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Our team

Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer

What I love about Ara Taiohi I love that Ara Taiohi is working to connect the sector, raise the standards, champion youth development and promote sustainability.

I love that Ara Taiohi walks the talk. I love that we’re connected, and strengths based, focused on the big picture, and on supporting the sector with good information.

Ara Taiohi is the national kaitiaki of positive youth development, and I’m so proud to work for a sector that is diverse, committed, inspiring and connected. 

I bring experience in education and in working collaboratively in support of young people. 

My favourite food is WAHI KAI made by the amazing students at Wellington High! South Indian or Fiji thali served up on a banana leaf. Any kind of dumplings...mmm, dumplings.

Ask me about the history of mainstream media representations of youth! Māori and Pacific cinema. Indian television. Moral panics!

My role model is my fabulous and lovely friend Alice Leslie- check her out here


Brenda Crooks, Office Administrator

What I love about Ara Taiohi: Awesome people who are fun to work with.

I bring: My lunch every day.

My favourite food: Where do I start? Probably pizza, but gluten free base is kinda killing it for me.

Ask me about: Growing up in Greymouth.

My role model is: Oprah! She’s overcome a difficult early life and become a huge inspiration for positivity.


Shannan Wong, Communications & Youth Week Coordinator

What I love about Ara Taiohi: The working environment, the membership, constant inspiration and connection to positive youth development.

I bring: over a decade as a Youthline Wellington volunteer, laughter, social media and energy (definitely not height).

My favourite food: bacon and cocktails o_o.

Ask me about: an Apostille, emojis and my fave places to visit (drink) in the world.

My role models are: my family (especially the legacy of my Yetyet), Rep John Lewis and Malala Yousafzai.


Jane Zintl, Professional Association Development Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohithat our sector is leading and owning a journey towards professionalisation that reflects who we are as youth workers in Aotearoa.

I bring: commitment, heart and energy.

My favourite food: curry – cooked by my hubby with a nice glass of pinot gris.

Ask me about while I am known as the COE lady – and I am happy to talk about this forever – ask me about strengths!

My role model is a combo of my kids, Mother Teresa, my husband and Tessa Dodge (leader of Strengths Finder South Pacific).


Kirsten Le Harivel, Digital Strategy Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi is its potential to work collaboratively and intersectorally to make a difference for young people in Aotearoa.

I bring experience in many areas of the youth sector and a collaborative and solutions-focussed approach.

My favourite food is anything cooked with love and skill.

Ask me about writing, poetry and food.

My role models are people who live their lives simply and with dignity, respect and humility.


Rachel Dobric, Involve Project Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi - I love the amazing supportive team and members - who are all super passionate about making a difference for rangatahi in Aotearoa.

I bring - a decade of experience in working with young people - and a love for curating transformative experiences.

My favourite food is - changes every day - but it's hard to go past Mr Zhou's Dumplings in Auckland!

Ask me about - climate diplomacy, the United Nations, and my favourite TV shows.

My role model is - the amazing young people around the world who are working every day to challenge injustice and push for a better future. Young people are the best!


Dayna Carter, Involve Event Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi is how they get shiz done (like actually!), open source their learnings and of course how its all to benefit the young people of Aotearoa.

I bring to the team my learnings from my previous job at Lifehack, how to practice wellbeing, my positive energy and of course anything relating to events. 

My favourite food this is a hard one as I love all food. If you had to make me choose, it would either be boil up (made my mother in law) and of course my mums trifle!

Ask me about boxing (as my partner and I own a boxing gym), anything events related, mummy hood, home made decoration and card making.

My role model is - to be honest I don't have one particular role model as I meet people daily who I learn from and apply those things to my life. Role models are everywhere :)

Thanks to all the staff and contractors who have contributed to Ara Taiohi so far

Adela Jones, Andrea Leersnyder, Brittney Schinzel, Glenda McCallum, Hannah Dunlop, Kabel Manga, Elizabeth Kerekere, Leanne O'Connell, Ray Ropata, Sandra Dickson, Simon Hartman, Sonya Hogan, Trina King and  Wendy Osmond.