The trustees and staff of the Wellington Community Trust (WCT) are responsible for distributing grants to the Wellington region and safeguarding the Trust’s investments.

Our trustees

Our trustees are appointed by the Minister of Finance for a term of 4 years. They bring a wide variety of experience to their governance role – combining investment, legal and financial expertise with a strong understanding of the communities across our region.

Their governance role includes:

  • making decisions about applications for funding
  • reviewing investments and investment strategy
  • developing policies for grant-making and other WCT operations
  • taking responsibility for our strategic direction.

  • Roger Palairet


    Roger has 30 years experience as a lawyer, mainly in Wellington. He is currently the Chief Legal Counsel at Capital & Coast District Health Board..... Read more »
  • Ken Allen


    Ken Allen (BA Economics, Victoria University of Wellington, NZX Diploma) has a background in the financial services industry and the Non-for Profit sector. .. Read more »
  • Mary O’Regan


    Mary has experience and skills in leadership; senior management; social policy analysis; gender analysis; training and training needs analysis; community development..... Read more »
  • Nick Thomas

    Nick Thomas


    Nick is a business owner with many years of service in local government and is keen on the performing arts. He is based in Upper Hutt... Read more »
  • Mele Wendt MNZM

    Mele Wendt - Trustee


    Mele Wendt (BA, DipTchg, CertMgt, CertIoD) spent a total of 24 years in the education sector - first as a secondary school teacher and then..... Read more »
  • Dr Pushpa Wood


    Dr Pushpa Wood has been appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List for 2016 for..... Read more »
  • Ming-chun Wu


    Ming-chun Wu (MBA, BSc, BBus, BEd, BA) is a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors with over 10 years’ experience in..... Read more »
  • Simone Workman


    Simone is of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa decent. She grew up in Porirua, lives and works there, and loves to be involved in her local community..... Read more »
  • Horiana Irwin-Easthope


    Horiana Irwin-Easthope (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Rakaipaaka) spent her early years living in Ōtaki and grew-up living between the Hutt Valley and Te Araroa / Wharekahika (on the East Coast)..... Read more »
  • Diane Tunoho


    Ko Tainui te waka Ko Raukawa ki Uta, Raukawa ki Tai ngā iwi..... Read more »

Our staff

WCT has a small and dedicated staff who manage all the day-to-day work of the Trust and implement the strategies developed by the trustees.

  • Sarah Cole

    Administration Officer

    Sarah has a Masters in Development Studies from the University of Auckland. She has worked in various roles in local government and in the community sector since 1998..... Read more »

    [email protected]

  • Chiara Larotonda

    Chiara larotonda

    Community Engagement & Funding Manager

    Chiara has been working in the Wellington region’s health and social sector since her arrival in the city in 2006. Originally from Miami, Florida, she holds a Master’s of Social Work and..... Read more »

    contact: [email protected]

  • Georgie Ferrari

    Georgie Ferrari Photo

    Chief Executive

    Georgie Ferrari joined the Trust in August 2017. Georgie has more than 25 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, working in the areas of youth, health, housing, disability, education and violence prevention in New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria, Australia... Read more »

    contact: [email protected] 

  • Marysia Collins

    Marysia Collins, Commmunity Engagement and Funding Support

    Communications, Systems, and Data Lead

    Marysia joined the Wellington Community Trust in July 2016 after moving to Wellington from the UK... Read more »

    Contact: [email protected]

Our advisors

Accounting services Kendons Lower Hutt Investment services Mercer New Zealand Auditor Deloitte