Kia ora koutou,
My name is Sally O’Neill and I am co-chair of the Cultural Conversations Trust. I joined the Trust a year ago after being involved in one of Cultural Conversations events- Casual Conversations. This introduced me to the wonderful world of aroha, shared experience and unconditional acceptance that makes this community so special.
I got to share the unfolding discovery of my own whakapapa and acknowledge my tupuna Keke Tumohe - Ngaati Apakura, Ngāti Maniapoto. Every human has the right to have their stories heard and building a community where that is possible is why I am so happy to be contributing to this mahi.
Central to our kaupapa is the belief that all people have intrinsic and equal value, and through the arts we find common ground and similarities while not minimising or ignoring differences. By uplifting voices, enabling participation, challenging oppression and cherishing wisdom we create a pathway to a happier, more vibrant and equitable place to live.
Ma te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tatau. In unity we have strength.