Jenny Nand is equal parts bright spark and stable presence. As a Community Advisor for Internal Affairs, Jenny has extensive experience working in the field of grant management and community-led development. Her practice is anchored within social justice values and she continues to advocate for diversity (in all its forms) and inclusion. It's a joy and a privilege to have Jenny as our Committee Chair. So we wanted to take some time to learn more about Jenny and her dreams for Seed Waikato.
Tell us a bit about yourself….
I love living in Hamilton with my family – a true Hamiltonian at heart. I believe our city and region has a lot of offer and collectively we can make it even better and achieve amazing, environmental, political, social and cultural outcomes.
I have worked extensively with Pacific, Ethnic and former refugee communities. My practice is anchored within social justice values and I continue to advocate for diversity (in all its forms) and inclusion. I like to carefully remind people that diversity is fact and inclusion is choice. It’s up to all of us to exercise that muscle of inclusion.
Who inspires you?
My parents inspire me to be the best version of myself every day. Some days are easier than others J
They have always believed in me and we lived with Henry Ford’s philosophy of “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”!
Where is your favourite place in the Waikato?
Well, that’s a tough question; I love the Waikato Region; for its sheer geographical diversity; its blend of rural and urban dynamics and its potential to further grow and be a social, economic, cultural and political power house.
But to answer the question; I love living in Hamilton. Our beautiful city has lots of offer and is growing substantially.
What’s the best thing you bring to Seed Waikato?
I am a values based person; so I bring my authentic self to Seed Waikato. That means willingness to listen to our youth community and be an effective leader in elevating the voices into action. That means also asking the obvious & difficult question at the governance level; “why”, “How”, “What” “So What”, “Now What”.
What do you spend your time on?
I aspire to always strike a work –life balance. So that means, hiking, playing netball, practicing “hot yoga” and killing myself at the Hakarimata tracks with my friends and family
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Good question; as a women of colour; it has been having the courage to speak against discrimination, it’s having the ability to stand up to people who have anti-migrant sentiments. It’s having the courage to speak up against patriarchy. We all have a responsibility to be the change we want to see and sometimes that requires speaking up even when your nervous.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I am in the process of learning Sanskrit – which is a difficult language and I am a very slow learner. Furthermore; I am part of an interfaith choir; so practicing my vocal cords is cool.
What colour crayon would you be?
I will be all the colours of the rainbow or crayon in this case J
What inspired you to join Seed Waikato?
I believe in the vision of Seed Waikato and would like to contribute to enable that vision to become a reality.
What does Seed Waikato mean to you?
It represents a movement for me. A movement that very loudly states that young people are our taonga and they need to be treated as such. Young people have a voice and we need to create a space for that voice to be heard.