Meet the 2020 SFC Executive Team

Hear from all of our wonderful 2020 executive team about who they are and what sustainability means to them!

Sustainable Future Collective


Tēnā koutou friends! My name is Caitlyn and I am the Sustainable Future Collective’s president for 2020. I am in my last year of uni studying a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.

I grew up on a dairy farm for most of my childhood (I know it’s the dark side haha). However, I learnt to have an appreciation for open green spaces and that when it is done respectfully, agriculture can be part of the solution. Ironically, I am now mostly vegan.

Only in 2018, I became fully passionate about climate action. Since the day I joined SFC, this passion has only deepened and I have learnt so much from my fellow SFC friends by simply being surrounded by their energy. For me, sustainability is actually about connecting to yourself again; it’s about being conscious in every area of your life. Conscious about your decisions, conscious about living to make the world healthier and happier, and conscious in your relationships with others. That is why I love what SFC stands for - a collective of all kinds of people working together to bring about change for a better future. Being a part of a community that includes all people groups, uplifts and supports you to make effective changes in your life, plus changes in existing systems, is one of the most fulfilling ways to exist. This is why I care about environmental change and why I am a part of SFC.

Aroha nui x

This image is central to why I care - it’s about protecting and conserving our connection to nature in a healthy way; having access to places like these are a privilege I want to value and respect.

Heya, I’m North and I’m with SFC as a Designer.

Ever since people started bugging me about my plans after graduation, my goal has been to get into the creative industry. I’m lucky to be able to design for a cause now because my degree is all about making art that provokes thought or feeling.

In 2018, I went on a journey around the world that hugely inspired me. I adopted a huge appreciation for nature and met people no different from myself making a serious difference in sustainability and environmental conservation through outreach. Returning to Auckland, I found that there were people just as inspirational in my home town. Those people call themselves the Sustainable Future Collective. Change starts with yourself. To me, making a difference doesn’t mean changing the world. It starts by doing what you can, which in turn will stir those around you to do the same.

My place of significance, Karioitahi Beach

Kia ora! I’m Claire, and I’m one of the Super Fun Change Makers for this year. Currently, I’m in my third year of a Law and Science conjoint, majoring in Environmental Science and Geography. As much as I enjoy learning about different types of environmental and sustainability-related practices through lectures, being able to learn with others through clubs like SFC is so much more engaging and rewarding.

Growing up, my dad always took our family out for hikes around Auckland. Each little adventure was a constant reminder of how big the world was and still is. This planet is our home- it’s beautiful and funky, and there’s only one. This means we need to take care of it, just like how it takes care of us. I remember the idea of climate change initially being incredibly daunting and overwhelming, but it's continuously becoming a more accessible topic and there's a wholesome, determined community to go along with it.

Sustainability can be as simple as having conversations with friends and family, learning with others and making small changes as individuals. But it also means collaborating with others to appreciate our world and understand the impacts we're having. A key part of this is being aware that different groups may be disproportionately disadvantaged, and actively seeking solutions to create just transitions. Climate change and sustainability may initially seem daunting and impossible to change as individuals, but through collaboration, we can implement small changes to make and demand big changes.

My place of significance - Kawhia. Humans are tiny, but our impacts, both good and bad, are huge! (We only want good impacts though!)

Kia Ora beautiful humans! My name is Jess and I am the Sustainable Future Collective’s social media manager for 2020. I am in my second year, studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Global Studies conjoint.

I am a people person. I love meeting and connecting with people alike and different because we can either bond over similar things or learn something new by gaining a different perspective. Growing up, my parents have always taught me to be grateful, to be nice to others, to understand different cultures and perspectives, and not to impose my values but to be open-minded. I consider myself an informed global citizen, and I began to care more about global issues such as the climate crisis.

It always breaks my heart to see images or videos of our degrading environment: plastic in oceans, climate refugees, islands sinking, animals suffering, people struggling to meet their basic needs… the list goes on. It is exactly these linkages between environmental abuse and economic and political priorities that result in poverty, inequality, and allows for environmental degradation to continue. Why must some suffer through natural disasters, conflicts and war over scarce resources, food insecurity and poverty while others prosper through increased wealth by destroying the planet???

These injustices were unsettling, and I asked myself why I could live a happy life without the worries of my home sinking, the availability of food and water, and the safety and security of my daily life. And so I began my journey of understanding, connecting with people and the environment. Now, with technology which is a truly powerful source, it has enabled me to engage with sustainability issues even more. I am thankful to be the social media manager this year and to help spread SFC’s message: promoting sustainability in an inclusive and non-judgemental manner so that anyone whether alike or different can engage.

View from Mount Paku Summit, Tairua at 5:00am in the morning. I dreaded waking up so early to climb to the summit but this photo will always remind me of the beauty of nature and why we must preserve it.

