Rachel has recently completed a long bout of university study at both Massey University and the University of Waikato, and now working as an accountant in Wellington. During this time she has worked in various industries including environmental engineering, research, and management consulting. Rachel also founded a new branch of a Wellington high-school tutoring company, in Hamilton which is thriving to this day.
Since early this year, Rachel has been an active board member for the YWCA of Hamilton and involved in the Finance Sub-Committee. She received this fantastic opportunity through the YWCA of Hamilton Young Women’s Tertiary Education Scholarship, and has thoroughly enjoyed being able to learn from other board members, and having a meaningful impact on young women in the Waikato.
Rachel believes that it is imperative that we all actively challenge gender perceptions and to also raise awareness in order to create a change in our communities. Young women need confidence and good role models to become future leaders and to continue help building a better future for themselves as well as the next generation of women. The externalities of this change will not only benefit women, but lead to stronger families and communities.
"I am excited about working with a fantastic team at YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand, learn lots, support one another, and to empower young women across New Zealand."
Kimberley is a Policy and Performance Analyst at Auckland Council in the area of Māori strategy. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Waikato in 2015, Kimberley wishes to use the skills and knowledge she has gained to enrich the lives of our people.
Kimberley’s journey with the YWCA movement started in 2014 when she joined the YWCA Hamilton Board as a scholarship recipient. Kimberley has gone on to be Vice-President and is now currently President of YWCA Hamilton.
Kimberley invests her time into the YWCA because she believes every woman can. Kimberley overcame many barriers in order to complete high school and university as a young single mother. She wants to see more young women in challenging circumstances rise above society’s expectations of them, to dream big and fulfill their potential and she believes YWCA is the voice to call these young women forward.
Te Aue Addison-Te Whare
Te Aue hails from Waitahanui, Taupō and is now residing in Auckland. She has held various roles working across the public sector, including in Treaty settlements, environment and local government policy and strategy. She has been involved in various volunteer women’s collectives throughout university and her early working life and is keen to continue her contribution to advancing women’s rights and interests.
She brings skills and experience that can help support and shape the vision for YWCA particularly in strategic thinking and building creativity and fun into programme design and delivery.
While Te Aue is new to the NGO sector she has been seeking opportunities that foster collective thinking and passion to empower others and affect action in the community. She believes that the YWCA is a platform for change to advance the collective aspirations of women and gender equality.
Te Aue is excited to start her YWCA journey and will bring an enthusiastic rangatahi, wahine Māori and environmentalist perspective to the YWCA governance table.
"I'm really looking forward to starting my journey with the YWCA as the organisation is kaupapa-driven in efforts to empower women. Bring on the opportunity to collaborate with other passionate women to advance our collective aspirations for Aotearoa"
Sonya has been an active community leader who has focused significantly on youth issues. With a passion for youth development she has served in the NFP sector as a mentor, advocate and programme co-ordinator for young women as well as an advisor for local government.
Sonya graduated from The University of Auckland with a Bachelor in Education and is committed to seeing young women empowered in their academic ambitions and provided with the necessary supports to do so. Her fundamental beliefs and values are based on developing positive relationships with others and journeying with them to realise and reach their full potential.
In 2000, Sonya began her journey with the YWCA and has remained involved to date. She believes passionately in the vision and strategic priorities of the World YWCA and wants to see them impact as many young women as possible. As a new national board member Sonya is excited at the opportunities ahead for the organisation and is eager to continue the great legacy that is the YWCA.
"I am really excited to have an active role in making the world a better place for young women!"
Karinia Lee -MInstD
Niamh has been involved in community leadership and organising in Aotearoa since 2009, with an active focus on campaigning, strategic development, and volunteer management.
Her main passions are climate change, women’s issues, and social justice (particularly where the three issues meet). Since 2015 she has been based in Auckland as the Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.
Te Akitai, Wai-O-Hua; Te Rarawa
Karinia was born and raised in Auckland, and is of Māori, Chinese and European descent.
She is Chief Executive of NZ Asian Leaders, responsible for overall management of all business affairs; working with diverse leaders, key stakeholders, managing funding, commercial partnerships, overall business development, sponsorship opportunities, financial accountability and providing tactical direction to the organisation, working with the NZ Asian Leaders Advisory Board to deliver agreed outcomes. Previous roles over the past two decades have seen Karinia supporting a number of charities and trusts, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Stella Trust and Piha Surf Life Saving Club.
Karinia has a strong commitment to making a difference in her own back yard and seeks opportunities to utilise her skillset with organisations who play a vital role in our society. This resonates strongly with her personal values, as does the YWCA.