Chairperson: Karen Fraser Payne

Karen Fraser Payne has a background in communications, government, the arts, and the disability sector, and is an accredited communications practitioner.

Karen is currently acting general manager for Hohepa Auckland, a residential facility for people with intellectual disabilities.

She is also a director of Hohepa Auckland and Dance Aotearoa (DANZ) and is a former founding trustee and chair of Touch Compass Dance Trust.

For the last eight years Karen was general manager for Touch Compass and prior to that was private secretary tourism to the Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Tourism, and for eight years was the corporate affairs manager for Auckland International Airport.

Karen has an adult daughter with a disability and is passionate about enabling equal access for people with disabilities to all aspects of society.

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Trustee: Rod Wills

Rod Wills has held both voluntary and formal roles in the disability sector for over 30 years. While his experience as the parent of a disabled woman shaped his advocacy, recent reduced mobility following a motorcycle accident many years ago has served as a reminder of the ways that disablement is experienced. Mostly working in community and education settings Rod brings forward the view that all people are valuable, can learn and are creative. He has been the Chair of the Interacting Disability Theatre Company board for the last eight years. Previously a clinical team leader during the closure and deinstitutionalisation of residents from Mangere Hospital; Rod researches and lectures in the area of disability studies at the University of Auckland.

His own creative work is in the area of photography, and he collaborates in the making of community film as a platform for the narratives of disabled people.

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Trustee: Anna Rae

Anna Rae is currently the Gallery Coordinator at Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Auckland Council. Anna worked at Mapura Studios from 2006 to 2009 as an art tutor. Since then she has worked as an art educator, public programmer and gallery coordinator. Anna works with artists and communities, encouraging participation and collaboration in creative projects that contribute to people’s well-being and creative development.

Trustee - John Ferriss

John's background is in broadcasting and advertising. He was the Creative Director of More FM Auckland and Chanel Z. Since 2008, he has run his own boutique advertising agency, Windupbird Ltd. However, his passion is visual art; John paints, illustrates and makes digital collages.

His involvement with Māpura Studios started at the beginning of 2017 as a volunteer in the Wednesday morning Studio Practice class. As well as continuing as a volunteer, John looks after Māpura's social media. 

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Trustee - Dr Robbie Francis

Dr Robbie Francis is a disability advocate, activist, scholar and leader from Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Robbie proudly identifies as a disabled woman, and has dedicated her personal, professional and academic life to advocating for the rights of marginalised populations. She is the co-founder and Director of The Lucy Foundation, an international social enterprise advocating for disability inclusion and environmental regeneration within the global coffee industry. Robbie recently completed her doctorate at the University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies where her research investigated inclusive and accessible peacebuilding and the experiences of disabled Colombian and Venezuelan refugees and asylum seekers in Ecuador. Robbie sits on multiple boards, has been an expert advisor to the New Zealand Government on various strategies and policies, and also works as a senior human rights researcher at the Donald Beasley Institute where she is monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Banner image: Athol Crosby, Bird, 2013