News from our Board of Trustees

By Anglican Family Care | Posted: Monday May 31, 2021

For the first time in our history, the Anglican Family Care Board of Trustees has recently initiated a governance internship. It demonstrates a progressive, solution-focused approach to address the difficulty in attracting people to Charitable Trust Board roles, targeting the 20 to 35 year age group. It is a non-voting role, with a two-year commitment and the intern has the opportunity to continue as a board member after the internship, where the programme would be rerun.

Annabelle Cullinane became our first AFC Board Intern, and we recently had an opportunity to talk to her.


Annabelle explained she was born in Australia, raised in Hong Kong, studied in China, the US and New Zealand, she has finally found Dunedin as a place to settle and call home. She moved to Dunedin in 2017 and completed her studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (BA), followed by a Masters Degree in Sustainable Business (MSusBus).


What attracted you to the role as Intern Director?Growing up in a city with people from all walks of life made me recognise the vast inequalities in society, and what the consequences are when social support systems are not in place. This enabled me to consciously see things through a social lens, and has motivated me to get involved in a range of philanthropic activities. These have included establishing a relief fund in response to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, to working as an Annual fund Officer at a University in the US which raised funds for students most in need. Having the opportunity to be a part of AFC is a way for me to give back to my local community, but in a different role than I have done so before.


What are you most passionate about and achieving during your tenure?I am looking forward to learning about the social needs of our community, and how decisions are made that respond to those needs. I am very honoured to have the opportunity to be involved at this level, and to share these conversations with intelligent individuals with big hearts.


What are your greatest strengths?I think my greatest strength is my ability to communicate and connect with anyone. Regardless of differences between people, having empathy, compassion and respect comes naturally to me, and I think fundamentally what it means to be human.


What is your greatest accomplishment?Completing my two degrees has definitely been a personal accomplishment for me, and a particular highlight would have to be being published in an academic journal. It was something I never imagined I’d do, which made it even more special to me.


Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?This is hard to answer, but I would like to imagine that I will have deepened my roots in Dunedin, both in my personal and professional life. It is exciting to see my parents choose Otago as their place to retire after 32 years in Hong Kong, which will make the prospect of Dunedin being home more comforting.