He Ara Whakakotahi Advisory Group
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He Ara Whakakotahi Advisory Group

Volleyball NZ is excited to announce the appointment of the He Ara Whakakotahi Evolving Volleyball in New Zealand Advisory Group Members.

The Objective of the He Ara Wahakakotahi Advisory Group (HAWAG) is to provide advice on, and assistance with, the He Ara Whakakotahi project for volleyball in New Zealand and to ensure the project team have an accurate understanding of the System needs of the volleyball community and environment.

The members of the Advisory Group were selected by a selection panel that included:

  • Sport NZ Representative
  • Volleyball NZ Board Member
  • Independent Consultant
  • Volleyball NZ Project Manager

The selection panel used a robust selection criteria and matrix to ensure the members of the group will provide a broad and diverse perspective to the project discussion.

VNZ National Partnership Manager Katie Horne who is the Project Manager, is delighted with the outcome, she shares “the quality of applications to join this group was outstanding, and did not make for an easy process of selection for the panel. We are confident that this group will positively lead and guide volleyball well on our evolutionary journey."

The He Ara Whakakotahi Advisory Group is comprised of Independent Chairs and Facilitators Joe Hitchcock and Jamie Tong and eleven other members. VNZ Board and Staff will be connected and included with the HAWAG.

VNZ would like to introduce and congratulate the following members of our community who have committed to sharing their knowledge and experience to shape the future of Volleyball in New Zealand.

He Ara Whakakotahi Advisory Group Members

Valerio Malez, a Programme Manager at Te Whatu Ora, Valerio has extensive experience in project management and organisational transformation. His proactive leadership in volleyball includes managing youth programs and enhancing coaching and competitive opportunities at East VC. Valerio’s strategic and inclusive approach to program management and stakeholder engagement makes him a key asset in driving forward the goals of Volleyball New Zealand.

Johnny Fowler, a seasoned lawyer with sports and community governance experience, has been deeply involved in volleyball as a player, coach, and administrative leader. His strategic thinking and professional experience have been crucial in developing fair and effective governance structures within the volleyball community. Johnny's role in facilitating important policy and rule changes has helped to progress a more structured and equitable playing field in the Northern Zone.

Reg Korau, the Iwi Liaison Manager and Planning Team Lead at South Taranaki District Council has a profound connection to volleyball through his roles as a player, coach, and cultural advisor. His advocacy for Māori and Pasifika communities within sports is complemented by his extensive governance experience, making him a vital voice for inclusion and cultural integration within the volleyball sector.

Jo Tusa is known for her passionate involvement in volleyball, particularly in co-founding the Canterbury Pasifika Volleyball Association. Her experience extends to significant roles within the NZ public service for the past 10 years, providing support in the areas of HR and leadership development. Jo’s commitment to inclusivity and community engagement is evident through her extensive work in fostering opportunities and pathways for Pacific communities in volleyball.

Allen Satiu, a business owner and executive with a robust background in global investment and entrepreneurship, brings a strategic vision to volleyball in New Zealand. With over 20 years of experience in managing the Playaz Club Volleyball Team, his approach merges traditional structures with innovative strategies to enhance the sport at all levels. His commitment to fostering a safe, fun, and culturally sensitive environment has been demonstrated through his leadership in various volleyball and community initiatives. Allen is bilingual and respected for building inclusive team cultures.

Dr. Warren Smith, PhD, a General Manager with a Doctorate in Organisational Management, has extensive experience in change management within the health sector. His previous roles as VNZ Board Chair, President of the Canterbury Volleyball Association, and Game Development Manager alongside a Lectureship in Sport Management and Coaching have equipped him with deep insights into sports administration and strategic planning. Warren's commitment to community connection and his holistic approach to sports development are crucial as volleyball seeks to expand and modernise its structures.

Charissa Barham, a Sport Development Consultant with Sport New Zealand, has extensive experience in sport governance with roles including Chairperson and board memberships across multiple sports organisations. Her dedication to volleyball is enriched by her active participation as a manager, coach mentor, netball coach, a board member of Volleyball Hawkes Bay, and a volleyball parent. Charissa’s professional work at Sport NZ and her hands-on approach to community sports make her adept at leading inclusive and strategic initiatives in sports development.

Arvid Ditchburn, an Area Manager and Business Development Manager in the active recreation sector, has substantial experience in both the commercial and delivery side of sport and recreation. His leadership in the sector includes serving as the current Chair for Harbour Volleyball Board and as former Chair of Recreation Aotearoa - Regions Advisory Group. Arvid's involvement in volleyball through his family and as a social player offers him a comprehensive view of the sport’s community and developmental needs, making him a valuable member of the advisory group.

Lilian Viliamu, a Service Manager with a comprehensive portfolio in governance and community sports administration, has made significant contributions to volleyball as a player, coach/manager, and leader. Her work with the Waitakere Rebels Volleyball, community groups and other regional associations highlights her commitment to sports development and community health and wellbeing. Lilian’s experience is invaluable in driving strategic initiatives and inclusive programs within the volleyball community/aiga.

Donna (Donz) Milne, with over 17 years of governance experience, is a passionate professional dedicated to achieving organizational goals. As CEO of Shared Services Limited and Founder and Co-Chair of the Otepuni Community Hub, Donna has held pivotal roles within Volleyball New Zealand for over 14 years, driving significant initiatives and community engagement projects. Her international event management experience includes work with Volleyball Australia's Australian Schools Cup and as a Regional Event Specialist for the Southern Cancer Society. Her governance expertise spans technology, finance, asset management, funding, sponsorship, audit, risk, and health and safety strategies. Donna excels in fostering effective relationships with governance boards, government agencies, community funders, corporate sponsors, and various community groups. Her notable governance positions include roles with Women in Sport Murihiku, Volleyball New Zealand Southern Zone, Special Olympics Southland, Deputy Chair of Volleyball New Zealand, Chair of Volley South, Chair of Otepuni Community Hub, and Phoenix Southland Synchro Swimming.

Paul Heron is a Senior Manager at Sport New Zealand, where he oversees the Partnering Function. With extensive experience working with numerous National Sports organisations (NSOs), Paul provides invaluable guidance and support to CEOs and Boards. Paul's Strengths lie in enhancing Organisational Capability, focusing on governance, planning, people, culture, commercial aspects and change management. He is also proficient in delivery systems, and pathway development, and as a solid working knowledge of High Performance.

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