CORPORATE INFORMATION

A NEW VISION: FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN 2021-2026 

This strategic plan sets a course for the transformation of Stardome over the next five years, which will ensure we remain relevant and fit for the future.


ANNUAL REPORT 2022

2021/22 was the first year of implementation of our five-year strategic plan, and the year Matariki became a national holiday, the first grounded in the indigenous knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand.

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

In October 2020, Stardome began the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan. The new plan will provide a progressive kaupapa and direction for our mahi that will ensure Stardome is fit for the future and relevant to its audiences.

ANNUAL REPORT 2020

The 2020 Stardome Annual Report highlights the organisation’s achievements, financial performance and operational activities of the year. 


BOARD OF TRUSTEES

STARDOME'S VISION, MISSION AND MANAGEMENT IS GUIDED BY THE AUCKLAND OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM TRUST BOARD.

 

Chairperson– Richard Sorrenson
PhD (Princeton)
 

Richard Sorrensen has long had an interest in the history of astronomy and obtained his PhD in the history of science from Princeton University.

He is the author of Perfect Mechanics: Instrument Makers at the Royal Society of London in the Eighteenth Century (Docent Press, Boston Mass., 2013) and manages the University of Auckland Foundation and its endowment fund.


Trustee – Bill Thomas

MSc, BSc (Hons)
 

Bill Thomas is an IT professional with over 35 years industry experience from various roles in New Zealand and England, most recently as a network consultant.

Originally based in Wellington, Bill has lived on Auckland’s North Shore since 1992. Bill joined the Auckland Astronomical Society, the largest in New Zealand in the year 2000 and was elected to the role of President in 2014.

Bill has been keenly interested in astronomy since a young age and wrote his master’s thesis on the Sun’s magnetic cycle.

Bill is also a Stardome volunteer, and operates the Edith Winstone Blackwell Zeiss telescope for public viewing sessions.


Ex-officio Trustee – Niven Brown

PhD Engineering (University of Auckland), BE Mech (Hons)
 

Dr Niven Brown is founder and director of automation business, kanDO Innovation, which specialises in complex automation systems. Niven serves as Treasurer for the Auckland Astronomical Society.

He spent five years working at the University of Le Mans, France and Southampton University, UK, and in 2017 founded Guardian Bandsaws which produces a safe bandsaw that uses high-speed vision and braking systems to protect operators from injury.

Niven's interest in astronomy and cosmology is coupled with his passion for education and public outreach, and he enjoys sharing that passion with children and adults alike.

Trustee – Cadence Kaumoana

 

Cadence Kaumoana has a strong background in the education sector having spent 19 years working in schools, communities, government and tertiary sectors. Cadence has a number of university qualifications and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland.

Supporting young people in education is a driving influence in Cadence’s career and training. Cadence also has experience in Māori education, the corporate sector and governance.

She enjoys aligning the maramataka (Māori calendar) to her lifestyle planning and gardening activities and spends as much time enjoying our country with her four boys. 


Trustee – Catherine Foster
BA History & Political Science (Victoria University), PG Dip Māori Business (University of Auckland), MBA (Massey)

 

Catherine Foster is a governance professional with over 15 years experience working across public, private and not-for-profit organisations. She has been involved in industries including Arts, Culture and Heritage (Auckland Museum); Documentary Heritage; Health (Emerge Aotearoa - a not-for-profit specialising in Mental Health and Housing Services); and Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand. She also has experience working in co-governance arrangements at Auckland Museum and Te Whatu Ora.

Catherine currently leads the Board Secretariat for Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand (the country's largest crown entity), during a time of significant reform and transformation.

Currently living in West Auckland with her husband and two young girls, Catherine values the importance of science and education and the role Stardome can play in educating the public about space, our planet and the importance of valuing different knowledge systems in Aotearoa (Māori and Pakeha).

She is Chair of the Capital Programme Monitoring Group at Stardome. 


Trustee – Shannon Thomas

 

Shannon Thomas is passionate about helping technology start-ups and scale-ups grow and shine on the world stage. She currently manages a portfolio of tech and services companies at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the New Zealand government’s economic development and trade promotion agency, helping leadership teams to develop their export strategy and capabilities.

A versatile, creative and results-focused business professional, Shannon has over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing communications for technology, telecoms and services sector companies. Prior to joining NZTE, Shannon led communications at IBM New Zealand, responsible for promoting and enhancing the IBM brand locally by driving awareness of the company, leaders and projects through engagement with media, analysts, industry bodies, influencers and social media. Shannon has also worked agency-side and for multinational software companies in London and Vancouver.

Committed to education in STEAM and ensuring the next generation of science and technology leaders are setup for success, Shannon previously served in a governance role on the Industry Advisory Board for AUT’s School of Future Environments. She has also volunteered her time with Business Mentors New Zealand, the AI Forum of New Zealand, and the NZ Software Association. 


Trustee – Mike Spraggon
 

 

 

Mike Spraggon is a strategic and governance consultant. He has previously served on the board of Auckland's Museum of Transport & Technology (MOTAT) and was a Senior Consultant at PwC. 

Mike is experienced in change mangement, performance management and organisational development.


Trustee – Mukseet Bashir 

 

Mukseet Bashir is a Chartered Accountant with a background in audit, but more recently in finance and strategy. He is a former board member (and chair of A&R) at Massey Matters, a not-for-profit organisation working in West Auckland to manage community centres and deliver community services.

He is the author of the children's book ‘Welcome Home’ which is aimed at students in years 1-3 and explores the challenges of immigration and adapting to a new place. The book has since been published and distributed to schools around New Zealand.

Mukseet grew up in Massey (West Auckland) where school trips to Stardome inspired a fascination with space and the workings of an observatory. His role at Stardome enables him to continue the special role astronomy plays for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau - specifically te ao Māori.


Trustee – Victoria Silwood

 

 

Victoria developed a broad practical knowledge of the marketing, distribution, and retail sectors when living in Australia, where she co-founded and developed a niche fashion business that grew to encompass a nationwide distribution network for Italian lingerie and swimwear. Additionally, she has a strong historical background in the Not-For-Profit sector, including Soroptimist International and Chamber Music New Zealand. 

Currently, Victoria is the business manager at the WriteSPACE. Victoria is a member of the Auckland Astronomical Society and, having owned a telescope at a very young age, she has always been interested in astronomy and physics.