Who we are

Tavale Ilalio

Tavale is a qualified social worker with over twenty years’ experience in the public sector including residential care, justice, community development, youth work, education, project design and management in New Zealand, the USA and Australia. As the founder and creative director of Mahana Culture, Tavale holds a passion for providing culturally safe and innovative spaces for people to explore their own identity as well as work with others from diverse worldviews. The privilege to lead the brilliant team at Mahana and build connections with like-minded organisations is truly a passion come to life.

Gregg Morris

Gregg has worked as an educator, youth worker, lecturer and community development practitioner with a broad range of vulnerable community groups  in New Zealand and Australia, for more than twenty years. In his role as chief cultural intelligence researcher, training facilitator and cultural supervisor at Mahana, Gregg’s passion for cultural justice enables him to assist others to explore their own cultural tale, as well as support organisations to adopt a culturally responsive lens. In recent times, he has come to appreciate how a person’s cultural resilience can strengthen their sense of wellbeing.

Rosita Hooyer

Rosita is a passionate educator, coach and consultant specialising in culturally responsive and trauma-informed pedagogy, leadership and culture. An award-winning teacher with postgraduate qualifications in educational leadership, Rosita has worked in leadership and advisory roles for more than a decade. She is passionate about developing the capacity of individuals, teams and systems to nurture and embed inclusive practices which acknowledge and cater to diversity and the institutional marginalisation of disadvantaged cohorts and communities. In her role at Mahana, Rosita leads the learning and development process and strategy.

Jo Capicchiano

Jo has worked as a primary school teacher for over a decade; she is passionate about ensuring all children have a chance to share their story and explore their identity in a supportive and protective environment. As an online educator and small business owner for the past five years, Jo has assisted her clients to improve their organisational and operational systems to create greater community engagement, improved technological capacity and increased revenue. Jo is employed by Mahana as our operations manager.

Seona Palmer

Seona brings over fifteen years’ experience working to support the health and wellbeing of diverse populations. Delivering innovative programs, strategies and training to promote accountability and awareness around diversity and inclusion has been the focus of her career. An AHPRA registered psychologist, Seona utilises evidence-based practices incorporating a range of therapeutic approaches aimed at enhancing an individual’s ability to cope, draw on strengths and identify positive strategies for growth and change in their lives.

Dusk Liney

Dusk is a passionate listener, strategic thinker and curator of spaces that invite people to reflect and respond. Over the past twenty years, Dusk has led people and organisations to discover themselves and the world around them, more deeply. This work began in the not-for-profit sector and flowed into working with businesses specialising in social justice, international and community development, education and advocacy. At Mahana, Dusk is a training facilitator, inviting people to reflect and strategically embed their learning individually, collectively and institutionally.

Kesh Sharma

Kesh is employed as a training facilitator for Mahana Culture. He is driven to create systems that cultivate wellbeing; this means removing the systemic barriers that can inhibit wellbeing, in order to build the internal awareness, knowledge, perspective and skills required to understand the interdependent nature of wellbeing. Kesh’s facilitation approach is entertaining, engaging and informative backed by his MA in positive psychology and five years’ experience working in the gender equality field, as well as lived experience of family violence and trauma.