Meet the CEO
“It’s my privilege to be the CEO of a Trust that is staffed by people who are dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable throughout communities in various regions across New Zealand.”
It’s now over 30 years since this work began in response to a growing desire of the Glen Eden Baptist Church to help those in need in their surrounding communities. Since then, Visionwest Community Trust has grown to an organisation that has over 1,800 employees, has a national reach, and works with over 50,000 people every year. With all that change though, one thing has remained constant, our absolute commitment, as a faith-led organisation, to doing what we can to meet the needs of the communities we work within.
On this website, you will get an in-depth feel for who we are, what we do, and who we work with. You will also read our vision statement, Transformed Lives, Healthy Communities. For us, this statement is more than words. It helps guide us and ultimately creates the standard by which we review our work.
I’ve been CEO for over 20 years and can attest to the fact that lives have been transformed, and continue to be transformed, and that the communities we work in are healthier and more robust because of the life-transformations of those who reside in them.
It has been a blessing and an honour to be a part of this transformational journey, but we are not done. Unfortunately, the needs which are presented to us on a daily basis continue to grow. The incredible need for emergency housing or long-term supportive housing, those needing emergency food parcels, those youth, adults, and families who are coming and requesting help with complex and varied practical and emotional issues; all of these are on the increase.
Our focus is on a continual shaping and driving of our organisation in a direction that allows us to meet this growing need and the challenges that accompany it. This requires that we understand the communities around us and that we recognise the real needs faced by whānau in our society today, and that we appreciate how to best meet those needs in a way that is effective and culturally appropriate. To this end, our Kaupapa Māori approach to all support service delivery is a priority for us.
We recognise also that the work is such that we cannot do this on our own and so we have gathered around us a group of partners who can walk with us and support us on this journey – just as we have the privilege of walking with and supporting them.
There is one thing we believe with a passion, and that is that, when people work together to achieve good in our communities, amazing things can happen. We have seen it with our own eyes and know that, as long as we continue to greet the vulnerable in our communities with aroha and compassion, we will continue to see amazing changes in the lives of individuals.
It’s a privilege to be the CEO of a Trust that is staffed by people who are dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable in communities in various regions throughout New Zealand.
Thank you for visiting our website. If you would like to know more about Visionwest Waka Whakakitenga or would like to know how you could partner with us in this work, please give us a call. We’d love to talk.
Read Lisa’s Master’s Thesis
Right from when Visionwest first began to address the issues of homelessness, a recognised challenge was determining the best framework to ensure those housed thrived in their communities.
This became such an issue for Visionwest that, in 2011 when Lisa began her master’s thesis, she chose to focus on the topic of Supportive Housing, with a particular emphasis on the Housing First model and using Visionwest as her case-study.
That thesis, Housing Support Services for Families/Whānau and Individuals who have Experienced Homelessness: A Case Study of Visionwest Community Trust, West Auckland, remains a vital piece of work in helping to shape the way community housing is provided today.
You can read Lisa’s thesis here.