Farewelling Alice Andersen
Kia ora e te whānau,
Alice Andersen, our cherished Executive Director, is wrapping up her time at Qtopia after leading us admirably for the last 5 years. We have been incredibly fortunate to have Alice with us. Everyone knows Aunty Alice - her laughter, smile, and kindness are contagious. She has made Qtopia the successful organisation it is today.
Alice has created a vibrant, nurturing environment for all those who use our services. She has proved time and again her worth as a strategist, and leader, navigating the organisation through pivots at vital moments, ensuring our offerings are culturally sensitive and values led. Alice has continued to build the organisation; developing new support services, structures and nurturing relationships across the sector. Alice has created critical moments of a cultural shift - completing successful advocacy work to national acclaim.
We acknowledge her mahi in holding the operations for Qtopia single-handedly during a period of regrowth. Since then, Alice has grown our organisation to a staff of 7, creating jobs for our community. Alice has demonstrated remarkable leadership during exceptional circumstances; to navigate a social support organisation through an act of terrorism and a global pandemic in a city already affected by significant natural disasters is an incredible feat.
The accolades that Alice has received over the last 5 years are a testament to her capacity, and we are tremendously proud of her successes. From being a Westfield Local Hero, a New Zealand Women of Influence finalist or a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero medalist, Qtopia has had an incredible leader that we can be incredibly proud of.
A part of Alice’s legacy Qtopia is most grateful for is her work to ensure financial sustainability of the organisation. From our popular education programme, to our community fundraising, our partnership funding contracts - Alice developed multiple new streams of revenue for the organisation, including the most significant multi-year funding contracts in the organisation’s history.
Alice designed and developed our incredibly successful education programme - mahi that now has our organisation tendering for national workforce development contracts with the Crown, and has been delivered to nearing 15,000 people in more than 100 organisations, creating positive, lasting social change towards better understanding and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ identities.
Alice has facilitated hundreds of our social support groups - up to 4 different groups for our community each week. Alice was integral to the growth of these groups - from 10 regular attendees when she started at Community House, to now having hundreds of people regularly attending throughout the year at our new venue, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Alice championed the expansion of our scope of service from rangatahi only, to now include whānau, tamariki and our elders.
Manaakitanga is at the heart of everything Alice does. She has worked tirelessly for Qtopia and our community. Her warmth, generosity, and energy create a space where people feel safe, welcome, and able to be themselves. We’re so grateful for how much Alice gave to Qtopia - she leaves an incredible legacy.
We’d like to thank Alice’s children, Theo & Mabel, for sharing her with us 💕
While she’s wrapping up her time as our Executive Director, Alice will always be a part of Qtopia’s community - and we wish her the absolute best for everything in her future. We know wherever she goes will be better for having her there.
The Qtopia team x
p.s If you’d like to join us in farewelling Alice, please join us at the Thirsty Peacock this Wednesday from 7:30pm. If you’re unable to join us, please consider donating to Qtopia as a show of appreciation