Rez was born in a refugee camp in Pakistan, as her family escaped persecution in their homeland of Kurdistan. She was awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year 2017 for her services to human rights and was a Women of Influence Finalist 2017. She is a lawyer and advocate for human rights, gender equality, and refugee rights. Rez holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.
Bilal is originally from Afghanistan but has been living in New Zealand for the past 18 years. He has recently graduated from the University of Auckland with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and he currently work two jobs - as youth worker for NZ Red Cross and as a behaviour therapist with children on the autism spectrum.
Nosia, a former refugee, was born in Burundi, Central East Africa. Currently, she is a law student at the University of Auckland. Nosia finds it rejuvenating waking to an early morning workout at the gym. She enjoys meeting new people and learning about different cultures.
Grace currently works as an administrator in a counselling firm in West Auckland. Throughout her Psychology degree, she was heavily involved in working with at-risk youth in her community. This, combined with a yearlong internship with mentoring organisation MATES, fueled a passion for youth mentoring.
Chloe-Rose is an Immigration Lawyer and has done some youth advocacy work overseas. She loves meeting people from different parts of the world and is really inspired by the courage and strength of refugees.
As former refugee, Amir entered New Zealand at age seven after spending several months in a refugee camp in Thailand. Currently, Amir is a student at Massey University studying Economics and Finance. Amir's passion is in Economic Development and helping under-developed nations lift its people out of poverty.
Eric is a firm believer in people. He graduated with a BSc in Psychology and is currently working as a HR Consultant at the University of Auckland. He is originally from Malaysia but has been living in New Zealand for the past 8 years. He enjoys travelling, running, and having deep meaningful conversations with people. He believes that education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world.
Daughter of a former Cambodian refugee, Leanne has witnessed first-hand the difficulties of resettling to a foreign country. She therefore wishes to help other refugee background individuals overcome resettlement struggles and to empower them to reach their full potential. With a conjoint degree in Marketing and Public Relations, Leanne hopes to create and share stories that can impact meaningful change in the world.
Originally from Afghanistan, Naheed has lived in New Zealand for almost 18 years of her life. She completed her BSc majoring in Physiology in Auckland before pursuing Medicine at Otago and is currently finishing off her medical training in Wellington! One of Naheed’s biggest passions is advocating for people from refugee backgrounds. Her favourite way to express herself is through writing and photography and she hopes to utilise these skills to shine a light on refugee issues in a creative manner.
Dil holds a BAppSci (Hons) Biotech (Majoring in Genetics) from University of Otago and a Masters of Bioscience Enterprise (Hons) from the University of Auckland. Previously the Operations Director of Parrot Analytics, Dil has been named one of New Zealand’s most entrepreneurial, creative people. As well as working to build world-class businesses, she hopes to help level the playing field for women working in S.T.E.A.M. fields. She has been working on a variety of projects with a focus on Women in Tech and Mental Health.
Originally from Jordan, Eman has lived in New Zealand for almost 12 years. She completed her BA majoring in Sociology and minoring in Criminology from the University of Otago. Eman was a youth worker in Dunedin for two years helping young people from refugee background & youth in care transition into independence. Currently Eman is working as a Postgraduate Academic Student Adviser for the University of Auckland.
Vaash is originally from Fiji and has been living in New Zealand for the past 9 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland and is currently working at a law firm in Auckland. She was previously a mentor with Empower before joining the wider team. She is passionate about gender and racial equality, LGBTQI+ rights, and raising mental health awareness.