Creative Welly Episode #36 | Laurinda Thomas & Guy Marriage

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Laurinda Thomas, Advocate for libraries, digital equity, and public spaces.

Curious librarian, local government person, optimist. I like kicking the tyres on stuff. I was once called the consummate public servant and I’m still not quite sure how to take that comment.

My career keeps on coming back to libraries. They’re so amazing! Who would dream up a library these days? I love their potential, the people they can help. They are such satisfying places to make things happen.

I like to make things happen. Finding the best opportunities out of a crisis. Getting in the thin end of the wedge. Figuring stuff out. My career has been about turning problems into good stuff: in libraries, IT, archives, information management.

In the weekends I watch the kids swim and the broccoli grow. Sometimes it rains, and we watch Disney movies.

Guy Marriage, Architect

Guy Marriage is an Architect. Teaching construction at Victoria University in Wellington, and practising architecture at First Light Studio, he is an architecturaholic and a bookaholic too. He not only reads lots of books, but writes them as well – Tall, Medium, MAD. And get this: he raves about buildings, and space, and knows a thing or two about libraries as well.

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Creative Welly Episode #35 | Freda Wells & Dan Neely

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Freda Wells, Curator / Communications Advisor / Yoga teacher / mum

My curiousity about people, behaviour and the invisible forces between things, and my tendency to daydream, doodle, and sympathise with the underdog, have carved a winding life path around many countries, conversations and adventures.

In Europe, seeing our ecological trajectory, I added environmental science to my mishmash of uni papers, including psychology, neuropsyc, french, philosophy, graphic design, and music.

My work ‘portfolio’ includes comms & engagement advisor for the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee, teaching yoga, and curating The Kiwi Diary – a diary designed to share art and ideas that are good for people and planet.

I see many global woes as social in nature, that we need to “bring heart back”. We need to better understand how our inner world constructs our outer world, and the importance of psychological safety, I’m excited about co-curating experiences to cultivate these!

Dan Neely, Manager Community Resilience | Wellington CDEM Group Recovery

Dan Neely is the Manager of Community Resilience and Group Recovery Manager at the Wellington Emergency Management Office (WREMO). Dan is a community development practitioner – who happens to work in the Emergency Management.

He started in this field more than 20 years starting as a Peace Corps Volunteer working in the recovery of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and later with the International Organisation for Migration in Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day Tsunami.

He leads a team of passionate and innovative people who make a real difference to peoples’ lives. Their work has been adopted by cities across Aotearoa, Australia, USA and Canada.

Originally from Arizona, he also knows a good taco when he sees one.

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Creative Welly Episode #34 | Bernadette Casey & Tan Huynh

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Bernadette Casey, Textile and circular economy specialist

Co-Founder of UsedFULLY which leads Aotearoa-New Zealand’s transition to a to a low carbon, circular economy by implementing new technologies and business models at scale. Ensuring the full value of textile resources are maximised, to minimise the impacts of what we clothe and protect ourselves with. A frequent guest speaker on Stewardship and the Environment from a clothing perspective, she has presented her research on systemic change and circular systems at a number of international conferences, including the Global Fashion Conference. An Edmund Hillary Fellow she was awarded a University of Liverpool Dissertation of the Year for her Masters research into ethical purchasing. Bernadette believes the most effective way to solve our greatest challenges is through collaboration.

Tan Huynh – Manager, Impact Investing Network

Tan’s varied background has taken him across startups, corporate and government in diverse sectors such as investment, technology, creative, economic development and education. He has delivered major projects across New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK and Vietnam. The underlying theme is growing the capability and scale of enterprises and sectors through strategic investment and economic development initiatives.

He has successfully raised investments for impact enterprises, previously at crowdfunding platform PledgeMe. Tan works with the Impact Investing Network to connect, educate and advocate for the growth of the impact investing sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. He’s also at the Ākina Foundation, coaching organisations to scale their positive social and environmental impact with investment.

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Creative Welly Episode #33 | Cynthia Hunefeld & Mark Westerby

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Cynthia Hunefeld, CEO & Founder Evithé Biotechnology

I have dedicated my life to improving treatment outcomes of chronic inflammation and sepsis with innovations in drug discovery and development, focused on complex botanical drugs.

