Chair of the Board, Sarah is currently the foundation Principal of Stonefields School in Auckland. She is a passionate, forward thinking educator and has a real commitment to improving outcomes for all learners.
She has held leadership roles in a number of schools. As both a teacher and leader, she has a particular strength in building change momentum, developing collective vision, building teacher effectiveness and re- envisaging future schools. In July 2021, Sarah was appointed Chair of the Ministry of Education Curriculum Advisory Group.
Donna Southworth has the position of Emerging Director. She is a Cook Island European mother of three and grandparent to one.
She has extensive experience in the area of special needs and neurodiversity as both a practitioner and leader RTLB. Donna is passionate about finding the potential in people and developing that potential through courageous leadership, and mana-s a process of reciprocity and mutual recognition
Tim is the Deputy Chair. Tim is a chartered accountant, company director and community leader. He is active in professional, business and community affairs both as a chartered accountant and businessman, providing advice to a diverse range of businesses and community organisations. Tim is a director on several private companies and acts as a trustee on a number of large not-for-profit trusts.
His specialities include – business valuations, governance, business turnaround and business transformation.
Paora Puru has ancestral lineage to the Manawhenua iwi (tribes) of Tāmaki Makaurau: Te Waiohua, Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua and Waikato-Tainui. He brings a strong passion for raising Māori achievement across education, health, economic, social and community development. Paora is currently leading, supporting and working across a wide range of sectors, youth employment, professional learning development facilitator, Early Childhood Education advisor, iwi governance and iwi operational representative for both Local and Central government, ambassador for the Men’s Health Trust, procurement social outcomes enablement specialist and also a hospitality and tourism business owner.
Gary is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a former Chief Executive of Auckland Council Investments Limited, a Council Controlled Organisation whose role was to manage over $1.5 billion of Auckland Council's major equity investments. Previously Gary was Chief Financial Officer at Watercare Services Limited. He currently serves as a director and trustee on several Auckland based entities. He has extensive Treasury, investment and financial management experience in New Zealand and overseas and is a Fellow and former member of both the Board and Council of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand and formerly chairman of a predecessor organisation, The New Zealand Society of Corporate Treasurers.
Melinda Webber joins the Board from 1 February 2024.
Melinda is of Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hau and Ngāpuhi descent. She is Professor of Education in Te Puna Wānanga: The School of Māori and Indigenous Education at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland. Melinda is also Te Tumu /Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education and Social Work.
Melinda has experience as a primary school teacher and teacher educator. She also has extensive governance, academic leadership and research experience in the tertiary education sector. Melinda leads a number of research projects focused on better understanding the effects of Māori student motivation and academic engagement, culturally sustaining teaching, localised curricula, and enduring school-family-community partnerships for learning.
Melinda’s current governance roles include being a board member on the New Zealand Council for Educational Research and Te Rautiaki Mātauranga (the Academic Board of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa). She has also been an elected councillor for Te Apārangi: Royal Society of New Zealand and a Future Director for Scion - a Crown research institute specializing in the forestry sector.
Melinda has a strong commitment to science, research and effective knowledge dissemination and has been a member of prestigious research fund assessment panels including the Marsden Fund, the Teaching, Learning and Research Initiatives and the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships.
Melinda brings mana and deep knowledge of mātauranga Māori, te reo me ona tikanga Māori, rangahau Māori, and strong connections to hapū and iwi across Aotearoa.
Our Executive Officer, Raewyn has a varied background in strategy, policy and project management roles in local government and the "not for profit sectors in New Zealand and UK. In these roles she has had a long history of successful working with the education sector and academics from early childhood, schooling and tertiary sectors across of variety of research, community development and advocacy projects; as well as undertaking organisational and policy reviews for not for profits, government and local government agencies.
Melini hails from the villages of Salua and Faleū on the island of Manono, Samoa. Her family migrated to Auckland in the early 70s in search of a more prosperous future. That dream has steered her professional journey of 25+ years of teaching and leading in South Auckland schools. Melini is currently the principal of Waimahia Intermediate School and is actively involved in her aiga and community.
In July 2021, Melini was appointed to the Ministry of Education Curriculum Advisory Group.
Grant comes onto the Board from 1 February 2024.
Grant brings huge experience as a Director/Trustee in a diverse range of industries, covering audit, corporate finance, property, investments, and governance advice. His investment experience includes twelve years as the CEO of Trust Investments Management Limited where he worked in a tikanga framework, gaining experience across Aotearoa, Polynesia and Melanesia.
Grant was recently a Director of Ngāti Whatua o Kaipara, chairing property development and management subsidiaries and was a director of its forestry company. Currently, Grant is CEO of St John’s College Trust and Kaiwhakahaere Matua of Te Aute Trust Board.
Grant has held a number of governance roles in the charitable sector, including and most recently as Chair of the Graeme Dingle Foundation.
He has found working with iwi organisations personally enriching and rewarding, and given him an understanding of the injustices and challenges encountered, despite the provisions and promises of Te Tiriti.
Adviser to the Trust on Educational Matters
A former principal of Epsom Girls Grammar School and Board Member of the New
Zealand Qualifications Authority for several terms, Margaret has held a number
of leadership, management and advisory roles in the Faculty of Education at the
University of Auckland. Margaret's professional career has been marked by her
commitment to the on-going development of curriculum, pedagogy and
qualification systems that support all young people to maximise their potential
at school, and to develop capabilities for their on-going learning beyond
Much of Margaret's most recent work has been as a mentor,
supporting professional learning for principals and other school leader and as
an education advisor to a number of organisations. She has also become
committed to supporting community work that focuses on the crucial importance
of a child’s early years, as their fast growing brains learn to build the social
relationships, communication skills and language necessary for on-going
development and learning.
In 2005, Margaret was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
for her services to education.
Adviser to the Trust on Auckland and New Zealand schools serving Low-Decile Communities
Soana Pamaka became Principal of Tamaki College in 2006. She was the first person of Tongan descent to become a High School Principal in New Zealand. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Soana was head of the History Department at Tamaki College, a Dean and a Deputy Principal. Under her tenure as Principal, both roll numbers and academic success has steadily increased at Tamaki College. She is also an Advisor to Teach First NZ, a member of the Board of Te Papa in Wellington and also a member of the Board of Tamaki Regeneration Company. Mrs Pamaka is a pillar of her church, a wife and a mother of four teenage children and a highly respected leader in her community. In June 2018 she received a Blake Leader Award.