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Ngā Aho Chairperson

Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Rongomaiwahine, Kahungunu, Ngāti Pāhauwera).

A founding member and current chairperson of Ngā Aho - Desna’s work is connected through the exploration and articulation of cultural identity. Projects see her collaborating with a wide variety of communities, business and design professionals, artists and academics to achieve results which effect change in people, practice and place. Desna is actively involved in Māori design, discourse and stakeholder engagement in Aotearoa, via design consultancy, research, exhibitions, wānanga, speaking engagements and governance roles.

Her Science Communication Masters Thesis, Otago University, titled “Taipōrutu, Taonga Tuku Iho. Articulating a Mātauranga Māori Sense of Place.” reflects upon the complex system of interconnected factors contributing to the current relationship between Māori and their land base. This work ties the visual design fields to research, industry development and governance driven by Māori values.