Five questions with . . . Rosie Oliver

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Rosie Oliver has taken over from Clive Callow to become the new community relations manager at the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury.

Q. What did you do before this new role?

I have been on parental leave these last eight months and loved every minute of it.

We’ve spent a lot of time walking, swimming and checking out local play groups and music groups – it’s been a wonderful way to get to know the region.

Before the arrival of my son I managed a fantastic project team at Auckland Council working to improve internal visibility, co-ordination and best practice for community engagement with a strong focus on what the council does with the ideas provided.

There are some truly excellent staff and elected members doing great things, yet the sheer size and diversity of the Auckland region – and of the council itself – presents real opportunities and challenges for anyone trying to have their views heard.

Q. What was the attraction of the Community Trust job and Timaru?

I’m a South Islander myself having grown up in Otautahi and spent my childhood holidays tramping in the Southern Alps.

I’m so thrilled that my son will grow up here right on the doorstep of the great outdoors.

We also love the community of Timaru – there’s a real sense of neighbourliness and care and it’s a walkable community, everything you need is just a few minutes away.

The Community Trust role appealed to me because it offers the opportunity to be really immersed in both the local community and in activities across the wider region of Mid and South Canterbury.

Working with not-for-profit organisations is really a privilege – the care and commitment of the people you meet is inspirational and the range of social, environmental, sporting, cultural and other projects under way is really encouraging.

Q. What are you most looking forward to with the job?

Besides the amazing people and exploring the beautiful Mid and South Canterbury region?

The opportunity to be myself at work, to have a profession that is also a passion.

Q. What do you see as the biggest challenges in your new role?

Becoming a local. My predecessor Clive Callow was a true pillar of the community – he had fantastic relationships across the region built on real respect and understanding (and rugby too!).

For me the challenge will be to uphold Clive’s legacy as I look to build new relationships across Mid and South Canterbury and to immerse myself in local knowledge, local passions, local priorities.

I know our trustees and CEO will point me in the right direction and there’s a fabulous group of tenants here at Community House with a wealth of experience and insights – it’s a great challenge to be a part of.

Q. What do you do outside work?

My family are my treasures and I cherish my time with them above all else.

We are often out and about on walks with the wrap or the buggy or you might see us swimming at CBay or the beach. I’m also an enthusiastic dancer (any style will do!), a keen tramper, an occasional pianist, a singer of lullabies and an avid reader. I’ve started a couple of new hobbies lately, gardening and crochet – let’s just say I have a long way to go.