Youth Advisory Group

Philanthropy New Zealand’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG) was established in 2016. The group has been created to address ways the philanthropic and grantmaking sector can support, engage and include youth in all levels of decision making.

YAG is a group of under-35s who are influencers in their field of work and have a connection or passion within the philanthropy sector.


     We would like to thank the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust

      who is supporting the work of the Youth Advisory Group.


Molly Allen, 26, Hamilton

Molly hails from the Waikato and currently lives in Hamilton. She has a degree in Political Science and Anthropology, and continues to be fascinated by people, culture and communities. As a Grants Advisor at Trust Waikato (a community trust), she works hands-on at a grassroots level, supporting groups from the sports, education, and health sectors.

Molly has recently returned from Ecuador where she spent three weeks volunteering in the Amazon Basin, living in the jungle with local people, eating local food, and immersing herself in their culture. She helped to increase sanitation in the area, and taught English to children at the local school. As a co-founder of Norris Academy, Molly spends much of her week helping children, youth and adults to increase their confidence and self-esteem through self-defence using the art of karate. Molly thrives on the outdoors and loves paddle boarding and mountain biking; to chill she enjoys reading a good book.

Helen Anderson, 29, Wellington

Helen grew up in Whangarei and now lives in Wellington. She has degrees in Film, Psychology, and Criminology, and developed a passion for supporting the community sector while studying. This led her to work for JustSpeak, the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, Inspiring Stories, and in 2013 Helen co-founded Film for Change Aotearoa, a volunteer collective who believe in filmmaking for a fairer world.

Helen started her philanthropic career working for the J R McKenzie Trust in 2017. Helen is now the Grants Lead and Project Manager for the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. She contracts to the J R McKenzie Trust and is on the board of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust. In her spare time Helen pats cats, gardens, Chairs the Governance Board of Film for Change Aotearoa, and volunteers her filmmaking skills with Wellington charities. “I’m stoked to be on the Youth Advisory Group, and not just because it’s flattering to still be counted as a young person. I hope we can foster more tuakana teina learning opportunities in the sector.”

Cale Borell, 21, Auckland

Ko Mauao te maunga

Ko Tauranga te Moana

Ko Takitimu me Mataatua ngā waka

Ko Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai te rangi me Tainui ōki iwi

Ko Pirirakau, Ngati Apakura me Tuwhiwhia ōku hāpu

Ko Paparoa, Poututerangi, Hangarau, Kahotea me Opurero ōku Marae

Originally from Tauranga Moana Cale is currently studying in Tāmaki Makaurau at the University of Auckland a Bachelor of Commerce and Law conjoint degree. Passionate about Politics, Governance, Business, Social Fairness and unleashing the Potential of Rangatahi.

Cale is studyinga Bachelor of Commerce and Law conjoint degree at the University of Auckland. He sits on a number of initiatives, boards and committees. Currently the youngest sitting board member for his Hapū, Pirirakau and member of the The Moko Foundation National Youth Board.

Within the philanthropic space Cale aims to further advocate for the voice of rangatahi in organisations like Philanthropy New Zealand with other like-minded individuals to make Aotearoa New Zealand a more prosperous and giving nation.

Dayna Carter, 33, Wellington

Dayna Derbyshire is our newly appointed Youth Champion. This role supports the Youth Advisory Committee to have an influential voice into the philanthropy sector. She has a wealth of experience and, alongside this role she works at The Gift Trust as an administrator.

She contracted at Ara Taiohi as an Event Manager running their youth sector conference called Involve. In her spare time, Dayna is Co-Director of Wellington Boxing Gym that collaborates with local community groups and New Zealand based charities.


Naisi Chen, 26, Auckland

 Naisi is the youngest trustee to date on the board of Foundation North. She is the Vice President of the youth wing of the NZ Labour Party-Young Labour and also sits on the board of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Naisi is a choral conductor, former President of the New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association, an alumnus of the Office of Ethnic Communities Young Leaders Program, and recipient of the 2017 ANZ Community Spirit Award.

She currently works for Parliamentary Services as well as her own business consultancy company. Naisi hopes to use her experience of being a young person in Not-for-profit governance to add a different dimension of conversation to YAG.

Michaela Latimer, 29, Raglan

Michaela is passionate about enabling people and communities to flourish. Her work, governance and voluntary involvement is woven with roles and projects in community organisations, particularly with young people. She is the programmes manager for the Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato, developing and delivering school-based programmes proven to increase the self-efficacy, confidence and wellbeing of tamariki and rangatahi.

She is also co-founder of Āhei, a social enterprise working to help people uncomplicate their relationship with food and their bodies. Selected for a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2020, Michaela will be travelling to the U.S. and U.K. to explore how positive youth development frameworks may be further adapted and applied in Aotearoa. Originally from Wellington, Michaela now lives in Raglan, so she’s usually on the beach, in the bush or watching the sunset.

Andrew Lesa, 30, Auckland

Andrew is a policy consultant at the Asian Development Bank and subsidiary director at the Manukau Institute of Technology. He’s a thirty year old New Zealand Samoan with strong ties to faith-based philanthropy in his home town of South Auckland.




Nicole Lin, 29, Auckland

Nicole is passionate about diversity & inclusion in STEM, advancing adoption and awareness of technology for social impact. She works at Spark NZ as a data scientist and was previously at Microsoft.





Gemma Major, 28, Waikato

 Gemma is passionate about enhancing youth wellbeing through youth-led change. Her current mission is to enable holistic, integrative, and long-term regenerative change with young people that is inevitably imprinted onto our tamariki. Seed Waikato is her current vehicle for this, an organisation she co-founded in 2017. They create community-based education, facilitate community connection, and support greater youth contribution.

She is also passionate about re-defining philanthropy in Aotearoa to foster greater inclusion, innovation, and disruption from young people, and is a Board member of Philanthropy New Zealand.

Gemma was part of the founding team at Momentum Waikato, the region’s community foundation. In the four years she worked for the foundation, she developed a heart for strategic philanthropy, developing services for donors, strategies to grow the fund, and launched Waikato Vital Signs.

Shreya Rao, 27, Auckland

Kia ora tātou

Ko Puketāpapa te maunga

Ko Auaunga te awa

Ko Shreya tōku ingoa



Shreya began working in the advocacy space in 2012. She was passionate about youth mental health and wanted to see a change in the way services are delivered. Her advocacy took her into clinical services, onto governance boards, and on various panels at conferences. During this time, Shreya also gained conjoint degrees in Public Health and Science. Shreya currently works at Auckland Council alongside politicians and their constituents.

Her proudest achievements are the young people she mentored through NGOs such as the Mental Health Foundation and Changing Minds. Participants have spoken at schools, showcased art and poetry, and shared their stories on TV. It gives her great pride to see these rangatahi continue to champion the kaupapa their forebearers began.

Kii Small, 22, Kaitaia/Wellington

Kii is a board member on the Ministry of Youth Development Partnership Fund Board, former Editor in Chief and award winning creative writer at Salient Magazine and the creator of the SaySoProject and Cozy Corner Podcast.




Paige Sullivan, 19, Christchurch

Paige Sullivan is a 19 year old Law and Commerce student from Christchurch. She is currently the youngest Board Member on the Ministry of Youth Development Partnership Fund Board, 298 Youth Health, and is one of the youngest Rotarians in New Zealand.

She actively works with multiple funders across New Zealand to assess and allocate funding, specifically in the youth and arts sectors. Paige was a finalist for the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards 2018, is a KiwiBank Local Hero Medalist, and was one of the youngest recipients of a University of Canterbury Blues Award for Community in 2019. She has joined the YAG to advocate for young people.