Kia Ora, I’m Michael and this is my first year as a part of the SFC! The role I fulfill in the general executive is that of a ‘Super Fun Changemaker’, meaning I get to help out wherever I can. I run events, connect with other organisations in the community, and help generate ideas for the collective. I grew in a progressive household in Dunedin, with the Otago Peninsula at my doorstep and the Southern Alps in my backyard, so I am lucky enough to have a strong appreciation and awareness of the environment.

Funnily enough, that is what sustainability means to me: appreciation for the environment and what it gives us, and awareness of our place in the world and the effects of our decisions. I truly believe that this appreciation and awareness is the secret to unifying our efforts as a species to make a sustainable future a reality. The SFC gives me a lot of passion and purpose in life, helping me focus more of my energy on sustainable causes, events and ideas, for which I am truly grateful.

Lake Wilson in the Otago Southern Alps is one of the most significant places I have ever been in my life. I will always use the memories and feelings this place gave me to remind myself of the importance of committing to Kaitiakitanga.

Kia ora! I’m Sarah, the Vice President for SFC this year. Currently, I’m in my third year studying Bachelor of Commerce (Operations & Supply Chain Management) and Science (Environmental Science and Geography) conjoint – phew, always a bit of a mouthful. The aim of my degree is to incorporate sustainability into businesses but it took me a while to figure out where exactly I was heading. When I left school, I knew I wanted to do something that made a difference and something I enjoyed. Caring for the environment through kaitiakitanga just made sense to me. Sustainability is about socio-cultural, environmental and economic stewardship; a holistic approach that encompasses all that I care about.

A little house overlooking the sea on the Hibiscus Coast is the place that I am exceptionally privileged and grateful to call home my whole life. This place, especially the ocean, always gives me a sense of peace and belonging. A daily reminder of how lucky I am to call Aotearoa home. And so, sustainability to me translates to a way I can respect the earth, through awareness of my actions and appreciation for nature. SFC has given me purpose in a practical way and enabled me to connect with the BEST like-minded people. Beyond excited to see where we go and who we connect with.

My place of significance: the view from my home (Hibiscus Coast)

Hey, I’m Lyv. My passion for sustainability is centred around the need to conserve our natural ecosystem, plants and animals. I am a fourth year science and commerce conjoint, with my main focuses around ecology and marine science.

I spend a whole lot of my time both in the water and chasing insects with my camera. I absolutely adore wild animals, both terrestrial and aquatic - I want to help conserve them through sustainable behaviour and encourage others to appreciate them too.

My role in SFC is to lead the UOA Bee Sanctuary, as an action group. This role is focused around land regeneration, supporting Aotearoa’s pollinators and finding ways to inspire other UOA students to do the same. Pollinators are essential to a thriving ecosystem, but are in a bit of trouble due to habitat loss and lack of flowering food in the city. It’s only a small garden in the scheme of things, but every small bit helps toward a sustainable future.

Chasing bees with my camera.

Kia ora koutou, ko Hannah tōku ingoa. No Tāmaki Makaurau ahau. I’m a 3rd year MBChB student who’s passionate about people, community, nature and following Jesus. My hobbies include playing the piano and singing (in private), baking (yum), going for walks and being at the beach (woo the great outdoors), and spending time with my family, my boyfriend, friends (especially when there's cute animals involved - always end up running out of phone storage rip).

I think I first became curious about caring for the environment from reading a picture book we had as kids about all the amazing things on our planet. However, the book then goes on to say how much our poor world is suffering from the impact of humans - from deforestation and the loss of the homes of wildlife, to polluted seas and changes in the weather. It became pretty evident to me as an eight year old that we had to make some drastic changes for our world. Fast forward to today and I’m here to take a more active role in raising awareness and educating people about how we can all make a difference. I hope that as a collective we can inspire and encourage one another in this journey to protect our home :))

Opononi Beach in the Hokianga Habour - so many memories here!

Hi, my name is Grace and this is my second year of being in SFC.

My role this year is head of media. I grew up in Hamilton and Raglan, moving to Auckland when I was 13. I have a great appreciation for the environment as from a young age, my father moved to Ruapuke, South West of Raglan. The road was a dirt road and we lived on a property that was falling apart and the only thing to do during the days was to explore the trees, the bushes of raspberries and blackberries and the estuary down at the beach.

I spent most of my childhood outdoors making up imaginary stories and being immersed in the astounding environment. The image below summarises some of my greatest memories through my high school and university years.

Muriwai beach, Bethells and Piha have kept me connected to my childhood through their resemblance to Raglan beach. The West Coast of the North Island never ceases to remind me that the land needs protection. I believe that sustainability is about experiences, care, finding fulfillment in simple things, protection, incorporation and safeguarding the environment from harm. Finding gratitude from the simplest of things and putting in the effort to maintain and protect these things in order to allow everyone to benefit in the future. The interconnection with the earth, the species that live on the earth and finding ways to live your life, without valuing consumption, wealth and ignorance is an important way to find sustainable meaning as you grow. I value being a part of SFC as it allows me to make and create sustainable choices for others to learn from and it keeps me active in support of making responsible life choices that value the environment.

