Speakers (GW)

National Speakers

Girol-Karacaoglu-160pxDr Girol Karacaoglu
Dr Girol Karacaoglu is Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury, Wellington. He joined the Treasury on 1 March 2012. His role is to provide strategic leadership on broad economic policy issues, in particular fiscal and monetary policy settings, and New Zealand’s international linkages. The Chief Economist role is critical to championing and lifting the quality and capability of the Treasury’s economic advice. Girol came to the Treasury from The Co-operative Bank, where he was Chief Executive for nine years. His previous roles include General Manager at Westpac NZ, Chief Economist at the National Bank of NZ, and lecturer in economics at Victoria University of Wellington. He has a PhD in Economics and an MBA, and is fluent in French and Turkish.  He has three adult daughters and one son and enjoys reading, classical music, walking, dancing, movies, and family activities.

Dr Carwyn JonesDr Carwyn Jones 160x200
Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. He holds undergraduate degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. His primary research interests relate to the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous legal traditions. Before joining the Faculty of Law in 2006, Carwyn worked in a number of different roles at the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori Land Court, and the Office of Treaty Settlements. He is the author of New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law (UBC Press, July 2016). He is also the co-editor of the Māori Law Review and maintains a blog, Ahi-kā-roa, on legal issues affecting Māori and other indigenous peoples..

Local Speakers

Virginia BrindVirginia
Virginia Brind is the Group Manager of Planning, Funding and Population Health at Hauora Tairāwhiti. Tairāwhiti is Virginia’s home, having grown up there and then returned. She started her working life as a social worker at then went to the then Department of Social Welfare (now CYF) in Tairāwhiti, with a primary interest in the child abuse and neglect area. Virginia moved in the mid-1990s to work as a social worker at Gisborne hospital and has since had a variety of roles within the DHB. In the last few years Linda has worked in the DHB funding area. The importance of this role is in its relationships with the community and in working with others to ensure community engagement and ownership of initiatives. She also values today’s emphasis on active cross-agency activity – planning and service delivery, as this is fundamental to making a difference.

Linda Coulston
Linda Coulson - Gisborne speakerLinda Coulston has been the manager at SuperGrans Tairāwhiti Trust for 4 years. SuperGrans Tairāwhiti has been operating since 2003. All Supergrans branches are not-for-profit charitable trusts. At the present time there are nine branches around the country. When Linda initially took over this role she was sadly taken aback with the life skills some in the community lacked; this to her is another arm of poverty and one that SuperGrans aims to reduce. Outside of work, Linda is married and a mother to three busy and inspiring children who are involved in just about anything they can get their hands on. Linda is lucky to have the most amazing 95 year old mother-in-law living with her in an attached flat. Her extended family includes two dogs, six chooks and one very spoilt cat. Linda’s ‘me’ time is spent baking, capturing that special photograph and fishing whenever she can. Linda’s ‘community time’ is spent on boards with the Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club, Gisborne Girls High School and SuperGrans Aotearoa.

Leighton Evans photo - Gisborne speaker 2 .jpg Leighton Evans
Leighton Evans has been General Manager of the Eastland Community Trust since 2010. As such, he has spearheaded a number of initiatives focused on economic development, the creation of jobs, the advancement of education  and the support of projects within the social sector. ECT’s mission is to contribute towards increasing the quantity and quality of choices people and groups can make to build meaningful and fulfilled lives – with a focus on commercial and community initiatives.

Annette Toupili20160809-tacklingpovertynz-annette-toupili
Annette Toupili is part of Te Ora Hou, a network of faith-based youth and community development organisations working with young people, their whānau and communities in many places across Aotearoa. Annette is also a resident of a Deprivation 10 neighbourhood in Tairāwhiti.




Jess Jacobs20160809-tacklingpovertynz-jess-jacobs
Jess Jacobs is a single mother and volunteer, helping the homeless and hungry in Gisborne.