Our Team

Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts

Strategy and Communications Lead

Rachel has established a strong track record working with organisations on strategy, advocacy, relationship management, project development and implementation as well as all forms of communications. She has worked in not for profit organisations, 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 strategic leadership that supports those that are authentically working towards change to achieve practical outcomes that are fit for purpose and sustainable.

Rachel’s passion for effective communication and thought-leadership continues to inform the way she has approaches her work. Her focused belief that achievable outcomes are made possible through clarity and collective wisdom speak to her strength as a collaborator; her ability to hear the stories, experience and motivations of people, organisations and communities, and her drive to help them translate these into positive action for true community-led development.

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; their two boys have flown the nest …mostly… they live a great life in Wellington.

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

Megan Courtney

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

Steve Jones-Poole

Steve Jones-Poole

Steve has had a career in the police for 22 years based in Christchurch. Previously, he was Sergeant in charge of the Riccarton Neighbourhood Policing Team. The Prevention First approach to policing was used to successfully reduce crime and to build community ownership and cohesion in the area. This approach changed how Steve saw policing and helped to fuel a passion for the prevention first approach. He has received accolades for the work he did in this area – receiving a Police commendation and most recently a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.

Steve is passionate about community-led development and has seen first hand how such initiatives can lead to stronger communities. In 2022, he has been engaged as a Coordinator for the Waitaha CLD Network,  contact him for more information by email: WaitahaCLD@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Kindra Douglas

Kindra Douglas

Kindra’s first foray into community development was successfully advocating to Council in the early 1980’s for land for the local netball club to establish courts and a clubhouse. Kindra’s direct experience has been in initiating and developing projects over 40 years within the sport, environment, housing, and the community sector. These projects have been awarded for their depth of innovation, collaboration and expanding relationships to include other sectors to enhance possibilities.

Kindra comes from eclectic work contexts – primary teaching, publishing and bookselling, arts and crafts, business administration, counselling, and group work, contributing now to her own enterprise of Enrich. She actively uses maps and models that support understanding of where we are now, and the wider system dynamics we are amongst, to inform how to develop achievable milestones for success. She always has an eye for the wider context of projects, seeking other connections to support the mission; to be generative and creative.

Kindra has a deep commitment to personal empowerment within the context of the community. This extends to her facilitation and mentoring work with Inspiring Communities – bringing that depth of experience and skill to finding ways to enrich what already exists in communities – knowing that what gets developed from the flaxroots by those who care is more likely to endure and make the most difference.

Email: kindra.douglas@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

David Hanna

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 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

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.

Natalie Gousmett

Natalie Gousmett

Programme Lead

Natalie lives in Whakatū Nelson with her partner Drew, their two young daughters and their senior pup. Natalie is a specialist in people management, leadership, community organisations, facilitation, and fundraising.

She has a strong commitment to social and environmental justice and has worked in the community sector for over 18 years in organisations as varied as Wellington Rape Crisis, the Wilderness Canoe Trust, Nelson Arts Festival, Victory Community Centre, Nelson Women’s and Children’s Refuge and many more.

Natalie has a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies and a Diploma for Graduates in Management from University of Otago, a Certificate in Professional Supervision from Weltec, a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management from Unitec and a Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori from Te Wananga o Aotearoa.  While CLD is new to Natalie in many ways it is also a natural fit for her experience and background.

In her spare time Natalie loves learning Te Reo, singing, climbing, skiing, swimming, mountain biking and sharing the outdoors of beautiful Te Tau Ihu with her family.

Email: natalie.gousmett@inspiringcommunities.org.nz
Mobile: 0274 126 280

Kerry Jenner

Kerry Jenner

Kerry has an extensive background in education, underpinned by her desire to see greater inclusion, more voices given credibility, and greater equality, all leading to changes that make learning accessible for all. She is especially interested in supporting adults to engage in further learning.

Her work is values based, from a strong social justice agenda. Within education, Kerry’s work spans leadership across the compulsory sector education, and includes professional development for adults. She has a strong interest in conflict resolution, and the development of customised restorative practice.

Kerry is also a narratively-based, registered counsellor, committed to working with people to access their own stories of strength. This philosophical position is similarly applied to her group work and facilitation. Facilitation skills and evaluation skills are connected to develop potential with the teams and communities in which she is engaged.

