Salmond College

Salmond College Te Kāreti o Salmond

The Salmond College staff prides itself on being a supportive, inclusive team. We are here to help residents in all aspects of residential life.

Nick Bates – Head of College

Nick joined Salmond College in December 2019, having been Head of Cumberland College, another residential college at Otago University, for the past 6 1/2 years. A former secondary school teacher, school guidance counsellor and youth worker, Nick is a University of Otago graduate and has worked with young people throughout his career. Nick lives in the Head's residence with his wife Rachel and sons George and Harry. Nick's daughters Kezia and Heidi also live in Dunedin.

Richard Hewitt – Deputy Head of College

Richard is The Deputy Head of College and has worked at Salmond College in this capacity since 2004. He is a University Of Otago Graduate and lives onsite with partner Vickie and family. Richard is primarily responsible for the academic programme, the pastoral care of residents and the management of the Residential Assistants. Richard works primarily in the afternoons and evenings. He is a connoisseur of good rock music, expecially from the 70s and 80s and enjoys tramping and travelling when he gets a break from college life.

Kaeli Lalor - Assistant Head of College

Kaeli is completing her Masters of Science in Geology and will be working part time until April, when she will be fulltime. Kaeli has been a Residential Assistant at other Colleges at Otago, and brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the role. Kaeli's focus is the wellbeing and pastoral care of residents, the welfare of the RL team, the intercollege events programme, sustaiability and volunteering. Kaeli lives in the Macalister Wing of the College.

Operations Manager and Administration Team

Barbara Wilkes (Senior Administrator), Wendy Turner (Administrator) and Lynley Bailey (Administrator) are the engine room of the Salmond College office. They support residents with their day-to-day admin needs and oversee the collection of residents' fees. Barbara also oversees the administrators at Knox College. Barbara, Wendy and Lynley are key members of the staff team who are often the first point of contact for residents at our centrally located office and they each bring energy and experience to their roles. 


Stewart is the Operations Manager of both Salmond College and Knox College. Stewart is an experienced manager, overseeing significant work in a number of departments at the University of Otago prior to his current role. Stewart oversees the administration, property, food service aspects of the operation, and is continually seeking to improve systems to give students the best possible experience. 

Property Manager and Maintenance Officer

David Kennedy (Property Manager), Paul Rutter (Maintenance Officer) and Bevan Drew (Gardener) are the members of our property team. Dave and Paul ensure the buildings and facilities are well-maintained  and are responsive to day-to-day issues around the College. Bevan keeps the vast grounds at both Salmond and Knox Colleges immaculate.

Residential Leaders 2021

Nine Residential Assistants (RLs) make up the team of student staff at Salmond. These are senior students who have previously experienced residential college life and are here to lead and serve in the community. There is always an RL on duty in the evening when the administration staff have finished for the day.

Each area of the College has a designated RL to assist residents with general pastoral care, facilitate social activities, help residents adjust to communal life, and help with study or other issues.

RLs spend time in training before the College opens in February, to build their skills for the role and bond as a team. If you are a resident at Salmond College this year, the RLs are your big brothers and sisters who are always available for advice or just a friendly chat.

Sushanth Yadhav

Hey guys! Hope you are excited for an amazing year! I’m Sushanth (if you hear people yell out sushi that’s also me 😊 ) and I’ll be one of the RL’s welcoming you this year!

I’ve lived in Dunedin a little over 3 years studying the sciences and have spent most days being frigidly cold (lord praise the free unlimited heating at Salmond). However, the weather has never stopped me from enjoying many of my hobbies like running, playing badminton and dancing.

This year at the mighty college of Salmond, I’m thrilled to support a whole bunch of you through your transition to a home away from home. We are going to have so much fun embracing the many events Salmond’s will host for you throughout your time here, there’s something for everyone! I can guarantee you’re going to make unforgettable memories and long-lasting friendships!

Fun fact about me that’s probably not that fun but is a fact regardless: I took Latin for 3 years and can read Latin and I like juggling, both life and balls. Hope that was fun.

