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Our presenters

Charlotte Hird

Charlotte is an experienced watercolour artist based in Wellington. She regularly exhibits at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, with Watercolour New Zealand and all over New Zealand.
Charlotte loves the way the water and paint move on the paper to create magic. She enjoys teaching techniques with watercolours.
In 2017 Charlotte worked as an architectural drawing teacher at a University in China. She now teaches drawing and perspective workshops to artists all over New Zealand to help create spatial depth in their paintings.
Check out her paintings at
follow @charlottehird on Instagram
or follow Charlotte Hird Artist on FaceBook

Christopher Mills

Christopher Mills (Chris) was brought up on the Kapiti Coast where he danced with his local studio, Judith Fudge Dance School. With the nurturing support of Judith, she guided him into the world of contemporary dance.

Chris then went on to do full time training for 4 years at the renowned New Zealand School of Dance. He was lucky to work with many influential tutors, such as Paula Steeds-Huston, Helen Winchester, Jarek Cemerek and Victoria (Tor) Colombus, who is now Co-Artisitc Director of New Zealand Dance Company. He was influenced by man choreographers from around the globe who he worked with at the school. 

Upon graduating the school with a Diploma in Dance, Chris was inviyted to join the incredibly talented ensemble of Australian Dance Theatre. Under the Artistic Directorship of Garry Stewart. He began his professional Dance career with the company from 2016 - 2021. Over this time, Chris performed on stages around the world with works such as The Begging of NatureBe Yourself and South - to name a few by Garry Stewart. Chris performed in works such as Adrienne Semmens, Ina Christel Johannessen, Alison Currie, Philippe Kratz and Lina Limosani. Over these five and a half years, Chris had the privilege to tour extensively with the company in Europe, America, South America and Australia.

Chris has a love of teaching, with high levels of energy, strong cultural awareness and empathetic qualities. He is interested in sharing the human experience of Dance with others. He thanks the community of Artists and family that have supported and built him up as the Artist he is today.


Daniel McCarthy

Daniel knows pretty much all there is to know about boning and using meat products. He is passionate about teaching others to have the skills he has spent a lifetime learning and using. He believes if people learn to bone out their own meat then they'll learn how to save money, make healthy food and use these skills for themselves.

Daniel has trained apprentices, owned his own business and has been working as a butcher for his whole life.

Darryn Woods

Darryn has been telling stories since he could string a sentence together, and role-playing for nearly as long! Introduced to Dungeons and Dragons when he was eleven years-old (in the turgid days of Advanced D&D 2nd edition), he took to Dungeon Mastering like a vampire takes to darkness, going so far as to generate his own systems for running games. His love for D&D 5E - both as a player and as a DM - grows daily.

 As a creative writer he has developed his own world in which to set both his fiction and games of D&D. This world called “Valn” is one in which the powers of Fate and Chance are highly prominent, shifting the balance of power in the ongoing conflict between Light and Darkness. His heaviest fantasy influence is definitely JRR Tolkien, but he has also found inspiration for Valn in the worlds of Warhammer and Warcraft, and the various works of David Gemmell, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb and George RR Martin (among others).

 He has a History degree and a professional background in the performing arts, both on and off the stage (and in front of and behind the camera). Having made a career in telling stories for nearly twenty years, the shift to educating others how to tell stories of their own seemed a natural progression. 

He proposed running this course because of his firm belief that playing D&D makes one a better person, and that therefore everyone should have the opportunity to do so.

David Archibald

David Archibald is a Wordpress specialist who has worked with Wordpress for nearly 10 years. He has worked with the web since the late 1990s and has been a web manager, software manager, and IT manager. Prior to working in IT, David was a secondary teacher.

More recently he worked in a commercial role with a crown agency prior to establishing One Red Turtle to pursue his passion with the web and Wordpress.

Away from the keyboard, David has a range of interests including racing, music, and social ballroom dance.

Donna Banicevich Gera


Donna Banicevich Gera is a Wellington-based writer.

She has a BA (Hons) in English, Theatre, Film & Media Studies, an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing, a Certificate in Writing for Documentary, a Certificate in International Theatre Directing, and an MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington.

Donna’s work has been produced for radio, page, stage, and screen, with her stage plays being presented in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, the USA, and Alaska. Her main area of interest is writing of other cultures, telling migrant stories, exploring themes of lost identity, and developing work with a strong multi-cultural feel.

