Language: English | Māori


Sharon Gemmell

Sharon has a professional Doctorate in Indigenous Development and Advancement, alongside her First-Class Honours in Masters (Hons) in Māori Studies from Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiārangi and a Masters in Education from Victoria University. In 2018 she joined the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to education and Māori. Sharon has been a Director of Blenheim-based Koru Institute Training and Education for nearly twenty years.

What motivated you to be involved with the Rātā Foundation Board?

E pātuki te manawa o te Rātā, he oranga mō te iwi.
(The heartbeat of the Rātā sustains the people).

The Rātā Foundation’s whakataukī, aligns with my personal philosophy; By investing in the community we are investing in our future and the future of our tamariki. I believe I can make a positive and meaningful contribution to the Canterbury, Te Tau Ihu, and Wharekauri community.

What are you most passionate about supporting in the community?

I am enthusiastic about groups who bring our people together and projects that focus on empowerment and strengthen the many multicultural communities. By providing people and their communities with the right tools they can create opportunities and developments that benefit our community. My greatest passion is education, the environment, and the whenua fostering and valuing relationship together (kotahitanga).

What, to you, is one of Rātā Foundation’s greatest achievements and or projects?

In my opinion, Rātā Foundation’s greatest achievement is its investment mission which enables them to build stronger collaborative and transformative practices and partnerships that enhance our community’s future.