On the ground we have three members of staff and four Home Performance Advisors:
Scott Willis (Manager)
Scott transferred from academia to practical action in 2008, when he helped establish the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust and became its manager. An MA in social anthropology (and speciality in rural sociology, along with study in geography and philosophy) has helped him navigate the challenges of establishing and maintaining a small charitable NGO. Since late 2009 his principal work has been project management of the Blueskin wind development, while building a stronger operational team and ensuring delivery of BRCT objectives. Scott is passionate about community, collaborative effort and confronting the great challenge of climate change. Scott also serves on the board of the Otago Chamber of Commerce and is a Trustee on the Cosy Homes Charitable Trust.
Katharina Achterberg (Projects Coordinator)
Kat moved to Dunedin from Germany in 2014, where she worked as a freelance translator specialising in law and engineering. Her BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies and a Diploma in Environmental Policy have provided her with a wide overview of the environmental science and the challenges and opportunities of community and NGO work. She is now happy to be working a Projects Coordinator for BRCT.
Alex King (Home Performance Advisor)
Peter McDonald (Home Performance Advisor)
Peter has lived in the buzzing North East Valley for 8 years, and is active in Transition Valley 473 and a number of other community projects (Community Bike Workshop/Library recycling, upcycling, repairing and educating) at the Valley Community Workshop. He did initial Home Energy Audit training with BRCT in early 2013 and completed the Home Performance Advisor training and certification in late 2013. Since then Peter has worked on Home Performance Assessments mainly in Pine Hill and North East Valley and is contributing his knowledge and skill to the goal of making all Dunedin homes warm and cosy by 2025.
Michael Gaffney (Home Performance Advisor)
Michaelʻs background is in research and education. His interest in home performance came through his involvement with the North East Valley Community Development Project where ongoing community consultation showed that cold and damp homes was as the biggest community concern raised by residents. His work with the valley playgroup reinforced the impact of poor housing on the health of children. In 2015 he joined the College of Education at the University of Otago, where he is teaching in the early childhood programme.
Beverly Ohline (Home Performance Advisor)
Bev’s background includes work in endangered species protection, Native American legal rights and civil rights for persons with disabilities. She moved to Dunedin 10 years ago and spent her first year living with her family in Waitati before moving to the Northeast Valley. She worked at the Aquarium in Portobello, did volunteer counseling with Budget Advice and advocacy with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. When she heard about The Valley’s cooperation with BRCT and the Cosy Homes Project she was eager to get involved. She hopes the Home Performance Assessments will help individuals learn what to look for when choosing a place to buy or rent as well as what can be done to make an average New Zealand house into a warmer, drier and more healthy home.