Plant medicine are my passion and I have over 20 years experience in the field of ethnobotany and integrative medicines and applied these skills both in a clinical setting and by supporting fellow practitioners as a consultant and technical support person for a distributor of integrative medicines.

My mission is to connect tradition and science towards the develop a quality controlled, clinically proven complex botanical drugs that harnesses botanical defence system for a sophisticated
multi-target approach inspired by nature.

Mark Westerby, Producer

Mark Westerby is the Managing Director & Producer of WestMark Productions, a screen production company in Wellington and also a Co-Founder of Taia Studios. Mark has a rich and varied history in the creative sector, working previously as the director of the NZ Fringe Festival, the producer of the PANNZ Arts Market and for several years on international events like London Fashion Week, Australian Fashion Week, Sydney Film Festival and Tropfest. In recent years, he has served as Executive Producer/Associate Producer on films such as PORK PIE, BORN RACER, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT AI, DAWN RAID and the upcoming WHINA. Mark has developed a specialist EPK/BTS and Trailer agency, and has recently directed and produced content for MOTHERS OF THE REVOLUTION, MILLIE LIES LOW, POPPY and was a finalist in the Golden Trailer Awards for his EPK work on THE LUMINARIES. Mark currently has a short film, podcast and three television series in development.

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Creative Welly Episode #32 | Michelle Kitney & Rob Cousins

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Michelle Kitney, Chief Executive at Volunteering New Zealand

Michelle Kitney lead’s Volunteering New Zealand. Originally from Taranaki, she lives in Te whanganui a tara with her three boys and husband.

Volunteering New Zealand is the national umbrella organisation for volunteers and volunteering. It’s purpose is to empower volunteers to enrich Aotearoa New Zealand.

Michelle has a background in communications, marketing, social enterprise and not for profit experience. She has also worked in the public sector in New Zealand and the UK. She says she volunteered her way into her current job. Gaining relevant experience through a variety of volunteering roles.

She cooks and plays Floorball in her spare time.

Rob Cousins, Innovation Manager

Being honest, I’m a jack of all trades and master of none, who often seems to land on my feet, and somehow finds a way to make a difference with the people I meet. After a mediocre degree in Psychology, I worked in insurance and risk management in the UK, whilst pursuing hobbies that were both uninsurable and risky in many other parts of the world. Instead of a career, I’ve followed opportunities as they’ve arisen, and as I’ve pursued various different interests.

All of this has taught me that they key to most challenges is people, their experience, being curious and caring. Right now I am bringing this to how health and safety is understood, and how we might regulate that, from WorkSafeNZ. Shifting away from paperwork, compliance and rules. Moving towards caring about people, creating improvement, and giving people power over the things that affect them.

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Creative Welly Episode #31 | Victoria Crockford & James McCulloch

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Victoria Crockford, Chief Executive Officer, Community Housing Aotearoa Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa

Vic is the Chief Executive at Community Housing Aotearoa-Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa (CHA), a peak body for Aotearoa’s community housing sector. With 90 members providing homes for over 18,000 households, CHA is working everyday towards a future where all New Zealanders are well-housed. With a builder husband and parents in the trades, Vic lives and breathes housing, and views it as the core around which all our lives revolve. Before joining CHA, Vic worked in the energy sector in communications and government relations, as well as in general community rabble rousing and the television sector in Tāhuna / Queenstown. She loves places where cultures collide and has lived in France, Italy, Ghana and the United Kingdom.

The work part adds colour, but the heart of Vic’s life is her family. She is a Mum to Eloise (7) and Cormac (5) and really digs her awesome husband, Rich.

James McCulloch, Chief Executive,
English Language Partners

I am currently Chief Executive of English Language Partners. ELP is the largest New Zealand education NGO working with former refugees and migrants, and helps over 7,000 people a year to settle and thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I was approached to join ELP in mid-2020, as the world of work and learning rapidly shifted, to guide the team on a journey of rapid transformation and digital growth following my experiences scaling the learning company Inspire Group in NZ and overseas.

Prior to this, I led several NGO organisations in the UK and New Zealand and was formerly the Community Director at the City of London.

So, my roles have been diverse in location, but with one common theme, my why:

Life changing impact for individuals, teams and communities.

