He uri ahau o Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu, Te Aitanga-ā-Māhaki, Rangitāne, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kōtimana, Ngāti Pākehā, Ngāti Wīwī, Ngāti Hūrai hoki.
Vanessa is a Placemaking Project Coordinator at Gap Filler and brings with her a plenitude of knowledge, networks and experience as a producer, director, creative writer, production manager and exponent of the arts. She has a deep connection to the landscape of Te Waipounamu (The South Island) as a descendant of Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe and Kāi Tahu and has based the majority of her career in Ōtautahi.
Vanessa’s background is in screen arts, multimedia and theatre, gaining a degree in Broadcasting Communications and a diploma in Digital Video Post-Production. She has been a creative and company director for over a decade with Hiwa Media and was the first mana whenua Māori Associate Artistic Director and Cultural Director at The Court Theatre. She is passionate about kaupapa (subjects) relating to arts, social justice and rights for womxn, BIPOC, LGBTQIA and specifically-abled people.
Vanessa’s favourite thing about Gap Filler is their authenticity and ability to commit to their values in a creative, holistic and professional way. Underpinning the variety of work she has been involved in is her love of storytelling in all its forms and ability to create positive transformational experiences and environments that are mana enhancing and inclusive to people.