She has had several overseas artists’ residencies, and attended many offshore workshops, seminars and conferences, enabling her to acquire knowledge and write outside of her native homeland.

In addition to her own writing, Donna teaches writing workshops and is experienced in motivating others to achieve their goals - creative, academic, and professional. She is inspired by her students exploring the creative power of the imagination.

 ‘One never goes as far when one knows where one is going’ - Christopher Columbus

Dr. Olga Suvorova


Olga Suvorova is a cultural historian, linguist and professional translator and interpreter working mainly with English, Russian, French and Romanian languages. She is of Russian, Ukrainian and Polish descent and is passionate about the interaction of languages and cultures.
Olga teaches language and culture courses and researches the fascinating, little-known, unheard or forgotten stories of cross-cultural history and language that help us connect to each other.
Olga Suvorova has a PhD in Cultural Studies and a Specialist's Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Linguistics, Teaching and Translation/Interpreting in the field of Intercultural Communication from the oldest and most prestigious Russian university (est.1755), Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Dr Olga Suvorova is the immediate past Vice-President of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI).
For more info see

Elisa Di Napoli


Elisa Di Napoli aka Elyssa Vulpes (stage name)

Is a mindset coach, a hypnotherapist and a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, recording artist and producer with a background in philosophy, comparative religion, music and acting.

She is also the best-selling author of the book, online course and podcast Dare to Be Seen, which helps artists and speakers command the stage, magnify their presence and defeat stage nerves so they can share their gifts with a larger audience and shine their unique light on the world.

Under the moniker Elyssa Vulpes she has produced 12 albums of original compositions with a focus on inner transformation through sometimes dark and atmospheric, sometimes comedic storytelling.

She also specialises in helping artists who need to find a way forward, get their project going or figure out how to turn their creative, artistic or performance skills into a new venture.

She is committed to forming deep connections, delving into uncomfortable truths and exploring authentic self-expression.

She has been featured on radio, podcasts, blogs and online magazines. 


BAHonours in Comparative Religion by SOAS, The University of London

Diploma in Advanced Hypnotherapy by Hypnotherapy Institute of Northern California

Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma by the National Hypnotherapy Council (UK)

Diploma of Hypnotic Coaching by Anglo European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis

Graduate Diploma Electronic Music Composition and Performance by Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)

Diploma Art and Creativity by The Learning Connexion (Wellington, New Zealand)

Currently studying for and Advanced Professional Certificate in Songwriting with Berklee School of Music .

In addition to this she has studied EFT as well as Cognitive Behaviour Hypnotherapy with the Anglo European College of Hypnosis (UK) and is dedicated to attending regular CPD courses in this fields. She is an accredited certified member of NCH  and undergoes regular confidential supervision with the Lothian Hypnotherapy Network . She is the creator of free online personal development youtube channels Holistic Hypnotherapy NLP and Coaching and  “

Group Tutoring experience:

Dare to Be Seen Online Course

Self-hypnosis for beginners

Guided meditations for the development of emotional healing and mindfulness.

Coaching website

Music website

Elizabeth Heritage

Elizabeth Heritage is a publishing freelancer who has worked for various NZ publishers, including Te Papa Press, Paper Road Press, and Seraph Press and also works with self-published authors to help them get publicity for their books.

Elizabeth is well networked with NZ book media as well as the Kiwi book trade generally. One of the many hats she wears is Sales, Marketing and Publicity Tutor on the Whitireia Publishing course. Elizabeth was also the Communications Lead at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, and has a keen interest in the ways in which the digital revolution is reshaping the arts and cultural sectors.

Elizabeth Solomona

Tālofa, mālo le soifua ma le lagi e mamā.
I am Samoan, Wellington born and bred. My late parents are Laime Mata'utia Karauna Solomona and Rosa Luana Solomona, née Teleaga. My village connections are Vaimoso, Faleasi'u, Sapapali'i, Lalomanu and Safune. When in Samoa, we stay with my mother's family in Tufuiopa, Apia.

I have over 10 years' experience as a tutor for Gagana Samoa at the introductory level. My classes are fun, informative and practical.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about some areas of fa'asamoa (the Samoan way), so come along and learn my beautiful language.

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