Mitchell is a Vietnamese-Kiwi business and social entrepreneur who came to NZ as a refugee at age 13. He is a Co-founder, Director, Board member, head of Marketing and International Development of the Augen Software Group, as well as Chairman of its operation in Asia and head of its iHDSS (Integrated Health-Disability-social Services) business in New Zealand.
Kaaren Hiyama is a librarian, writer and researcher currently involved in the refugee determination process. She has been a trustee since 2012 and continues to be inspired by ARFT's ability to make a simple and immediate difference to the health and happiness of refugees in Auckland.
Susan Elliott has worked in the refugee sector for more than 35 years as a teacher, researcher, consultant, facilitator, mentor, volunteer and ally. She has worked in New Zealand and the UK as a lecturer, and internationally as a consultant for UNHCR.
Viv joined the Trust as treasurer in 2016. She has previously worked in various accounting and administration roles and is finding the Trust work rewarding and stimulating.
She would love to have more funds available to help reunite more families!
Carol was Principal and co-Principal at Selwyn College in Auckland for 16 years. Selwyn College became the school for many teenage refugees, including those who were rescued by ‘The Tampa’ from sinking in a boat carrying them from Indonesia to Australia. Carol is the founder and on the committee of the crêche, which caters for the children of refugees who study in the REAF English language programme at the College.
Samantha Blackley is a television producer who spent five years producing the TVNZ1 series, Neighbourhood, which celebrated diversity in communities throughout New Zealand. During the course of the series, Sam was privileged to share some extraordinary stories of former refugees now living in New Zealand which sparked her desire to help the wonderful work that the Trust does.
Caroline is a public servant. She has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for most of her career with postings in Geneva, Bangkok, Washington DC, Apia and Brasilia. She also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Rwanda, Tanzania and Bangkok. Caroline has a law degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from Auckland University and a management degree from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. She is married and has two daughters. She loves cooking and cinema, reading and playing tennis.
Maria was born in Germany and came to New Zealand four years ago after she fell in love with our beautiful country. She works as Social Media Manager International for Air New Zealand and looks after the social media presence of our Trust.