Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono | Update #24

Ngā mihi o te tau hou!  Happy New Year!

We hope you had a wonderful restful break over the festive season. We are blessed here in Aotearoa, that we were able to enjoy the festive season and enjoy the summer days without being in lockdown!

Before Christmas we advertised for Project Facilitators to join the team. We were inundated with many amazing candidates and had to narrow it down to eight new Project Facilitators. Last week the team came together from all over Aotearoa to hold a two day hui in Tāmaki Makaurau.

We are pleased to have a team of skilled practitioners who care deeply about social transformation and change, and who will contribute their energy and passion towards the success of this project. The primary purpose of the Project Facilitator role is to work on the Constellations – to help set up and support a diverse group that can work together on a common goal. The team of facilitators will be working across different sectors of society. They will work together to build relationships and trust within the group.

IACT is committed to being a Te Tiriti based organisation, and with the team, we will work hard to ensure that the project continues to work towards this. We want to make sure all members of the Constellations are treated fairly; with clear expectations and intentions; and able to share in opportunities and possibilities.

Meet the Project Facilitators!

Adrian Te Patu

Aotea, Kurahaupo

For four decades Adrian has worked for government departments, crown agencies, community organisations, iwi, and health providers including District Health Boards. In more recent years he has been a tutor, trainer, lecturer and an advisor in public health, particularly indigenous health. He represents New Zealand on the governing council of the World Federation of Public Health Associations and chairs the indigenous working group of the council. Adrian is also a member of the board of the Mental Health Foundation.

Keriana Tawhiwhirangi

Keriana is an inspirational leader, passionate about bringing out the best in others in a caring and encouraging environment. She sees every challenge as an opportunity and has proven ability in developing solutions with optimism. An experienced educator, facilitator, presenter with exceptional communication, management and administrative skills.

Keriana lives in Tolaga Bay on her ‘piece of paradise’. Her real job – waiting very impatiently for mokopuna!!

Graeme Storer

Graeme’s work experiences span multiple civil society, government, donor and private sector relationships here in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. He has facilitated dialogue within conflict and disaster-affected communities; promoted discussion of gender and sexualities and diversity and inclusion; supported learning for capacity development; and carried out evaluative research.

Graeme is committed to life-long, collaborative learning. In the Eastern Bay of Plenty (where he lives) he is part of a team of volunteers facilitating an Alternatives to Violence (AVP) programme. The programme draws on the healing power of kōrero to uncover new ways of responding to and transforming conflict. He is also learning Te Reo Māori, a journey that is allowing him to discover and deepen connections with his Te Whakatōhea whakapapa.

Anna Burgin

Anna is from Ōtepoti Dunedin and brings experience working in the not-for-profit sector, in youth development and volunteer management. She has both overseas and local experience. As well as being involved with IACT, she is currently completing a PhD exploring the receiving community in refugee resettlement. This project examines the impact of the New Zealand resettlement strategy from the ground up by focusing on volunteers’ diverse experiences.

Tim Pare

Tim is husband to Yasmene and father to Hadeeqa. He is an Edmund Hillary Fellowship Fellow, a cheerleader for young people and a charity founder. After an overnight stop during their honeymoon, he and his wife founded Tea Leaf Trust which works to end the exploitation of the colonial tea estate communities of Sri Lanka. The project, now run by 30 young people from the tea estate areas, has reduced the suicide rate amongst its alumni to less than 5% of the national average. Through this work, Tim became involved in collaborating to develop effective ways to engage the most marginalised young people and provide a counter narrative to hate and division. He is an educational and fundraising consultant for Global Unites, a peace and reconciliation NGO working in 13 post-conflict countries. He started First Give in the UK to enable young people to strengthen community safety nets through advocacy and social action. He runs The Funding Network NZ part-time, a charity that supports small charities from across Aotearoa to master their pitch and improve their ability to raise funds online.