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Creative Welly Episode #30 | Pamela Bell & Josh Forde

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Pamela Bell, Innovation Consultant

Pamela Bell is an Innovation Consultant and Board Director to a range of start-ups, Council controlled entities and commercial organisations. Her work is focused on innovative construction, affordable housing and added-value timber.

She founded PrefabNZ ‘the hub for innovative construction’ in 2010 from her Master of Architecture thesis Kiwi Prefab which was also turned into a book and museum exhibition.

Pamela has been the lucky recipient of several awards including the Victoria University of Wellington Alumni Award (2019). She is an Adjunct Professor at VUW investigating the relationship between design thinking and business. Most recently she has become intrigued about the interface between design thinking and governance for the boardroom with a series of articles for the Institute of Directors.

Josh Forde, Head of BD, Ackama

Josh is the cofounder of Ackama, a software firm focused on delivering tech with great social impact. Founded in Wellington and Melbourne he works with great teams to design and build online software and has worked with an incredible range of organisations around the globe.

Their work has taken them into organisations as diverse as the World Health Organisation to small clients in Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands while having our local roots.

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Creative Welly Episode #29 | Emilie Fetscher & James Bushell

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Emilie Fetscher, Entrepreneur / Designer / Researcher, GM Design @ Xero

Need zest? Meet Emilie. Deeply curious, passionately collaborative, and inspired by the people and world we live in; Emilie brings a diverse background and relentless optimism to all her endeavors. She’s worked in and out of design as an outdoor guide, a freelancer, in a boutique consultancy, as well as starting tech and non-tech businesses before taking the plunge into the large global team that is Xero. Outside of her day job she contributes to the startup ecosystem, mentoring programs for young women, and as a lurker in environmental communities. She’s also an outdoor enthusiast and lover of great dinner table conversations with old friends and new.

James Bushell, Director / Investor / Strategist, MOTIF

James Bushell is the founding director of MOTIF, a specialist business advisory for organisations that want to create a more equitable and sustainable world. He is a leading strategist in incorporating ethics and sustainability into commercial models and has had governance and executive experience in developing, emerging and developed economies. James is also an author and recently released a book called HUMANGOOD – a field guide to ethical leadership.

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Creative Welly Episode #28 | Janine Sudbury & Mark Gee

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Janine Sudbury, Experiential Leadership Development Trainer and Executive Leadership Coach

Janine Sudbury is a former BBC and National Radio broadcast journalist and presenter. She has created one of the most unique training centres in the country which uses horse whispering to teach you how to become a better leader.

She has a BA in Philosophy and Politics, has worked in Congress in Washington DC and has used these experiences to develop Impact Leadership.

Janine has been involved with horses from when she was a young child living in London. Her passion has led her to work on ranches in the United States, break in horses at Mt Nicholas station in Queenstown, ride trackwork at Otaki racetrack, and spend much of her spare time training her two horses at her venue, Sudbury in Kapiti.

Mark Gee, Photographer / Filmmaker / Visual Effects Supervisor

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer, time-lapse filmmaker and visual effects supervisor based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wholly self-taught, Mark ventures out to the darkest, most remote locations both locally and internationally, enjoying the challenge of combining striking landscapes with the ethereal beauty of the night sky in new, creative ways.

In 2013, Mark won the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year, and has since spread his love of the night sky through various public talks and presentations including TEDx, and astrophotography workshops.

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Creative Welly Episode #27 | Negin Imani & Derek Bradley

Courageous conversations with bold humans (from the most creative little capital in the world).

Dr Negin Imani

Negin is a lecturer in Architectural and Building Science, founder of Biomimicry NZ, representing New Zealand in the Biomimicry Institute global network, and a Visiting Scholar at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand since 2020.

Negin’s research is focused on sustainable architecture and biomimetic energy efficient building design. She is the first post-doctoral researcher at the VUW school of architecture. Her research investigates possibilities to develop living building modules. She has co-authored the book “Heating with Wolves, Cooling with Cacti”.

As a recipient of the National Science Challenge, Science for Technological Innovation, Seed Project grant, Negin is working as the Principle Investigator of the project, Biomimetic Buildings for Climate Change Adaptation: Future Generation of Facades.

Derek Bradley, CEO, A44 Games

Derek Bradley is the CEO of A44 Games an independent games studio based in Wellington, New Zealand. He was the Game Director on ASHEN, the company’s first title, which was released world-wide at the Annual Game Awards in 2018.

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