Sunday, June 23, 2024
6.7 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

Celebrating our ‘local heroes’

Tamara Olliver

These Wairarapa’s people will receive a Kiwibank Local Hero Medal in Parliament on December 3 for services to the community.

For three years, Tamara Olliver has been the face of teaching at Fab Lab Masterton.

She has taught digital fabrication skills to 1020 students from 13 schools, 23 school teachers, and scores of community members at Wairarapa workshops and events.

She also volunteers her time rescuing animals through Dump Cats Wairarapa and was previously a tutor at King Street Artworks teaching pottery, painting, weaving, or “whatever is required”.

“To be honest, I didn’t know I was even in the running until someone said congratulations on Facebook – I just bawled my eyes out – It’s an honour.”

Both Dump Cats and Fab Lab have accredited their ongoing success to Tamara’s efforts, dubbing her a “role model” that girls in regional New Zealand can identify with.

Tamara has lived in Wairarapa for three years now and enjoys her community.

“Every single thing you do, someone is noticing and appreciating it,” she said.

“If it’s a smile, teaching a class, anything – someone is appreciating it.

“You’re not just alone, doing these things for no reason – it is making a difference.”

Jason Osborne

Osborne Group managing director and owner Jason Osborne was born and bred in Wairarapa.

He has been the president of the Greytown Cricket Club for the past 20 years and is also the president of Wairarapa Cricket.

Running his own accountancy business, Jason said he has the opportunity to give back to the community.

This takes the form of free accountancy services for Hospice Wairarapa, a Community Day once a year to help out with projects in the community, and organising events to raise awareness and funds for Diabetes Wairarapa and Kicking MS in the Nick of Time.

“I’ve built this business up on the back of this community – they have supported me, so I want to help out when I can”.

When Osborne Group started about 12 years ago out of a small office in Lansdowne, “we had four clients and three of them were family”.

“Now we have two purpose-built offices, 14 staff, and about 800 clients.”

Reflecting on his award, he said – “I don’t do it for accolades, I do it for the enjoyment – but it is nice to be acknowledged.”

Heather Bannister

Come Sew With Me, the brainchild of Heather Bannister, opened in December last year at Rose Cottage, Masterton, thanks to Urban Dream Brokerage.

It is a place for anyone to come in, try their hand at sewing, relax, and network.

“I’ve had a chance to share my passion which is the vintage sewing machines, allowing other people to use them,” Heather said.

“We have women, men, children, people from all sorts of economic backgrounds, all abilities and disabilities, coming in and using the machines and learning.

“We always have lunch, morning tea, afternoon tea – people are physically fed, emotionally fed, and they feel safe.”

Hearing that she had won a Kiwibank Local Hero Medal, Heather said she was filled with “a little bit of numb-shock happiness”.

“I didn’t know all of this was going to happen, I just wanted to share my passion.”

Come Sew With Me sees people with a low feeling of self-worth leave with a “sparkle in their eye and a spring in their step”, she said.

If you would like to help support them, visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/come-sew-with-me-ltd-keep-it-going.



  1. I am so H*A*P*P*Y to see Heather recognised. I’m in Canada and am one of her supporters on the internet, as well as sending her the occasional Suprise Package. I only wish every small toen had access to a HEATHER! Way to go Pal!

Comments are closed.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
light rain
6.7 ° C
11.1 °
6.7 °
88 %
100 %
8 °
10 °
12 °
12 °
12 °