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Trust office feels like whanau

Yvonne Nelson and Irish husband Adam first came to New Zealand for a month’s holiday in 2011 – and stayed.

“We really liked it,” says

the TSB Community Trust’s new Finance Assistant/Business Analyst.

The pair, who met while studying at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, decided they didn’t want to go back to the Northern Hemisphere, so applied for a one-year working holiday visa in New Zealand.

“It snowballed from there.”

Now they have New Zealand residency, are settled in Taranaki with good jobs and a 20-month-old daughter called Eva.

Yvonne first went to University in Berlin, and then gained a Masters degree in business, accounting and finance at James Cook University Townsville, Australia.

In New Zealand, they spent a couple of years in Auckland, but when her engineer husband landed an oil and gas job, they moved to New Plymouth in mid-2014. She first worked at KCL Property, which was sold to Augusta Capital, and then spent four years with Transport Investment Ltd (Hookers), during which time she had Eva.

When the job came up at the TSB Community Trust, she was excited about the organisation’s input into Taranaki and decided to apply.

“I thought it was great what they are doing, focusing on children and young families, especially after having my own daughter, and the whole support for the community.”

Her role covers doing the monthly financial reports, financial statements for the year, payments and invoices, helping with ICT and supporting Dion Maaka, the Finance Risk and Group Strategy Manager.

Outside of work, Yvonne is highly active. She plays football for Peringa, enjoys hiking, snowboarding, stand-up paddleboarding and has tried surfing. “I’m pretty keen on anything that’s outdoors.”

She also enjoys drawing and travelling. They put Eva in a backpack and off they go. So far, they have taken her to Singapore, Germany and Ireland. Later this year the family are going to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.

Because she and Adam work Monday to Friday, weekends are family time spent in playgrounds, parks, feeding ducks and embracing the simple things in life.

At the Trust, she enjoys starting the day with a morning “E Tu”, a stand-up meeting that begins with a karakia, covers what each person is working on, and normally includes waiata.

She feels like the whole office is whanau orientated.

“I do feel like it’s my family, even though I’ve only been here a couple of months. I feel like we get so much positive energy from working here,” Yvonne says.