The Team and Board – Te Kapa me Te Poari
The Inspiring Communities team is a virtual organisation consisting of people from all over the country who have skills, expertise and experience in CLD approaches.
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
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
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’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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Mobile: 0274 126 280
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 (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 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.