Valley Project Executive Committee

Our Executive Committee is made up of community members who volunteer their time to manage the governance of the Valley Project.

​The committee meets monthly.

Agendas and minutes of their meetings are available to view in the Valley Project office.

AGM minutes and documents are here on the website.

Meet our wonderful team of exec members. 


The Executive is currently recruiting new members!

Executive Member 

About Us

The Valley Project was formed in the early 2000’s to combat issues identified in our community. We have since grown to a community led development program which acts as a social enterprise hub for our community and also has community rooms and programs we bring out for the community. The Valley Project is located in North East Valley Dunedin and services the areas of Pine Hill, Dalmore,  Opoho, Upper Junction and Gardens. The mission and vision of the project are; 

The Vision of TVP is an inclusive, connected and thriving community 

Ko ta matou tirohanga he hapori whakauru, hono me te oranga. 

Our mission is  to mobilise our community’s strengths and resources into locally led action.  


We are looking for applicants to join our executive which governs the society, who are passionate about community and live, work or play in NEV.. We are after 3-4 extra people  to join us that offer the following skills in accordance with our Executive Charter; 

  • Diversity
  • Fundraising
  • Legal
  • Strategic Direction 
  • Experience of working in the not for profit sector
  • Professional practice in community development
  • Resident of the Valley Project geographic area 
  • Governance Experience 
  • Business experience
  • Mana Whenua representation

We are specifically looking to bolster fundraising, legal experience, diversity and the not for profit sector. 

The Role of an Executive Member 

The Valley Project is looking for Executive members. This position will suit people who want to get more involved in their community, and for those who may be wanting to strengthen and bring their leadership skills to the executive. We hope you would also be able to contribute to its strategic direction, meet its legal obligations, and monitor the performance of The Valley Project in accordance with our constitution and policies. 

The key responsibilities in this role include:

  • Contributing to executive meetings (once a month) and collective responsibility for decision-making
  • Contributing, at a governance level, to the development, implementation, and review of the The Projects’  strategic plan and annual work programme
  • The executive meetings are usually held monthly at The Community Rooms in North East Valley.
  • This is an unpaid role.
  • We particularly encourage applications from Tangata Whenua, Pasifika, Individuals with a disability, and those that live in The Valley Project area.

Apply Now‍, using the button above!

James Sutherland


James has been involved since 2020 on the exec. He has held the position of Secretary during his last term. James holds significant governance experience sitting on Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust as Secretary, Valley Community Workspace as Co-President, Valley Baptist Community Centre and Beheard counselling as a Board Members. James also sits on our very own Open VUE steering committee. 

James is very passionate about the development of the Valley and its surrounding suburbs. Community is something that has always been apart of what he does. James sees the needs for a balance of sustained community development whilst looking for opportunities to expand the Projects capacity. 

James currently works in rural policy, suicide prevention and a bookstore. 

If you would like to raise any issues with our Chair please don't hesitate to get in contact with him. 

Rob Thompson

Deputy Chair

Rob has been part of the Valley Project since 2014 and lives in the Valley with his partner Meagan and son Leon. Rob has held many roles across the exec, including being deputy chair for many of the 8 years he has been involved. More recently Rob has been co-chair of the Project. He has various roles in the community to support tamariki in care.

Marc Schallenberg


Wow! What a crazy, disorienting time we’ve been living in during the past few years. Where can we turn to build more trust, to build more resilience, to find more meaning in life during these unsettled times? Earlier this year, I found myself asking this question on a regular basis. The answer that came to me was, “Help to build your community.” 
I’ve been living in Dalmore for the past 21 years and had been keeping an eye on the great work that the Valley Project was doing, but I didn’t get involved due to time constraints. Now that I have a bit more time, I’ve decided to get involved. I’m happy to be a new member of the Executive of the Valley Project (the new Treasurer) and to help build the resilience of our great community and to help create opportunities for people to meet and work together for the common good. 
I am a freshwater scientist, based at the University of Otago. Using my freshwater expertise, I’ve worked with many community groups to help improve water quality and aquatic ecosystem integrity. I’ve found that working with community groups has been very rewarding – a win-win situation! 
I’ve previously had governance roles as Chairperson and Treasurer of a school board and as the President of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society. I’m also currently the new Secretary of the North Dunedin Shed Society, a great project based at Bonnington Street that has been doing lots of work for the community, including the Valley Project. 
So, I’m excited to be on the Valley Project Executive team. I’m impressed with the calibre of both the people on the Exec and with the Valley Project’s hard-working and committed staff. I really look forward to serving my community and to working with some old friends and many new faces.

Chris Aubin

Exec Member

We have lived in the Valley for 28 years with our children attending both NEV and DNI schools. Following studying at University of Otago I have owned and operated several businesses, residential housing portfolios, CEO of a regional sports body and am currently General Manager of architectural design and steel frame housing manufacturing companies. I have long experience with the management of Not For Profit Organisations from both operational and governance positions. I have a love and passion for The Valley and admire the efforts made by the many volunteers over the years who have made it the place it is. I hope to contribute a little back by way of this role with the VP.

Ross Bennett

Exec Member

Ko Kapukataumahaka te maunga e rū nei taku ngākau

Ko Puke Hau Kea te awa e mahea nei aku māharahara

Nō Ōtepoti ahau

Ko Ross Bennett ahau

E mihi ana ki ngā tohu o nehe, o Ōtepoti e noho nei au

Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa

Kia ora koutou, my name is Ross Bennett and I am very proud to be selected to the Executive Board for the Valley Project in 2022. I was born and bred in Ōpoho, I was a teacher at NEVNS last year, but have taken a year off to study for my Masters of Contemporary Education. My fiance, Wallnely, and I have a cosy house in Crown st that's slowly filling with animals, and we really love the sense of community that NEV has. My hopes are to assist the VP and the Valley community with ideas from my education experiences and enthusiasm. Most days you can meet me being dragged around by our dog Lãrica on North Rd, Chingford park, or near the quarry.

Julie Broderick

Exec Member

Hi! I am Julie Broderick – the new Owner Operator of New World Gardens (along with my husband Craig!) and are very excited about being part of the North East Valley Community. I have 3 children (Jess 15, James 14 and Michael 12). We have recently moved from South Otago where I was very involved in many organisations through the childrens schooling and sporting groups and also a Women in Business group that was set up. I have been on the South Otago Kindergarten Board for 10years, initially as a Parent Rep then a Community Rep where we added 2 further Kindergartens to our Portfolio during that time. What I hope to achieve on the Valley Project Exec is the provision of a connection to the Businesses within the area and to look at where we can assist and support this incredible organisation to ensure that the needs of our Community are met. A quirky fact about me is that I’ve been a Silver Service Waitress (many moons ago!) and served Prince Charles and Elton John at one of the events.

Rhada Forrest

Exec Member

Kia ora, my name is Radha and I am continuing on the board this term. I have been involved with The Valley Project for a number of years, starting as a volunteer receptionist and volunteering with various projects, to then joining the board for four years. The valley is a wonderful place to live and work and I have enjoyed seeing the project grow, change and adapt over the last few years. I am enthusiastic about where The Valley Project is headed and look forward to continuing my Valley Project journey in supporting our vibrant and well connected community. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, nature walks,  and trying to keep my houseplants alive.