CONNECT participants have loved this year’s peer mentoring groups! So we are squeezing in a shorter, express version to support you to end 2020 more inspired than exhausted: Join us for FREE Connect Express, run in three 90 minute sessions.

CONNECT brings together small groups of 5-6 people who meet online to explore and deepen their CLD practice.  Sessions are hosted by an Inspiring Communities facilitator and provide a great way to:

• reflect on what’s happening in communities across your region

• get feedback on new ideas you’re keen to try or around tough stuff you’re facing

• build your CLD support network


About our facilitator, Tessa:

Tēnā koe

Firstly I’m a mother and grandmother who found my core sense of connection and belonging through natural medicine, to Mother Earth.

Growing up as a punk in 80’s England, I learnt the importance of social activism, as well as what it was like to be part of a minority group that was stigmatised for challenging the rules of the status quo.

For the last 28 years I have worked and been an active participant in the community and social sectors of Tauranga Moana and Hauraki.  Grass roots roles such as community advocacy around mining, social and community development, and Strengthening Families facilitation, contribute to my understanding of community diversity and the importance of connection.

I have been proud to represent community in local and international forums around social and environmental topics such as early intervention, youth violence, social impact research, and alternative housing options. My work has taken me to Australia, Mexico, USA and England, but Aotearoa is where my heart, and my descendants are.

I am currently involved in CLD projects in Katikati, subsequent to completing a community-led, participative research project – “Katikati Hearts and Minds”, which won Community Research Aotearoa’s Billie’s Award for Strengths Based community research in 2019.

I co-chair in bi-cultural governance for SociaLink in Tauranga Moana, and also provide Professional Supervision for social workers through my company, Natural Assets Ltd, as well as delivering facilitation training for Strengthening Families. 

Personal time spent within Cook Island anau and Māori community validates my belief that intrinsic relationships are key to strengthening communities.  I acknowledge that my personal disconnection from my own roots has drawn me to Mātauranga Māori, and to exploring the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi in taking the journey of connection and partnership to each other as people, and to the land.

I am blessed to be aligned with Inspiring Communities and look forward to being of service in whatever capacity is useful.

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