I look forward to meeting you all!

Sushi 😊

Pankhuri Bedekar

Hey guys, my name is Pankhuri (punk-oo-ree) and I am so excited to be back as one of your RL’s for 2021! I’m from Auckland and I’m studying human resources with a minor in psychology. My interests include sketching and volunteering. Salmond is a very homely environment and I would encourage you all to get involved in our college activities. I thoroughly enjoyed being an RL in 2020, and I can’t wait to meet you all; 2021 is going to be amazing.

Conner Besley

Hi, I’m Conner. I was born and raised in Hamilton. There I went to Hamilton Boys high school for my secondary education and now am currently studying a BCOM in accounting and finance. I like to do a lot of travelling as it is an interest of mine. Looking back on my time as a first-year resident at Salmond, the thing that made most memorable is the experiences with friends and the homely environment that Salmond has. Having been an RL in 2020 I wanted to come back again in 2021 to once again live at Salmond and work with some new residents at what feels like home.

Michelle Moraga Torres

Hello, my name is Michelle. My family moved to New Zealand from Chile when I was 9 and I have lived in a few different areas, mainly around Hamilton and Auckland. My interest surround art and travelling. Living in Salmond College as a first-year resident was a great experience as I got to meet great people and helped get me involved directly into the Dunedin student life. I found the college to have a very homely vibe and the staff were incredibly kind, and so I returned in 202 as an RL. I loved it so much I’m glad to be back and part of it once again.

Sione Tonga Nau

My name is Sione Tonga Nau, I am 19 years of age and I am a New Zealand born Tongan. I can speak fluent Tongan and one of my many interests is embracing my culture and the diverse cultures New Zealand has in store. I am interested in sports, culture dance, music, and just helping out people where I can. I am from Central Auckland and born and raised in Mt Roskill and Pt Chevalier. The reason why I want to be a RL is because I want to help people around the community and also help students make the first year transition from High school to University a little easier.

Elle Chotiwanich

Hi everyone, I’m Elle. I’m from Thailand and I’m studying Bachelor of Design. My hobby are horse riding and baking. I also love playing sports and spending time outdoors. In my first year at Salmond College I had so much fun, made so many friends and gained many amazing experiences. Last year I worked as an RL and really loved supporting the students on my floor, and I was sad to see them leave! I can't wait to meet the 2021 residents and I’m sure you all will have fun and feel like home at Salmond College. 

Charlotte McManus

Hey everyone my name is Charlotte, but call me Char :) I am from Wellington but have also lived in Australia and the Netherlands while growing up. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Teaching to become a primary school teacher but have also dabbled in psychology and sport exercise sciences while at uni. In my spare time, I love to play sport especially rugby, hockey and cricket but I also love watching formula car racing!!

Salmond is a hidden gem and I know you’ll all have such a great time here so get ready to get amongst everything the ‘Mond’ has to offer and I can't wait to meet you all super soon!!

Lam Tran

Heya guys! I'm Lam, but I also go by Rickie. Born in Wellington, but raised in Hastings, where I attended Hastings boys High (the real HBHS) before coming to Dunedin. I'm currently a fourth-year BSci student studying Neuroscience. Fun fact, my interests are: Badminton, Squash, Powerlifting, Muay Thai and tattoo designing. As well as being a fourth-year student, this will be also my fourth year at Salmond, so I'd like to say that I've experienced a lot of what the college has to offer. last year I enjoyed the residents I worked with on Gray 3, and I am looking forward to another year at Salmond and being a part of the diverse community that makes this place so special. This has become my home away from home with so many memories. I hope you guys have the same experience.

Shaquille Azrul Rashid

I am Shaquille, and as well as loving Manchester United and Salmond College, I am a serious student of Sports and Exercise Science (SPEX). I so enjoyed my two previous years at Salmond that I came back as an RL and I love giving back to the community. I am heavily involved in organising sports and have pride in the 'Mond. One of the best things about college life is the friends I have made and the support to be found in the community.