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First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
CEO
Kirk Sargent

Having worked across the globe in Fiji, Hawaii, Australia, UK and Aotearoa in a diverse range of roles, Kirk likes to remind his children his “past abounds with intrigue and adventure”. 

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He cares deeply about empowerment, equity and engagement; his portfolio of commercial and learning focused-work operates at the intersection of today’s societal challenges and creative, innovative responses to them.

Most recently, Kirk led the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative in Auckland.
His career has provided him with rich experiences across compulsory, non-compulsory and free choice learning sectors to draw on.

In 2014, Kirk completed an Education Leadership thesis by working with Tongan parents with children in primary schools – his central hypothesis being: “there is no such thing as a hard to reach audience, it’s about being relevant.

As evidence of his intrapreneurial nous, Kirk has led the development and implementation of a project-based learning curriculum as the vehicle for meaningful learner engagement for second chance learners.

He has championed a community and youth-curated outreach programme which won a New Zealand Museum Award for an outstanding new museum programme that contributes to best practice in the museum sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, and demonstrates community engagement, responsiveness and collaboration.

Inspired by the past; challenging the status quo; and the possibilities of the future, Kirk has headed projects which have led to meaningful learning and employment outcomes such as sending a team of trades trainees’ to Fiji to support the rebuild after Cyclone Winston.

He has also facilitated a courageous and gritty Youse Got Choices campaign targeting Māori and Pasifika communities which set out to shift attitudes about trades as a viable and worthwhile career pathway.

The First Foundation has been on Kirk’s radar for many years, and when the chance to work directly with First Foundation and support the positive and pro-active work the organisation does, he jumped at the opportunity.

Kirk is excited about this new chapter in his career, and working towards making Aotearoa just that little bit better for future generations.

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Business Catalyst
Jacquie Reid

“Poipoia te Kakano Kia puawai” – Nurture the seed and it will blossom. 

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Jacquie has been fortunate to have had strong mentors support her throughout her career which began in tourism and hospitality. These roles instilled a curiosity for continuous improvement and gave her a good foundation to develop people and process skills as well as an opportunity to travel and explore different cultures. Discovering that the world is a small place and we are all very similar no matter where we come from, communication goes beyond the spoken word.
Her mentors have always encouraged her to stretch and try something new which has resulted in her career moving to business development, sales and marketing, learning and organisational development while working from a variety of industries such as Corporate Express, Ernst Young, Manukau Institute of Technology, University of Auckland and ASB. These opportunities exposed her to different ways of working and developed her need for data driven decision making. Making process and systems work for people and not just compliance and reporting, results in everyone aligning with a common goal. Volunteering and empowering others has always been core to her values.

Born in Zimbabwe, Jacquie has lived in the United Kingdom and moved to New Zealand in 2002 where she was introduced to Māori world views which are a great foundation for people being the centre of business. Practices such as a mihi (introduction) at the beginning of each meeting, is great business practice in knowing who is there, why and what we need to achieve.

“Being given the opportunity to work at First Foundation is an amazing opportunity to work for an organisation that supports tomorrow’s leaders. It is a great privilege to be part of a journey that brings together industry, scholars and mentors and is a perfect alignment with my values. First Foundation offers opportunities for individuals to discuss the light within once the light has been discovered “Nothing can dim a light that shines within” Maya Angelou. “

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Partnerships Manager
Amanda Gilchrist

Amanda is a University of Canterbury graduate, gaining a BA double major in Business and Japanese before a Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching.

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Amanda has travelled extensively, with stints working in Canada, Japan, London and Sydney, before returning to settle in Auckland. Since returning Amanda has worked as Operations and Business Development Manager at ACCESS Technology, (Wellington and Sydney), and Sponsorship Manager for Major Events at Auckland City Council.

Having taken 18 months out of the workforce to be a full-time mum to 2 toddlers, Amanda had a chance to reflect on what she really wanted out of her next role.

“There are so many reasons why I enjoy working at First Foundation. First Foundation and its model are inspirational and visionary. It allows me to utilize my key skills and experience in a challenging and worthwhile role that makes a real difference. It impacts the lives of young people that really need and deserve it”.“

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Engagement Manager
Isaac Etimani

Isaac is New Zealand born. He has had a variety of work and voluntary experiences that include New Zealand’s top printing apprentice, studio production, leading various academic and mentoring programmes and voluntary work and events in the community.

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He has extensive creative and people skills and always enjoys the opportunity to provide guidance and full wrap around support to young people.

