Meet the team

At our events, you’ll meet the FutureMakers team. We’re creative professionals producing arts projects and programmes that release the power of arts creativity for the benefit of career development, individual and community well-being and the future of the planet.

If you need to contact us, you can do that here: Kōrero mai.

Anna Groot

Primarily responsible for the production of the FutureMakers showcase videos with Alumni, Anna Groot brings more than 18 years of international experience to FutureMakers.

Recently back in New Zealand, Anna has worked in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia helping a range of organisations grow through bringing ideas to life in the form of immersive experiences, filmed content, animations, unique products, innovative services and facilitated introductions. Anna’s extensive work in strategic communications, marketing and business growth advisory, business and brand development has served start-ups, nonprofits and established large corporations.

In addition to her work with FutureMakers, Anna works with a range of clients based both here in New Zealand and offshore, and delights in a vague brief in need for distillation and with a bunch of cats that need herding. Bringing these all together to affect positive change in the world is what Anna does best.

Anna’s belief is that fun and creativity should be paired with professionalism, and we’re delighted to have her positive attitude and effectiveness on board to deliver high quality resources for FutureMakers.

Anthea Whittle

Following her passion led Anthea Whittle to transition to a career in digital technology in 2007. She trained in web design and development at Media Design School and has applied her understanding of these disciplines to designing digital solutions for a broad range of clients from entertainment and media brands like Nickelodeon, ZM, Hauraki, NewstalkZB and Flava to consumer brands like EasiYo, tourism clients and councils – Auckland CIty Council and Palmerston North City Council.

Anthea spent four years volunteering as a digital architect for the yMedia Group, connecting students graduating in the fields of digital media and marketing with industry mentors who supported them in delivering projects for community organisations in need. This affinity for connecting graduates with a rewarding work life suits Anthea to FutureMakers.

As FutureMakers’ online editor and digital strategist, Anthea works to ensure FutureMakers programmes and tools are readily available online. You’ll see her at workshops taking photos and notes, and joining the dots for our website, CANVAS, and other digital channels.

Elisabeth Vaneveld MNZM

Director of Creative Entrepreneurship at The University of Auckland, Elisabeth Vaneveld leads the FutureMakers programme.

A pioneer in community cultural development and creative entrepreneurship, Elisabeth began her career at the University of Auckland in 1976 and has continued in the arts and culture sector ever since. As a strategic response to high unemployment rates for arts graduates, she established the Arts Work Partnership in 1999 while at Creative New Zealand. The Partnership’s major innovation was The Big Idea | Te Aria Nui – the online creative home for over 30,000 registered creative professionals since 2001.

As the Executive Director of The Big Idea Charitable Trust from 2006 to 2016, Elisabeth established TBI Assist, a social enterprise that generated income to support The Big Idea online. TBI Assist was contracted to design and deliver ART Venture for Arts Regional Trust, which became a world-leading acceleration programme for creative entrepreneurs.

Elisabeth is committed to co-creating arts and cultural projects that provide the means for creative professionals in every industry to join forces to innovate to benefit the future of humanity and the bio-sphere.

Logan Elliott

Logan Elliott is passionate about enabling others to blur the lines of work and play.

After completing his Masters in Entrepreneurship at the University of Otago, Logan co-founded the creative entertainment company “Highly Flammable” and in 2017 he also co-founded “Volcano Retreats”.

Logan teaches, facilitates and presents in Universities and programmes around New Zealand such as the “PopUp Business School”, Victoria University Bootcamp, University of Otago and University of Auckland.

To FutureMakers, Logan brings his entrepreneurial and facilitation experience, and his passion for blurring the lines between work/play, creative arts/business. Logan has crafted a workshop series especially for creative people venturing into a freelance career, embracing the best of the creative and business worlds to empower CAI students to live their best creative life.

A performer himself, Logan stilt walks, juggles, and can literally breathe fire! You will find him at Burning Man festival every chance he gets.

Lorraine Blackley

Businesswoman, facilitator and coach Lorraine Blackley advocates success in business and in life through the use of creative principles, heart alignment in all matters, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Founding Director of Creative Adventures Ltd, Lorraine has been working in the creative ecology for nineteen years; designing and facilitating programmes to support people in working with their creative ability, to grow resilience and create sustainability doing what they love.

Lorraine’s book, Creative Adventures in Manifesting Reality, outlines a deconstructed version of the creative process a person can use to stay motivated in achieving goals both personal and professional. 

For FutureMakers, Lorraine has leveraged her experience to develop and facilitate specialised workshops on wellbeing and resilience, money and debt management, and is excited to be a part of the team making a difference for CAI students preparing to take on the world.

Nadine Kemp

Co-founder of award winning performing arts company, Urban Heart Productions, Nadine Kemp fosters a passion for developing tools to support wellbeing within creatives, which makes her a fabulous fit among the FutureMakers team. She holds a double degree in Arts majoring in Performing Arts and a Commerce degree majoring in Management. Nadine is also a graduate of The Actors Program.

Offshore, Nadine trained in the performing arts at University of California San Diego and under award winning actor and teacher Diana Venora also in the USA. Back here in New Zealand, Nadine has produced theatre across the country including the Verbatim Theatre National Tour of The Keys are in the Margarine and Be|Longing. Recently, Nadine worked as the Auckland Regional Manager for the creative entertainment company “Highly Flammable” (she can also swing fire!). 

You can catch Nadine facilitating FutureMakers workshops and empowering the next generation of creative talent with the tricks she wishes she was taught when she was studying.

Paris Kirby

Artist and creative entrepreneur Paris Kirby is the Project Activator for FutureMakers, working to ensure a smooth delivery of our programme to benefit as many of our community as we can reach.

Paris graduated from Whitecliffe with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2013, and has pursued professional arts practice delivering two solo shows, exhibiting internationally and receiving an ‘AMP Dare to Dream’ scholarship. Paris’ journey as a professional creative equipped her with an entrepreneurial skill-set with which she co-founded Social Ritual.

Always bringing the perspective of a Creative Arts student, Paris keeps us on target when it comes to creating content and tools that will best serve students as they transition from University out into the world.

You’ll find Paris at many an Auckland arts event, or on campus – please say hello! What most excites Paris about FutureMakers is connecting with creative students, fostering industry collaboration, and building community.