Gap Filler People
Development Lead and Co-founder
Coralie is a born organiser, catalyser and communicator. She has fluency in placemaking from both a practical and theoretical point of view. She has been involved in the creation and delivery of many placemaking projects of all sizes and has contributed to the growth of Gap Filler from start-up volunteer organisation to the social enterprise it is today.
Designing and delivering bespoke community spaces, installations and events, Damian is equally skilled on the tools building installations, generating ideas or nurturing relationships and developing collaborative opportunities. Damian’s abundant creative energy, lateral thinking and passion for connecting with people drive him to deliver several of Gap Filler’s largest and most complex installations.
Working with people and creating social interactions that give communities a sense of worth is what led Elisha towards a career in placemaking. A genuine people person, Elisha enjoys working with individuals to create a sense of collective identity and pride in a place that can be facilitated through events and placemaking initiatives.
Linda is quick to see the potential in others and has a drive to connect people to their greater purpose. Her role as Office Manager sees her building and maintaining relationships and nurturing those relationships to get positive outcomes for community development: places and neighbourhoods will flourish most if people are activating their strengths and passions.
Director and Co-founder
Ryan is one of the key figures shaping the global placemaking movement. He has given keynotes, public talks and runs workshops on placemaking in nine countries. He is one of a select 100 Regional Placemaking Leaders worldwide chosen by PlacemakingX and is involved throughout Aotearoa developing the theory and practice of placemaking here.
Simone, but you can call her Sim, is a designer, maker and advocate for the invaluable power of creativity as an agent for social change. She uses her understanding of various fields and sectors to cross-pollinate ideas, people and projects, empowering others to create.
Gap Filler Board
Linda brings her extensive operational experience to bear to keep the Gap Filler team functioning at the best, putting them in contact with the people and resources they need to get the gap-filling done and generally make their life go smoother. While doing this she maintains her cool, keeping the office air replete with serene retro sounds and fresh and soothing aromatherapy mists. Linda is community-spirited and values connectedness and currently sits on the board of two of her chosen communities.
Rachel has been involved with social enterprises since 2015 when she began working with the Ākina Foundation. Through that, she worked with a variety of organisations from Invercargill to Auckland, getting particular enjoyment working with those in her Ōtautahi home. Rach’s background is in engineering, but as her career evolved, she became increasingly interested in not just how to make ‘cool things’, but how those cool things could help people to the greatest possible extent through insight and good product development.
Sara originally qualified as an infant primary teacher, taught dance and drama, worked as a TVNZ presenter, ran a fireworks business and started a community agency. She is currently the Director of Training of Psychodrama for the CITP in Christchurch and Dunedin and is a Registered Psychotherapist.
Sara believes Gap Filler is a significant and potent force in the realm of people-making. She brings her experience of community, creative events and team building to this role. As a young person from Ulster (Northern Ireland) Sara experienced its transformation from bombed and broken city to a stunning and vital destination, which has resonance with ChCh.
What Sara loves most about Gap Filler is seeing the delight and connections that projects ignite in participants. She enjoys participating herself and being surprised by the unexpected ripples of relationships that happen. She particularly sees this in Gap Filler’s Soup event series and sees the potential for this format everywhere there are people and creativity.
What started in 2011 as a desire to activate vacant space in Ōhinehou Lyttelton – his ‘quake-damaged hometown – led to Trent’s involvement with Gap Filler for the next four years, helping to activate a wide-range of community-building initiatives. Always up for a challenge, Trent’s approach was to say ‘yes’ then find a solution – the bigger the problem the better. Now retired from active service Trent has moved into a governance role, supporting the Gap Filler team to continue to realise its vision of co-creating meaningful experiences that strengthen community through shared decision-making and purposeful engagement. Trent can always be relied upon to dress up in great costumes for various Gap Filler happenings!
People Behind the Projects
One of the great things about working in the space we do is getting to meet and collaborate with a whole range of amazing people! We really wouldn’t be able to pull off half the things we do without this help. Here we showcase our awesome contributors and share with you some of what makes them tick.