In Common | Who We Are
Who We Are
Our People
InCommon seeks to exemplify the diversity we value in the membership of our working group and advisory group. We believe only through people from all backgrounds working together will we really make a difference in this mahi. We have a deliberate kaupapa to include people from a diverse ethnic and cultural communities. Our advisory group provides strategic overview, input and advice. The advisory group consists of members of mana whenua, ethnic, faith and cultural communities.

Our advisory group members are:
Liz Kereru – Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Whitiora. "Incommon is the vessel that has committed itself to bring all walks of life together on common ground no matter what that looks like and that is why I believe in this kaupapa and support it whole heartedly."

Noraini Abbas – from the Muslim community of Christchurch. “I have been working with Otautahi Creative Spaces and Purapura Whetu Trust since last August. Both of my jobs are working alongside the Muslim Community. I am also involved with Active Muslim Explorers whanau group and Sow a Lyttel Seed community group. The story of how and why the InCommon campaign started motivated me to be part of it. Favourite sport to watch or play? Football!”

Ropeta Mene-Tulia – Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Simon Oe – Korean Society of Christchurch. “I am a New Zealand born Korean. Being born in New Zealand I have the New Zealand culture embedded in me as well as the Korean culture which I have gotten from my parents. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new cultures by working as the Head of PR for the Korean Society of Christchurch and being part of InCommon. Favourite takeaway? Fried Chicken.”

Faisal Abaas – Let’s Play Aotearoa. “I am from Pakistan, and I moved to New Zealand back in 2015, I have a wife and two daughters: Fayha (11) and Farwa (7). I am a Software Developer by profession and love playing cricket and squash and I an avid video gamer :) I play an hour or so every night. I have a bucket list and one of the items on my list is to travel and see 30 countries before I die. For now I have only seen 5; 25 more to go! What’s your favorite kind of movie? Action”

Our working group undertakes the operational and strategic work of InCommon. It is a group of people dedicated to our kaupapa, collaborating across local and national government, business and the community sector.

Our working group member are:
Holly Griffin, InCommon Project Manager. Holly works with former refugee communities and has a community wellbeing and project management background, previously working for Healthy Families, Ministry of Health, New Zealand Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross in the Pacific and Asia.
“My mother was born in England and my father is from Whakatū Nelson, I grew up in Waitaha Canterbury, but have lived and worked in different parts of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific, East Asia and Europe – including Fiji, Bangladesh and France. A few years ago, I returned to Ōtautahi Christchurch with my husband Jope, who is from Suva, Fiji and we now have a toddler.
I love learning about different cultures and ethnicities and really appreciate my friendships with people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds. I’m passionate about celebrating our differences and commonalities.
What value do you treasure most? Manaakitanga / caring for others”

Eileen Yee, Ministry for Ethnic Communities. Eileen leads the Valuing Ethnic Diversity workstream and oversees the Cultures of Ōtautahi series at Riverside Market, she recently helped develop the Racism is No Joke campaign (delivered by the Human Rights Commission).
“I am a fourth/fifth generation Chinese New Zealander and have recently been discovering my great, great grandparents’ footsteps in Ōtautahi, Christchurch. I’ve lived, worked and travelled in 25 countries but call New Zealand – my birthplace – home. I could be described as a ‘crazy cat lady’. I love spending my free time hanging at home with my partner Mark (who has converted into loving cats too) and our two cats, Mishka and Maisie.
The InCommon campaign speaks to my lived experience of racism and discrimination in Aotearoa by highlighting the positive outcomes that are possible through forming genuine connections with people that may not look or sound the same as myself and the true benefits this can lead to.
What’s your favourite pizza topping? Pineapple!”

Elizabeth Hawes, Social Equity and Wellbeing Network. Liz is the Social Equity and Wellbeing Network (SEWN) experienced Kaituiora. SEWN’s vision, purpose and mahi is centred around the active promotion and support of social equity, justice and well-being initiatives. SEWN exists to collaborate with others in the identification, understanding, and advocacy on issues that impact on the marginalised such as those who suffer from prejudice, xenophobic behaviour and discrimination.

Sue Turner, former Project Manager of All Right?. Prior to Sue’s retirement she directed the All Right? campaign for more than a decade and lead the Getting Through Together-Whāia E Tātou Te Pae Tawhiti national social media response to Covid-19.
“I have recently retired from managing the All Right? Campaign for the past 9 years. I was born in Invercargill and have lived in many places around Aotearoa and for a short time in England. I love exploring Aotearoa and the world! I have three gorgeous grandchildren whom I love hanging out with.
I’m passionate about mental wellbeing and love being able to contribute to a Kaupapa that promotes cultural identity and celebration of difference because being proud of who we are and where we come from makes a positive difference to our lives.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes.”

Matthew Dickinson, Digital Innovator. Mat is the Digital Marketing Manager at Merino NZ, leading their digital strategy, platform development and channel delivery.
“I’ve spent over fifteen years’ working across three continents in the digital marketing and eCommerce industries. I have a love for the mountains, adventures and fostering people to reach their potential – especially in running, having been an athlete and subsequently a coach.
I love what InCommon stands for. It showcases that humans, in the end, are so similar in many ways, and that by connecting with others we grow in knowledge and understanding.
Shoes off or on inside the house? Always off!”

Katy McRae, Manager – Engagement, Christchurch City Council.

InCommon exists because of the passion and hard work of many people who have contributed their expertise, time and experiences since the project’s conception in 2019.

We acknowledge the mahi of our former members and contributors to InCommon:

Amanda Booth, former Project Coordinator
Lana Hart, Humanitarian Journalist – former Working Group member
• Jane Mountier former Project Coordinator
• Magnum Tuipulotu, Ministry of Education – former Working Group member
Agnieskzka Parr, graphic designer
• Nin McKay, University of Canterbury PACE Intern
Vaea Coe, Community and Public Health – former Working Group member
Rebecca Parnham, Giving Seeds of Love – former Working Group member
• Claire Appleby-Phillips, Christchurch City Council – former Working Group member
Lucy D'Aeth, Community and Public Health – former Working Group member
Nicholas Latty, Office of Ethnic Communities – former Working Group member
Mahtab Mahjor, University of Canterbury Intern for InCommon Launch
• Dunya Sabre, administrative assistant for InCommon Launch
Rami Baha, photographer/videographer for InCommon Launch
Jeremy Sim, photographer
Nazeef Khan – MC for InCommon Launch
• Nibil Kassem, event management for InCommon Launch

We thank McCarthy Design and Daybreak Consulting for our creative design, Great Scott for supporting the promotion of our campaign, our umbrella organisation SEWN our funders the Christchurch City Council and the Rātā Foundation.

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