos will also be available after the event.