Ara Alam-Simmons

Kia ora, Kemon acho, Hello!
Ko Ara Alam-Simmons tōku ingoa

Ara has a deep passion for connecting authentically with individuals, groups and communities from all walks of life.  Much of her connection has involved her working with young people and a diverse range of communities.  From running community women’s groups, creating positive interventions for youth within the justice system; writing a national programme for children to support wellbeing, to being involved in interfaith community events to build cross connection.  Her opportunities to serve have been many.  Drawing on a strengths based philosophy, she is able to weave her gifts of professional coaching, facilitation and design to curate and tailor learning opportunities that build capability, voice and agency.

Originally from the UK, where she was born and raised to Bangladeshi parents, now call Aotearoa home along with my own whānau.

Aram Wu

Kia ora 您好. Aram hails from Taiwan, having been raised in Aotearoa from a young age in both Pākehā and whāngai Māori settings.  He still maintains a deep connection to Taiwan and visits his elders for the deeper knowledge of his culture.

Some of the work he has extensively been involved in is: LGBTIQ+ youth development spaces within minority and migrant communities; travelling nationwide delivering workshops on the inclusivity of gender and sexuality to services providers and educational sectors; working in spaces with youth in South Auckland and the community in advocacy, mentoring, restorative justice, strength based and empowerment.

He is a trained facilitator in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and for the past few years has been focusing on his own community to weave cultures and the consciousness of responsibility that we have to this land.  His aspiration is for his tamariki who is in a kura kaupapa to thrive and flourish and to have the whakamana from not only whānau but by many.

Atarau Hamilton-Fuller

Atarau Hamilton-Fuller (from the tribes of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngarauru, Ngati Raukawa) has experience in youth & community planning, leadership, and development previously working as a Facilitator with a Social Enterprise, which focused on providing employment pathways for the most excluded and disadvantaged rangatahi (young people) in the Hawkes Bay region. His passion is education, training, and Indigenous rangatahi development and this is clear in everything he does. He was involved in the co-design of a social enterprise meeting the needs of the Hawkes Bay region since 2017 and is constantly ensuring Te Reo me Ōna Tikanga is a part of his journey in life

How to be a good ally!

Anjum was asked to be a speaker at the Ōtaki Summer Camp, an event for young people who care about political issues and ideas. It was a chance to hear and discuss interesting ideas, meet and get to know others who care, and explore local mountains, forests and rivers with experienced guides.  This three-day summer camp was open to anyone aged 17 – 30 years old.
Here are some points of the discussion:

  • Don’t speak on behalf: sometimes being silent and allowing the person who has lived it to speak. Amplify their voice.
  • Ask if they need support, don’t just jump in: for example I don’t have the energy to deal with a thing today, but someone decides to make it an issue on my behalf, and makes me the centre of attention when I didn’t want that. On another day, I might need you to speak up because I don’t feel safe to do so, or safe to be seen and heard. Check in with the person before taking action.
  • Listen: hang out where people with experiences different to yours are and listen to their issues so you can be informed. You don’t need to add to the discussion, don’t waste their time with ignorant questions which you could Google, don’t feel the need to defend yourself or your demographic. Just listen and try to understand.
  • An old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions: just because you didn’t mean to cause harm, doesn’t mean that you didn’t. Intent isn’t magical and when you’ve caused harm, don’t try to excuse it by saying you didn’t intend to.
  • Withholding emotion: suggested reading is White Women’s Tears by Ruby Hamad – don’t have a meltdown and make it all about yourself when someone is correcting you/upset at what you said or did. It does hurt when someone tells you you’re wrong, or a lot of someone’s in angry tones. At that time, better to log off, take some quiet reflective time, seek the support of friends and family. Don’t take the attention away from the person or community you harmed by making the issue your hurt feelings.
  • Apologies: don’t use “if anyone was offended” or tell people about your current personal problems or tell us that this isn’t the real you. Instead, take responsibility, don’t make excuses, say what you’re going to do better.
  • Check your assumptions: we all have multiple biases and stereotypes in our head that we think are absolute truths. Keep checking in with those and allow them to be challenged.

Mapping directory underway

We are currently putting together a mapping directory of groups and organisations working in the Belonging and Inclusion space which will be uploaded to our website in due course. If you would like to be included in this directory, please send through your organisation’s contact details to Talie at kiaora@inclusiveaotearoa.nz .