Meet the newest staff and executive members of the Valley Project!
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.
Marc Schallenberg - Treasurer
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.
Liam Dell - Community Development Coordinator
Kia ora! I’m very happy to have joined the Valley Project as the new Community Development Co-ordinator. I come from a background of Not-for-Profit & charity advocacy as well as community health and harm reduction practice. I look forward to contributing to the team and collaborating with them and the North East Valley community to create new opportunities, sustain successful initiatives and promote communal events. I’m eager to meet with you and discuss advocacy and event opportunities or whatever it is that is on your mind! In my spare time I like to make music, practice photography, go to gigs and travel. I returned to Dunedin in 2018 and base myself in St Clair where I can be close to the beach and friends.
Ceri Jenkins - Exec Member
Ceri has been part of the Valley for 25 years residing in Opoho. Ceri brings a huge range of skills and lived experience to the table of the Valley Project of hardship and understanding her communities needs. Ceri also has a strong understanding of the power of volunteer work and how rewarding it is to be a volunteer. This can lead to significant self growth and social networks for volunteers. Ceri has a passion for the environment and the circular economy. A fun fact about Ceri is the welsh spelling of 'Keri' in recognition of her welsh roots.
James Sutherland - Executive Chair
Kia Ora, I’m James your new Chair of the Valley Project for this year. I have around 6 years of experience in the governance setting. Currently I sit on the board of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust, along with being a peer supporter for the organisation as well. I have been involved with the Valley Project for 3 years now. Last year I was secretary for the executive. I am deeply passionate about the connections of our community and what binds us together
as the best suburb in Dunedin. I’m sure all of you can attest to that. A fun fact about me is that I have biked up Baldwin Street on an electric bike…. If you see me around give me a yell and if you have an ways you want to see your community improved hit me up.
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. 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.