In May 2015 four women came together after seeing the devastation caused by cyclone Pam and decided to do something to help the children of Vanuatu get back to school – Steph Neilson, Helen Collier-Kogtevs, Robin Culph, and Marg Manhire – all having strong ties to Vanuatu.
They established SHaRM Pikinini Ecole Foundation which is registered as a non-profit association under the Charitable Association’s (Incorporation) Act (Vanuatu) in August 2015. SHaRM is now achieving some great outcomes.
Late 2015, after 10 years in Vanuatu, Marg relocated back to Australia and Stuart Friend took her place as a SHaRM Director.
These SHaRM members are very appreciative of what they have been able to experience while growing up in New Zealand or Australia and are committed to this organization with a sharing and caring philosophy with a focus on the education of children in Vanuatu.
We are very good at putting together a team of people whether they are able to provide funding, labour or professional support such as engineering and this is how we manage to get so much done. Over the time we have been operating people see what we have achieved and that they can trust us so they come to us with a requirement which might be help they need in fixing or re-building something or because they have items they want distributed to schools and they know we will get it done.
As individuals with different skills we somehow manage to come together to complement each other’s capabilities and achieve amazing outcomes for the kids of Vanuatu.
Stephanie (Steph) Neilson has an extensive legal background extending over 30 years as a legal executive (para legal) in New Zealand, Australia, UK and Vanuatu.
With several years working within the NGO sector in Vanuatu, Steph has secured and implemented over 20 projects within Vanuatu across various fields, and therefore brings local knowledge as well creative project development, management and implementation to the SHaRM team.
Steph is committed to ensuring educational and youth based projects have a long term sustainable impact in Vanuatu and these are key objectives of SHaRM’s aims.
Helen Collier-Kogtevs is the Managing Director of Real Wealth Australia, a leading education and mentoring company for real estate investors.
She is not only a highly successful property investor and an educator, but also a bestselling author, and a philanthropist.
Robin Culph is a change management consultant who built her house in Vanuatu in 2006 and, while currently working in Melbourne, visits Vanuatu four to five times a year with the intention of ‘retiring there’ in the near future.
Marg Manhire along with her husband, has been resident in Vanuatu (on Devils Point Road, Mele) since 2005, during which time she has developed a close relationship with local ex-pats and Ni-Vanuatu, in particular, the Melemaat villagers and Wasisi people at Prima.
Margaret also has an extensive background in business. Well-known locally for her past roles as the key person in “Ground Force” and as Practice Manager for the Vila Bay Health Centre, her commercial experience extends to specialized Senior nursing management positions in Australia, office management, real estate sales and personnel recruitment.
A no-nonsense people and business manager, Margaret and her abilities are held in very high esteem both in Vanuatu and in Australia.