Tohu Autaia- Community Star Awards

Recognising individuals and teams from our grantee networks who have made a significant contribution in the not-for-profit sector.

In August 2019 we celebrated the return of a billion dollars to Auckland and Northland at our inaugural Tohu Autaia Community Star Awards. The celebration was held at Government House and recognised 21 people who have gone to extra mile to contribute to their communities.

Our departing CEO Jennifer Gill says “Over the last thirty years, we have returned a billion dollars to the region in grants to not-for-profit groups and community initiatives.  While that is a significant amount of money, the greater contribution is the commitment made by tens of thousands of people over that time to put time into improving the lives of everyone who is lucky enough to live here.  They are the people who run environmental, sports, cultural, arts and entertainment programmes, who create initiatives that make a difference for the region’s children and young people, and who take action to help people in need.”

The awards recognise a diverse range of people, from emerging leaders through to people who have made a lifetime contribution to Auckland and Northland, and to New Zealand.

Click here to read about our 2019 awardees. 

The Awardees


Fadumo Ahmed, Founder and Chair NZ Ethnic Women’s Trust

Tasha Tasmania and Valerie Lui, Chair and Secretary of Māngere East Hawkes Rugby

Marama Beamish, Te Toki Voyaging Trust

Jenny Wang, Founder and Executive Director Chinese New Settlers Service Trust

Wendy Preston MNZM, Co-founder and Director MIXIT

Rob Smith, Awatea Hawke, John Heta, Katz Ruatara, Aroha Wilson, Aggie Garbarek & Rangi Carroll (deceased), Lifewise Housing First Lived Experience Team

Noma Sio-Faiumu, Arts Administrator Whānui Eye Spy

Nainz Tupai and Rebecca Va’ai, Founders Saintz UP Performing Arts Trust

Andrea Gaskin and Selina Anderson, Founders Connect The Dots

Sir Rob Fenwick, Conservation Hero


Raewyn Tipene, Te Kāpehu Whetū

Damien Clark, Co-founder and Chair, Whangārei Youth Space

Haka Bristow, Installation Leader Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau

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