“Growing up in a close knit community helped me understand the value of connections, networks and partnership – all of which we need for strong leadership to see equality in our country.”
Palmerston North born Indian, Vanisa Dhiru is a champion for equality, working for change in human rights. This was recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours when she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Vanisa holds commissioner roles with the New Zealand National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Library and Information Advisory Commission, and advisory roles with non-government organisations (NGO’s) and government agencies.
During her career Vanisa has held various leadership roles including CEO of Volunteering New Zealand, Executive Director of 20/20 Trust and President for the National Council of Women New Zealand.
Vanisa’s key achievements include being listed on the “50 Women of Achievement 2016”; supporting a NGO delegation to the United Nations in 2018; and being a finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010.
She is currently appointed to the Department of Internal Affair’s He Tohu Board, Lottery Wellington-Wairarapa Community Committee, the Spark Foundation and Victoria University’s Wellington School of Business and Government Advisory Board. She is a member of Global Women NZ, the Institute of Directors, Asia New Zealand Leadership Network and the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network.
For a day job, she is the Community Manager at InternetNZ.
Vanisa is passionate about equality, developing young people and cultural relations.