She enjoys moving from big picture strategy, to detailed analysis and critique in order to support others to reach their goals.

You can contact Kerry at associate@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Kat McLennan

Kat McLennan

Communications Lead

Kat has had 20 years working in design, marketing and communications spanning a number of industries including printing and sign manufacture, events, SaaS and the NGO sector (museums, heritage, conservation, advocacy). This diversity brings a depth of experience to her storytelling, and a good grasp of the many mediums through which we can make connections with our communities. In more recent years, she’s focused on the digital side of things, and enjoys the dynamic of this ever-changing environment.

With a BA in Communications Design from the University of Otago and a Graduate Diploma in Museum & Heritage Studies from Victoria University, Kat is a keen learner and actively seeks opportunities to expand her knowledge. She is excited to uncover more about community-led development and sharing positive outcomes for communities.

A busy mum to one, Kat lives south of Ōtepoti/Dunedin with her partner and daughter where they live in a rural community. A passionate champion for sustainability and the environment, much of her spare time is spent on the land, growing food for herself, whānau and friends.

You can reach Kat on comms@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

Lynnette Holland

Lynnette Holland

With over 30 years of experience in administration across a range of sectors, I have developed a deep understanding of what it takes to excel in this field. Most recently, I have been gaining exposure to the Primary Industries Sector in my current role as Student/Admin Support for the Emerging Leaders Programme, which has gained momentum over the last three years with cohorts from Horticulture NZ, Dairy NZ, and the private sector.

In 2018, I was introduced to the Ag Sector while working for an Agtech company in Mosgiel. During my two and a half years there, I organized their company events, including large agricultural events throughout New Zealand, and worked closely with the sales team to support their online presence and increase business. Social media content creation quickly became a superpower, which proved especially valuable when the sales team were grounded due to COVID-19.

Before my time with this Agtech company, I spent 7 and a half years in a small Western Australian mining town before returning to Dunedin in 2015. Shortly after my return, I secured two shorter fixed-term contracts, first as a Team Support member for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) and then as an Administrative Assistant for the Brain Health Research Centre at the University of Otago. Working for NZTE gave me an excellent overview of local businesses in Dunedin and introduced me to the startup culture that is prevalent in the city.

Now, in 2023, with almost 8 years of experience in Dunedin, I have valuable local knowledge and contacts necessary as a contractor living and working in a small city. I am excited to be a part of Inspiring Communities as the Admin and Comms Support, where I bring my diverse skillset and extensive industry knowledge to support and enhance our initiatives.

Our Board

Donna Provoost

Donna Provoost

Chair

Donna is a values-driven leader providing strategic and thought leadership to social and economic issues. She is an economist with over twenty years of experience as a researcher, policy analyst and manager working across quantitative data and qualitative evidence. Donna has extensive knowledge of the machinery of government, as well as a solid understanding the community sector, and the factors that contribute good outcomes for New Zealanders. Much of her professional work has centred on working for better outcomes for disadvantaged groups.

Donna came to New Zealand from Canada 18 years ago, and she has worked in Ministries of Education, Justice and Science and Innovation and the Children’s Commissioner. She currently leads the Generational Investment Unit at the Ministry of Transport. She brings her background in strategic policy, community social and economic development, human-centred design and collaboration to all she does.

Donna lives with her husband and teenager in Johnsonville. She joined the Inspiring Communities Board in 2016 and has been Chair since 2017.

Amy Irvine

Amy Irvine

Amy Irvine is a passionate social justice advocate who is committed to seeing communities thrive. Born in Gqeberha, South Africa and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, she has participated in her local and wider community ever since High School when first joining the Upper Harbour Youth Council. She is a strong proponent for community-led change and making use of the wealth of knowledge within community groups.

Currently a Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Global Studies student at the University of Auckland, Amy is eager to apply her learning for the benefit of others. Amy has represented rangatahi at Auckland Council on their Youth Advisory Panel and Climate Change Working Group. She is actively involved with several community organisations focusing on upholding Te Tiriti, sustainability, and creating equitable outcomes across Aotearoa.

