About Multicultural Nelson Tasman
Mary was born and raised in South Korea. She holds a BA in Political Science with East Asian Emphasis & TESL certification. Mary regards herself as a lifelong student of justice. She believes in the intrinsic value of celebrating cultural diversity, promoting peace and understanding of all people.
Her goal: To foster 'Unity in Diversity' - kotahitanga i roto i te kanorau.
David is a mixed-race political professor at the University of Guelph. Previous senior lecturer in Political Studies at Otago University and professor at ESCP Graduate School of Management in Paris. David's parents are originally from Trinidad by way of India and Scotland. He was raised on Treaty 4 lands in Regina, Saskatchewan.
In 2017, David got appointed as Research Leadership Chair for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics. So far, David has written four books, co-edited and authored eight books on International Relations, comparative Indigenous practices of self-determination with a focus on Canada and Aotearoa.
Marie came to New Zealand to settle in 1990 after having worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Ever since, she has worked with the public and private sectors – Department of Internal Affairs, ACC, Nelson City Council where I professionally learned governance matters, including being the Mayor’s PA for 15 years.
In 1992 whilst with Internal Affairs, Marie organised the first meeting of the Nelson Multi-Ethnic Council, which has now evolved to Multicultural Nelson Tasman, 27 years on. In between work and life, Marie dedicates her time to community volunteering which grounds her to grass root community issues and allowed her to build relations with and help individuals and groups of diverse culture, age and gender. Her formal governance training continues and is put into direct practice on the Board of community organisations including MNT. Her advocacy and community engagement extend to our tangata whenua, former refugees, vulnerable folks, environmental forums, business sustainability, InterFaith groups, source project funding & sponsorship, and volunteering – her way to pay forward and thank this place she calls home, Aotearoa.
Anju is originally from India and came to Nelson in 2019 to study a Master of Applied Management at NMIT. Since her arrival, Anju has been involved with different community organisations as a volunteer which has helped her to learn more about the community and the voluntary sector in Nelson.
Anju's supports MNT with her management and research skills as she wants to contribute to a society that has respect for different cultures.
Emma has lived in Nelson for the past 8 years, where she works as a marine scientist, and studies tutoring for adult literacy, and te reo Māori. Prior to returning to the South Island in 2010, she lived in southern Patagonia (Chile), Northland, Auckland, and London. Her interest in Nelson Tasman's Multicultural organisation includes aspects of social justice, cultural diversity and creativity.
Dmitry has been living and working within diverse environments in different countries. He is proud of being a part of the MNT team and appreciates having an opportunity of sharing knowledge and experience with the local community. Dmitry believes in the benefits of cultural competence and academic knowledge for society.
Maria is originally from Argentina and joined our board in 2020. She has two teen children, a husband from Golden Bay and is a solicitor at Community Law. Her philosophy is to enjoy life, to be grateful for all experiences and to celebrate cultures while aware of a common human essence.
Sandrine was born and raised in France. A polyglot and hybrid of three cultures. Also, a New Zealand licensed immigration consultant, an interpreter and a mother. Sandrine now works with Migrants guiding them through the hurdles and stress of paper work. Sandrine is willing to support Multicultural Nelson Tasman to bring the local migrant community confidence, not only with their immigration matters, but as well professionally, culturally and socially, so they can thrive in their new home. Sandrine believes that sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can help multicultural communities grow a real sense of belonging.
Originally from Yorkshire in the UK, Carol has been in NZ since 2004. She has extensive experience as an English Language teacher and youth and community worker, particularly with young people who do not have English as their first language. She worked for the British Council in Singapore and with new migrants and former refugees in high schools in the north of England and South Auckland.
Waimea College welcomed Carol as their International Dean in 2008 and she was there for 12 years until her retirement. She has always been an advocate for her students and their families in any way possible and now volunteers at the Citizens Advice Bureau so she can continue to help people facing challenges in their new country.
Carol has been involved with the Multicultural Council for many years; she was part of the group who helped establish the Speak Out programme and has been a keen supporter of the Multicultural Festival ( formerly Race Unity Day), persuading young people to share their cultures, national costumes and musical and dancing talents with the wider Nelson community. She is particularly keen to assist the MYNT group with their stellar work.
Mahafrin was born in India and raised in the UAE before moving to Aotearoa with her family in 2004. She is an Immigration and Employment Law specialist and speaks Hindi and Gujarati. Mahafrin joined the MNT Board in October 2021 and strongly believes in the power of conversation, diversity and creating awareness about the very differences that unite us.
She holds a passion for social justice and grassroot movements and within this, wishes to work towards creating a system where language and culture no longer create barriers to accessing legal services. By being on the MNT Board, Mahafrin hopes to develop a platform where promoting access to justice becomes a part of everyday practice with law enforcement agencies and legal service providers. In her mind, breaking down the barriers between those wishing to access services and those that provide it, is a key step in create confidence and empowering migrants to access services when they need it. Overall, she’s excited about the prospect of supporting the MNT team with the various incredible projects and initiatives that they have in place to weave diversity into the fabric of Aotearoa.