David Clendon - Chairperson
David is a resident of the Bay of Islands, following the excellent example set by many of his Pākehā and Māori antecedents. Unlike his fellow board members he claims no particular tendency to creativity, other than his academic career having involved regular performances in lecture halls, and an eight year stint as an MP observing and participating in Parliamentary theatrics. He does bring to the Trust a solid grounding in business, primarily as a small business owner, along with experience as a sustainability advisor to business and public sector entities large and small. He has been a board member since 2009 and took over as chair in 2017, reflecting his on-going commitment to and belief in the value of facilitating access to the arts and cultural experiences. He is currently serving a term as a Councillor in the Far North District, and is often to be found in his happy place, riding motorcycles just for fun.
Gael Haining Ede
Based in Palmerston North Gael has been actively involved in the arts for over 40 years as a director, actor and producer. She has worked and toured professionally as well as supported community arts through her extensive history with Palmerston North local theatre. She has a love of music, cuisine and the arts and has travelled extensively. She brings to the trust a considered and experienced lens in the arts and the wider workings of the world. She has worked in the health sector for many years and offers a unique perspective to the trust and its governance. Gael has also toured with the Ugly Shakespeare Company in its second year on the road so understands the challenges that brings to our team on the road.
Emmett is a New Zealand-born actor, director, and screenwriter. He has worked in over 50 productions in film, television and theatre, with most recognising him as the young God-in-the-making, Axl Johnson, from TV3’s The Almighty Johnsons, Sam Giancana in Netflix’s Making Of The Mob, Victor Lownes in American Playboy for Amazon Studios, and most recently, Ed Orgeron, in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s comedy series, Young Rock. Through his work in front of the camera, Emmett has gained a passion for writing, directing, and producing, most recently directing more than 70 episodes of Shortland Street for Television New Zealand, the film Thirteen Suspects, written by Rachel Lang, and award-winning web shows, Auckward Love and Millennial Jenny, which he also co-wrote and produced.Emmett is also a regular tutor, mentor and advisor to the board at the Auckland-based drama school, The Actors' Program, and is a collaborator for the new director training initiative, The Directors' Program, alongside Peter Burger and Simon Bennett.
Lara has worked as an actor, director and acting coach in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. After ten years performing in the U.S, she completed a Post Grad Diploma in Directing from N.I.D.A in Sydney, became Associate Artistic Director at The Court Theatre in Christchurch 2008-2010, and then Artistic Director at Fortune Theatre in Dunedin 2010-2015. Lara currently freelances within all disciplines in theatre, television, and film for multiple New Zealand organisations including: South Pacific Pictures, Auckland Theatre Company, Centrepoint Theatre, The Court Theatre, Fortune Theatre, The Actors' Program, NASDA, and Otago University Theatre Studies.