Di Rump

Di Rump

Di (Te Uri o Ngai Tara ki Mua Ūpoko o Te Ika me Ngati Raukawa ) commutes to her hometown of Taitoko (Levin) to undertake the role of Chief Executive at Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, after having a corporate career in banking and finance with some SOE time in the mix. A Leadership NZ and Harvard Leadership Programme alumni, Di believes she’s exceptionally lucky that being Māori and working for her iwi in a kaupapa Māori environment automatically sets her up to be in a mindful leadership kaupapa. ”I believe strongly in social justice and servant leadership. Always have. To be an authentic leader requires being open to possibility no matter the challenges and barriers – and always putting people first. I hold dear the whakatauki, He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.”
On top of her job, Di serves on a number of Alliance, governance and community forums.

Min Vette

Min Vette

Min grew up among both her mother’s people Ngā Paerangi of Kaiwhaiki marae Whanganui and her father’s people Ngāti Konohi of Whāngārā marae Gisborne. Her  understanding of the world has been shaped by her early and lifelong experiences in and around these two marae with extended whānau. Mātauranga – learning about ancestors, mahi – roles and responsibilities, manaaki – caring, hauora – hygiene, haumaru – safety and tiaki – support have all been a part of growing up around the marae. Min’s early professional background started in the woolsheds, where she developed strong work ethics around being reliable, working as a team and pushing your potential, i.e. sweating!
After graduating from Waikato with a degree in Māori she worked for Iwi for ten years before moving into the public sector. She has held various senior roles at Southland DHB, and the Ministries of Education, Social Development and Oranga Tamariki. During which time she gained a master’s degree in management from Victoria.
Min has seen positive initiatives grown out of and inspired by community, whānau and hapū but sadly also the demise of these as a result of racism and not understanding te ao Māori. She’d like to support whānau and hapū led initiatives and contribute at a board level towards advice and decisions that help to keep whānau positive and motivated.

Kena Duignan

Kena Duignan

Kena Duignan grew up in Pōneke, and lives there still with her whānau. She has a particular focus on sustainability issues especially climate change. She has a Masters in Environmental Studies from Victoria University and has experience working to communicate heavy issues with a range of communities in a way that inspires agency, hope and action. She has worked across a variety of roles – from grass roots kai sovereignty mahi, to supporting development of sustainable food policy, and through to providing communication and media advice to Members of Parliament in their hectic work.

She now works to tautoko communities who are leading their own change as Community Innovation Lead at Wesley Community Action, and recently has spent a year on a project with Wellington City Council, supporting communities to design and take their own action on climate change in the city.  As a tangata Tiriti, (and a mother to tamariki Māori) Kena is committed to working in a te Tiriti honouring way recognising all the koha that this unique te Tiriti partnership offers us.

Judy Kumeroa

Judy Kumeroa

Nō te kāhui maunga, ko Ngāti Tamakana me Ngāti Tūwharetoa ōku iwi.

Based in Whanganui, my villages are Te Ora Hou Whanganui and Stone Soup community.  I have been in Te Ora Hou (kaupapa Karaitiana, kaupapa Māori, with a commitment to the development of rangatahi Māori) since 1992.  Stone Soup began in 2007 as a residents-led response to happenings in our neighbourhood, and it has continued to thrive and evolve as needed.

Married to my hero Greg Tichbon since 1995, we have three stunning kids who have grown up in these villages and been shaped beautifully by those influences.

In recent years I have led Te Ora Hou Whanganui in deepening our practice through my research for the Master of Professional Practice:  Coaching Leadership (2019) and Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership (2023).  These learnings are shared with the annual Whanganui Community Led Development Conferences where I deliver leadership workshops.

I consider it a grand opportunity to serve in Inspiring Communities for a season, to support this kaupapa which has supported our Stone Soup over the past decade.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Jo initially comes from a corporate management background within the FMCG sector but for the last decade has been skipping about in Community Led Development and currently is the Kaitoko Mātauranga at Hokonui Runaka. When it comes to CLD, Jo considers herself to be a positive disrupter, translator and spotter of talent (everyone has strengths to bring to the table). Within Te Ao Māori, the journey is different for everyone but navigating professional organisations whilst balancing Hapū, Iwi and Whānau aspirations has been a very steep learning curve.

Jo loves to meet people, learn from diverse lifestyles and encourage and celebrate when humans are happy. Known to have played some rugby, vocalist, MC and terribly unhelpful on the Titi islands- kinaesthetically impractical but can write a great manual on how to and convince a roopu to join in.