Why we're here
In 2012, the Common Unity Project Aotearoa started as a pilot project to explore the idea that, by inviting a community to partner with us and celebrating the strengths that we have, we might together address some challenges that affect us all.
We are a registered charity that works collaboratively with Epuni Primary School, a little school with a big heart, in Lower Hutt. We grow food on a disused soccer field – enough to feed our children of Epuni School three times each week. We invite our parents and wider community to come to school each day and learn, share and educate one another. In turn, this has become a collective response to meeting the needs of our children and developing our own resilient solution within our community.
Welcome to our story. Our journey along the way has been one of learning, unification and transformation as we look to each other to strengthen our community from the inside out.
We are always happy to share our story and invite you to contact us. We invite collaboration and offer our successes, challenges and vision of an Aotearoa where all children are valued, treasured and have equal chances of health and participation.
It is my belief that it is time to review what makes an individual wealthy. To move beyond the measurement of wealth in terms of personal ownership and financial gain. To make significant changes in our communities, surely the family/individual who lives a life of connectedness, contribution and harmony to that of their wider community and environment is the wealthiest of them all?
Together, we grow our own solution.
We employ a team of people to manage our day-to-day operations, and keep the project running smoothly:
- Al Kilminster – Beekeeper
- Julia Milne – Dreamer
- Rachel Cooper – Farm Manager
- Monique Wanhill – The Common Grocer Manager
- Tania Austin – Funding and Friendraising Manager
- Lisa Matthews – Operations Director
- Kelvin Aris – ReCycled Rides Coordinator
- Sally Gray – Sew Good Coordinator
- Sarah Radke – Urban Kai Farm Coordinator
- Rochelle Browne – Community Cafe Manager
- Stephen Templer – Artist in Residence.
The Common Unity Project Aotearoa is supported by an active Board of Trustees with diverse backgrounds and skills, who all volunteer their time to deliver better outcomes for our children and community:
- Glenda Swan, chairperson
- Mary-Jane Rivers
- Julia Milne
- Carolyn Watts
- Kerrin Eckersley
- Anna Griffiths.
The Common Unity Project Aotearoa was founded in a partnership with Epuni Primary School. Our thanks to the Board of Trustees, staff, students, whānau, 'āiga and families of Epuni School for their continuing support.
We gratefully acknowledge the following organisations for their recent financial support, in addition to the many community organisations who have generously donated to our project:
- Wellington Community Trust
- Lottery Grants Board
- Hutt City Council
- Infinity Foundation Limited
- Community Organisation Grants Scheme
- Thomas George Macarthy Trust