Hi, I’m Reuben and I’m a Super Fun Changemaker for SFC this year. To me, sustainability starts with realising that you are not above everything else. That the needs of others in the present and future are just as important as your own.

On top of this, a healthy respect for your environment and the world around you, breeds a form of respect for yourself and your own happiness. We need our planet and everything that it offers for us to live, so why would we want to threaten the world that nurtures us? Sustainability is as much about helping the natural world to survive as it is to reconnect ourselves with nature and the life-forces that provide for us.

Sanders Reserve, Paremoremo. Just down the road from me, I like to call this special place my backyard!

Kia ora! My name’s Dana and I’m lucky enough to be one of the Design Managers for SFC as well as the photographer. I’m in my third year of my Mechatronics and Exercise Science conjoint and have been apart of this sweet family since my first year of uni!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved running wild outdoors (riding my bike at Mission Bay, the phenomenal playground at One Tree Hill and just running around with a basketball in my backyard were top notch childhood memories that I’ll cherish forever) and surrounding myself with fresh air whenever good ol’ Auckland weather permits. Oh, the sun’s out today and the skies are blue? Catch me inconveniently moving my whole room outside to catch some extra rays while I study.

As a young human bean passionate about a variety of things, I was also that kid in primary school chanting reduce, reuse, recycle too often (which actually isn’t that effective of a saying now…). Put two and two together and I guess that’s why I care so much about this planet we live on and protecting it for not only ourselves, but the beautiful animals that live on it, the wider community and the future generations yet to come.We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and everyone deserves to live a beautiful life on it, so why not put in a bit of extra effort to treat it how it deserves to be treated?

Abel Tasman 2017

Hi, my name is Adam and I am the treasurer for SFC this year. This is my second year in this role and I have loved every moment of it. I am now in my 4th year of mechatronics engineering!

Sustainability to me is about making sure that our following generations are able to experience the natural beauty we are fortunate to surround ourselves with today. Respecting and caring for the environment and teaching others to gain this appreciation is what sustainability is all about.

Tawhitokino Beach - This beautiful remote beach I found on the east coast of Auckland. It's an amazing calming spot that I drive to when I need to think.

Hey! I’m Stephanie and I’m a third-year civil engineering student and a first year SFC exec member (as a Super Fun Changemaker).

I love learning and being curious about how the world works. When I’m not studying, you’ll find me running or walking in nature. I grew up in Wellington and so the Wellington waterfront is a significant place for me. It’s where the man-made and the natural world meet and that’s what sustainability means to me, remembering the important connection between us and Mother Earth.

I aim to live an intentional life and sustainability means making conscious choices. I choose to do everything with kindness to myself, others and the planet. Sustainability isn’t just about a societal movement but an mindset shift in each of us individually.

My place of significance

Hi, I'm Ashleigh and I am our Secretary for 2020. I joined SFC last year as a complete newbie, and couldn't be happier I went out of my comfort zone to do it. The team is such a delight to work on events with and genuinely care about other people and sustainability.

Growing up in west Auckland, I was a bit of a weird kid and spent a lot of time alone outdoors - climbing trees and swimming etc. Because of that, I’ve always valued nature because it’s fun and pretty and worms are cool. BUT that level of value for the environment isn’t the case for many kiwis. I was lucky to have a middle-class upbringing and enviro-school education in tree-hugging Laingholm. But this is about ME so the tangent continues.

My mindset changed drastically by taking ecology and plant biology papers, where I finally learnt the inherent value environmental systems have, and that a human centric approach is not sustainable. NZ is lucky to be a relatively young and well developed nation, so we have many advantages and knowledge sources to draw on to achieve a sustainable future.

Native forest photo taken on a hike that I was woefully unprepared for.

Hi! I’m Chriselle and I’m really excited to be a Grafton Satellite Officer on the SFC Exec for 2020!

I’m passionate about sustainability because I believe that the earth belongs to all of us and as such it is our moral obligation to care for it. Everyone of us has the ability, as well as the responsibility, to make simple changes in our daily lives that together will make a world of difference. Building a sustainable earth is a team effort and every player’s contribution is invaluable. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we are all on the same team, working together to preserve something that is so much bigger than us.

Place of significance: Majorda Beach, South Goa, India -where I first fell in love with the sea :)

Hi, my name is Merle and this is my third year on the SFC exec. As a mechatronics engineer, logic plays a big role in my life - my interest in sustainability stems from this logic. Sustainability doesn’t stop at saving the environment, it’s also proven to lead to a more secure economy, and happier humans. In contrast from when I first got into sustainability five years ago, the abundance of eco-friendly alternatives we have at our fingertips is incredible. From beeswax wraps, to electric bicycles, to a wide range of plant milks; what we now have available makes it that much easier to make a conscious choice. There are so many simple ways to be sustainable too. For example, I bring my own lunch to uni which saves plastic, high carbon foods and also saves me money! I will admit, I’m not a very passionate person but sustainability is just something that makes sense. Don’t ruin the world we live in? Sounds pretty smart to me.