2019 Project Manager of the Year – Award Finalists

Falcon Training are once again proud to sponsor the Project Manager of the Year Award. This Award will be presented at “Be the Change”, the 25th Project Management Conference in Wellington at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa.

This award recognises a project manager’s significant achievement or sustained performance, in the project management of a project or multiple projects where PMBOK® principles have been applied and demonstrated in the previous year. The three award finalists are:

Glen Forber, Beca

Raewyn Cummings, Te Papa

Subra Yelewaram, TVNZ

Meet our finalists and find out about their superb contributions behind their nomination.

Glen Forber

Glenn Forber is a calm leader amidst a crisis. His leadership and diplomatic approach guides project teams to success. It’s the position he constantly puts himself in – while considering the best interest of the client, he is realistic and takes ownership of any project’s direction. He gives advice that needs to be heard rather than what others want to hear, always in a constructive and professional manner. He embodies the PMI ethics in this way and continues to give back to the discipline by mentoring others. ​


In early 2018 Glenn was tasked as the Project Director for the refurbishment of the Aotea Centre in Auckland, the leading civic arts centre in New Zealand. ​

The project comprised of both internal and external refurbishment with a total construction cost of $60m. The project internal works were completed in a six-month period with a non-negotiable completion date to allow the client to host one of their biggest events at the Centre.

“This has been a very challenging project which the Beca Team have tackled head on with an outstanding level of professionalism. They brought to the table their combined experience in risk, construction and stakeholder management, constantly driving an environment of collaboration between RFA, NZ Strong Group and the design team to find best for project solutions”  Jonathan Wilcken RFA – Director​  


Demonstrated a senior level of project management and project realignment at a senior level.

Raewyn Cummings

Raewyn sustained performance throughout this complex, high-pressure 3-year project, creating a world-class experience within business case time, resource and budget constraints. ​

This project achieved its goals in terms of design, accessibility, community outcomes and biculturalism – as well as its most ambitious aim: inspiring and motivating New Zealanders to take action to protect the natural world.  ​

Raewyn’s planning, documentation and management of the project using PMI tools was the backbone to this success. Her experience and initiative kept the team motivated and on track while creating an environment that allowed them to be as creative as possible.


Raewyn Cummings was the Project Manager for Te Papa’s new 1400 square metre Te Taiao | Nature zone. This complex $12 million capital project is the museum’s largest and most ambitious exhibition renewal so far. It involved:  ​

  • decanting and demolishing 20-year-old exhibitions and building a new gallery space which met current compliance regulations, ​
  • designing, developing and installing three new interactive, multi-sensory exhibitions that inspire wonder and action to protect the natural world, weaving mātauranga (Māori knowledge) with science in new ways, and ​
  • delivering and installing content across multiple digital, mechanical, object-rich, interactive, and graphic platforms. All materials and processes met world-class durability, accessibility and sustainability standards. ​

This project involved a cross-disciplinary internal team of 100 staff, dozens of stakeholders and subject experts including iwi and research institutes, and over 50 external development and build companies across physical and digital products. All these complex strands were managed through the Project Implementation Plan for resourcing, time, budget, and quality

“Raewyn Cummings has been an exceptional Project Manager for this complex project, Te Taiao | Nature. Te Taiao | Nature is a completely new long-term exhibition at Te Papa based on a close connection of Mātauranga Māori and Natural History. Raewyn’s ability to create a productive delivery team, from a combination of researchers, designers, digital producers, experience developers and a large suite of contractors and sub-contractors has been amazing. This complex project had construction outcomes, which needed to be accomplished in off-visitor hours, an enormous number of separate and bespoke interactive and mechanical devices and a large amount of digital content and hardware.” Dr Dean Peterson


Effective management of a complex design & delivery challenge

Subra Yelewaram

Subra has been somewhat of an unsung hero during his 5 years at TVNZ. Projects placed in his care succeed: they deliver the required outcomes to TVNZ within budget, and when Subra has led the full life-cycle they deliver on time. Subra does not rely on past success, established relationships or showmanship to lead his projects, though these do help. He gets straight to work establishing fit for purpose governance, plans and delivery structures for his projects. ​

He leads from the front, pushing through barriers he know he can move or quietly escalating where appropriate.


Subra started FY19 rescuing TVNZ’s largest project, which was running 6 behind schedule. Not only did he wrangle the complex platform replacement back to stability but was also able to cut over with no significant issues and close the project within budget. Subra then moved to a multi-million-dollar platform storage upgrade negotiating his way through difficult stakeholders to complete the project successfully on time and within budget.​

Finally Subra finished FY19 leading a project for new business which was successful largely thanks to the stakeholder leadership Subra demonstrated both internally and with the potential client. 


Effective management including project realignment.

Best of luck to all three of our finalists!