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Our Board

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Independent Living is governed by a Board of Trustees. We are privileged to have the volunteer services of our Trustees who represent a wide talent bank giving greater community perspective and vision for the future. Independent Living benefits from their generous contribution of time, knowledge and skills. 


Paul Brown - Chairperson

Paul Brown has a blend of both commercial and for-purpose experience, working in the automotive, financial services and international development sectors. Paul has held key leadership positions, including being CEO for 16+ years of an international development agency, senior roles within multinationals, and governance positions including chairing a peak body.

Today Paul is a Strategic Advisor in his own consulting business, applying critical insights and transformative thinking to assist businesses to remain relevant, sustainable and impactful. Much of this work is at the intersection of the social sector with purpose-driven corporations.

Paul sees huge potential for Independent Living Charitable Trust’s continued success, in driving impact alongside a critical and growing segment in our community.


Kumar Aravinda

Kumar has a wealth of well-rounded specialist audit and consulting experience and until recently was a Partner at RSM. His clients included large global companies, privately owned enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations.

He was also a member to the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountant's Professional Standards Board for eight years. The Board was responsible for developing all professional and ethical standards.

He was a member of the Audit Reference Group (ARG). The ARG was established to provide feedback to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) NZ member and meets prior to each IAASB meeting to consider matters on the upcoming IAASB meeting agenda.

Kumar was awarded Fellowship by the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in 2021. Kumar is also an associate member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK.


Julie Garlick

Julie is an experienced senior marketer and strategist, with a breadth of industry experience ranging from automotive and FMCG, through to retail and aged care. With leadership roles at some of New Zealand’s most iconic publicly listed companies, Julie applies a sound business lens to decision making.

Julie’s true passion though lies in customer experience, assisting businesses to put the customer at the heart of every decision or process. Today, Julie consults to companies in the healthcare and disability space, on projects ranging from the expansion of customer offerings, growing their service delivery and expanding geographic or demographic reach.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Marketers, Julie is excited about the opportunities Independent Living has to help customers live better lives through providing them with the products and services to remain independent and in charge.


Grace Stratton

Grace Stratton was born with cerebral palsy, but hasn't let that hold her back. Grace has a double degree in law and communications, and  is currently completing her Masters of Law. 

Grace is passionate about creating opportunities for others. She helped disabled people be cast in Fashion Shows at NZFW for the first time ever in 2019, and her consultancy company All is for All employs 5 disabled people. Grace is passionate about disabled person led, positive change and is passionate about supporting our ILSNZ kaupapa. 


Teresa Hura-O'Connor

Teresa is Māori (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) and an experienced editor and senior journalist who has worked in both New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Her journalism work at community, regional and national level rests on strong written and verbal communication skills.
A belief that cultural competency is essential in this modern world grounds Teresa's interest in governance, with a focus on insight around simple implementation of Treaty of Waitangi principles at the workplace or board level. As a mother, she also understands the education journey for young people requiring learning support in New Zealand.
Teresa has been involved at management level of a variety of sports codes including netball and swimming. She has key relationships with many community organisations alongside whānau, hapū and iwi. Teresa strongly supports Independent Living's mahi promoting disabled person led positive change in society. 

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