Rachel Roberts

Strategy and Communications Lead

Rachel has established a strong track record working with organisations on strategic and operational communications, as well as project-based work. She has worked in not for profit organisations and business and government agencies as diverse as philanthropy and Search and Rescue. Rachel has supported, driven and consulted on a wide range of activities. She has worked on a number of cross-sector projects and forums aimed at creating collaborative responses to the issues at hand. Rachel is most interested in delivering communication leadership that provides clarity and leads to practical outcomes that are fit for purpose and achievable.

In a previous life, she was a journalist and radio producer working with, amongst others, Kim Hill and Linda Clark, on the National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme.

Rachel is married to Chris; they have two teenage boys and live a great life in Wellington.

Mobile 027 415 1896
Email rachel.roberts@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Megan Courtney

While hailing from small town New Zealand, Megan spent 15 years working in local government in Auckland.  Her former Waitakere City Council roles focused on facilitating and brokering sector, place-based and citywide partnerships to improve community outcomes.  She also worked with the Department of Internal Affairs to produce practical partnering tools and resources for those working at the collaboration coalface.

When it comes to community-led development Megan describes herself as a doer, thinker, writer, planner, teacher and learner – with being part of the Inspiring Communities team enabling her to combine all six skills and passions! She’s a firm believer in the power of local people and places to do amazing things and loves working alongside communities to help make locally-led action happen.

Nelson based Megan is a founding member of the Inspiring Communities core team, and (amongst many things!) leads coordination of IC Team activities.

Mobile: 027 678 8622
Email: Megan.Courtney@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Kindra Douglas

Kindra Douglas was the Founding Director of Victory Community Centre, located on the Victory Primary School campus in Nelson. The Centre has won a number of awards for its innovative work and partnership. Kindra was the founding Chair of Nelson Tasman Housing Trust which has gone on to develop 43 new homes for low income families and also offers a range of other housing supports.

Kindra has experience in education, crafts, counselling, retail books and publishing, and holds a wide range of community contexts.

Cissy Rock

Cissy Rock is committed to working with people to uncover what already exists and work in ways that value those impacted. She is not afraid to give her opinion and roll up her sleeves to help make things happen.

Cissy works with the dynamics of systems addressing symptoms of patronisation, inclusion /exclusion and how to build cohesion. With over 15 years experience working with communities and Local Government, she has found that integrity is at the heart of her work and at the heart of her trouble making.

Cissy set up Community Think Ltd in 2015, to stand in her belief that together we do make a difference, she is continuing to collaborate across Aotearoa undertaking campaigns, project development, change management, coaching, supervision workshops and facilitation.

Margy-Jean Malcolm

Margy-Jean Malcolm’s life has been informed by a community development lens since she began local neighbourhood work in the 1970s in Wellington. Her current teaching, research, voluntary and consultancy work builds on her experience in leadership, management and governance in a wide variety of not for profit sector organisations and central government policy work.

Her involvement with Inspiring Communities has included collaborative inquiry research, contributing to our “Learning by Doing” publication and subsequently developing the “leadership as learning” framework.

Margy-Jean facilitates learning for people working in or with communities and community organisations. She is a mentor to individuals, organisations and students seeking practice-based learning qualifications through Otago Polytechnic’s Capable NZ. She is a grandmother, mother, aunty, daughter, neighbour, volunteer, pracademic, lifelong learner and active citizen, seeking a more just, caring and sustainable world.

Barbara MacLennan

Based in the bountiful Bay of Plenty for over three decades, Barbara focuses on practical collaboration around complex local issues and supporting community-led development practice.

She has lived and worked in many places across Aotearoa, and has worked in local and central government settings, as well as the community and business sectors. Along with many others, she helped establish Inspiring Communities in 2009. “If we want sustainable change to the huge challenges we face, we need focused and determined cross-sector effort which actively engages the wisdom of local communities.”

Barbara’s roles include project and event leadership and management, contributing to national publications, and CLD advisory and consultancy work to help generate income for the organisation.

Mobile: 027 425 2277
Email: Barbara.MacLennan@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Denise Bijoux

Originally from Taranaki, Denise is a visionary community activator with extensive practical and strategic experience in locally-led change, community building, placemaking, research and evaluation. She works with communities and groups as well as iwi, hapū, organisations, government and business and is focused on inspiring, activating and understanding locally-led change. Denise runs Catalyse Network and delivers the annual Placemaking Week in Tāmaki Makaurau; she is also a member of the Aotearoa regional team of PlacemakingX. She was the founding Chairperson of Gribblehirst Community Hub, a former Board member of the Jeder Institute, coordinated The Exchange Collaborative and is the current Chair of Morningside Urban Market Garden. Denise was a recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2012 and travelled through the US and Canada exploring the influence of CLD approaches on wider systems change.

She believes in investing in people as much as projects and enjoys sharing community-led approaches and experience from across Aotearoa as well as helping to bring some of the wealth of information from all over the world to those working and living in community-led ways here. Denise joined the Inspiring Communities team as a part-time contractor in 2010.

Mobile: 021 245 6898
Email: Denise.Bijoux@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

David Hanna

David is a fourth generation Pākehā, a partner in a civil union, a father of four children, a Director of a Social Change/Service Organisation (Wesley Community Action) and CLD Influencer and Practice Lead for Inspiring Communities.

He has worked as a national NGO youth director, a policy manager in Central Government, a consultant on youth development, a trainer in policy analysis and now a director.

Key themes across his activities are bicultural/Treaty of Waitangi perspectives, systems/holistic action/thinking, positive child and youth development and grounding what we do in an authentic spirituality.

David is currently working in Inspiring Communities as CLD Influencer and Practice Lead.

Email: david.hanna@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Gwyn John

Gwyn is passionate about people and social justice, and thrives to design a better future for people and the planet through her mahi.
With a background in Community Development and Social Work, Gwyn has been actively involved in the Community and Social Service Sector for nearly 30 years in a wide variety of roles, working with local government, community organisations, tertiary education, and the volunteer sector.
Gwyn has a passion for learning and finding solutions for, and opportunities in, the complexities of our world. In her pursuit of understanding, she’s not afraid to challenge injustices and structures that no longer serve the community.

Born and raised in Ahuriri, Gwyn calls Te Matau-a-Maui home, where she lives with her 17-years old son.

Anna Parker

Supporting the growth of strong and resilient communities is at the heart of Anna’s mahi. Anna has diverse experience of grassroots community development – having worked on peace building efforts with indigenous women leaders in Bougainville (PNG) to activating the community-led vision for the Valley Project in North Dunedin.

Youth development is a particular passion – often Anna is called in to build processes with young people from the ground up – and to enhance the ways groups and organisations work with young people.

Anna is a reflective practitioner and a systems thinker committed to social justice. Anna thrives when working cross-culturally and enjoys supporting communities to navigate their journey with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Currently Anna is director of Mātāwai Consultancy and supports a number of Otago based organisations to think strategically and grow their impact. Mātāwai offers facilitation, mentoring, strategic advice, research, Te Tiriti o Waitangi education, event and project management.

Originally from Ōtautahi/Christchurch, Anna has called Ōtepoti/Dunedin her family home for more than 10 years.