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Meet Our Board

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Rachel Ralph
Founder and Trustee

Rachel grew up on a beef stud farm with 8 siblings and lots of animals. With a Pony Club background, her first jobs were on thoroughbred stud farms and later as a riding coach for beginners. She has travelled and lived overseas including the UK and Melbourne for over 20 years. 

For about 5 years, Rachel and her husband opened their home to teenagers and young adults in need. They were foster parents with Open Home Foundation for about 3 years which had a profound impact on the way Hope Rising Farm was formed.

 

Rachel loves walking and enjoying the great outdoors, drawing, vegetable gardening, a wide range of music, live theatre and a good film!

“I love young people and have a powerful desire to see them grow and to become all they can be. I love seeing a change in their thinking about what’s possible and to see ‘the lights go on’ in an area of their lives."

Rachel was awarded 'Volunteer of the Year' in the 2022 Volunteer Excellence Awards!

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Steven Senn
Chairman

Steven has a diverse background in business ownership, start-ups, sales and management; with a sincere desire to raise outcomes and the value of organizations.


This has led Steven into numerous roles as consultant, advisor and managing director for small and large organizations.


The Hope Rising mission statement resonates with Steven’s values and heart for reaching youth and making positive changes in the lives of people and the community at large.

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Astra Patmore
Trustee

Growing up in Ngaruawahia and the local community, Astra’s upbringing included a lot of fresh air, adventures living on a farm and spending most of her holidays volunteering at the local youth camps.
 

An entrepreneur at heart, she is a creative thinker and passionate about seeing dreams and ideas come to life in their fullness. After seeing an incredible need in the community but not being able to do anything about it, she sold her hospitality business and moved into Social Services and began developing programs for mentoring families.

 

Astra is now the GM of that organization and is purposed to building stronger whanau and community. 

“My heart is to see people have a safe space where they can be supported, find hope and transition into a new chapter. Where their past experiences, don’t have to dictate their future. I believe in the vision of Hope Rising and the change it can bring to every person who engages with it.”

We have a passionate Board of Trustees. They bring a wealth of experience as business professionals,
business advisors and consultants, an ex-youth worker, parents, ex-foster parents, managers, farmers,
and ‘horsey people’ that are excited about giving hope and life skills to youth and women.

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Alan Kuyper
Trustee

Alan was born in South Africa and emigrated to New Zealand in 2006 with his wife Lizette and two boys. Their boys have since left home and joined up with partners, which gives Alan and Lizette a bit more freedom around home and holiday time. The whole family love fishing and go out as often as they can. They enjoy the outdoors and go tramping and biking all over the country.

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Alan says he is a people leader that leads by example and loves to see teams grow and succeed.
He is an experienced electronics engineer and has been managing teams and projects in Local Government, Health, IT and Aerospace sectors for more than 20 years and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Management at Waikato University Business School in 2012.

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“My aim is to help make Hope Rising Farm Charitable Trust a sustainable, efficient and affective trust that will be around for many years, to support and uplift vulnerable children,
youth and woman.”

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Andy Ralph
Trustee

Andy trained as a Youth Worker and initially worked in this field for about 12 years with a number of youth employment organisations, ranging from local councils, churches, and community groups.

 

He has had experience working with unemployed young people, people struggling with substance abuse, and low-income families.

 

Andy transitioned to computer training in large organisations for a while and returned to youth work to establish and coordinate a series of youth unemployment projects. He is currently in a role where he is able to invest in troubled young lives.

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