His years of mentoring, student support and “on the ground” experience provides the appropriate knowledge to encourage our next generation of pioneers to reach their fullest potential.

“I am super privileged to be a part of the successful First Foundation team. I believe in the vision and the heart of the organisation. The scholarships that are offered by our scholarship partners are the most rewarding achievement to the successful applicants”.

Our Board of Trustees

First Foundation is a charitable trust which was incorporated in 1998. It is administered by a voluntary Board of Trustees as follows:

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Chairperson
Rich Easton

CEO of the Neurological Foundation of NZ, Rich moved into this NGO role after 30+ years leading IT, technology & digital teams in the Telco & Insurance sectors.

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Rich has been a mentor with the First Foundation since 2009, and supported the on-boarding of Students into the scholarship programmes within Spark NZ for a number of years. He has also been a regular interviewer for First Foundation student selection days.

In the education sector Rich volunteers time to support School Principals through strategy development as part of Springboard Trust. And on the governance side Rich is the Chair of Volunteering Auckland. 

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Michael Harper

Michael is one of New Zealand’s experienced restructuring and insolvency advisors and co-leads Chapman Tripp’s restructuring & insolvency team.

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Focusing solely on restructuring and insolvency, he brings an unrivalled depth of knowledge and expertise to any distressed situation. For more than 15 years Michael has acted for all of the major New Zealand banks, significant insolvency practitioners, distressed companies, distressed debt and special situations participants, and acquirers of distressed assets and directors.

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Agnes Naera

Ko Rāhiri te māunga. Ko Hokianga Whakapau Karakia te moana. Ko Ngā Toki Matawhaorua te waka. Ko Ngapuhi tōku iwi. Ko Waimamaku tōku hapu. Ko Whakamaharatanga tōku marae. Ko Arkinihi Naera tōku ingoa.

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Agnes has spent 20 year plus in the education sector, her personal mission is to accelerate inclusion and diversity with an emphasis on advancing the aspirations of Māori and Pacific people. She intentionally involves herself with organisations, communities and indviduals that have a shared aspiration to innovate individual action into collective impact.

Agnes Naera Director of Student, Business & Community Partnerships Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Tuputau Lelaulu

Tuputau Lelaulu is an Alumna and Board member. Tuputau co-founded MAU Studio in 2016, an architecture studio that uses regenerative design to help alleviate poverty across the pacific.

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Alongside their architectural services, MAU delivers social design services, education and development programmes with young students, and workshops across the pacific that include young people in their architectural solutions. Success to MAU is seeing each individual understand their own MAU; their essence, their motivator, their unique purpose. Tuputau is thoughtful, intentional and reflective, someone who carries the burden of his people with a mandate to make a true difference for the vulnerable.

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Loretta Mamea

Loretta is a public policy professional with over 13 years in a range policy and regulatory roles in the New Zealand public service and is currently with the Policy and Trade Branch at the Ministry for Primary Industries in Wellington.

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Prior to that, she worked at the Auckland Policy Office of HNZC. Her mum was a teacher who instilled in her a love of learning and a passion for education.

Loretta believes education is the equaliser, but only if we have diverse, inclusive and enabling environments where young people are given the opportunity to realise their fullest potential, and thrive. As the recipient of several scholarships while at University, Loretta knows first hand the value and importance of having the financial and mentoring support required, to succeed and to pay it forward for the next generations. She has been mentoring diverse students and young professionals since her high school days at Papakura High School.

She is a Graduate Scholar of the University of Auckland and has a Masters of Arts in Geography with first class honours from the School of Geography and Environmental Science. She also has a Bachelors in Political Science and Geography. While at University, Loretta worked as a clerk, degree level tutor / student advisor and ambassador.

In 2008, Loretta was one of 15 Samoan scholars worldwide to provide commentary on the academic writings of the Head of State of Samoa, specifically on the topic of “Leadership and cultural competence”. Her commentary is included in the Head of State’s book titled: “Su’esu’e Manogi: In search for fragrance – Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi and the Samoan Indigenous Reference,” published in 2008.

First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Sarah Coleman

Group People and Culture Officer at Warren and Mahoney

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First Foundation Board Trustee, Sarah Coleman
Trustee
Mona-Pauline Mangakahia

He uri au nō Ngāti Marutuahu, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Ngāi Tahu, Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Apa ki te rā tō, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitāne. He tātai whakapapa hoki ōku ki ngā whenua o Sweden, Scotland, France me Spain.

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