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Our presenters

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.

Dave Henderson

Dave has worked in non-profit and charity management and governance in New Zealand for over 30 years, including leading a national disability organisation. He was Secretary General of a global organisation based in New York from 1998 to 2001.

Back in New Zealand Dave coordinated the Association of Non-Government Organisations of Aotearoa, work which included leading multiple series of training seminars and consultative workshops on issues relevant to charities and community groups.

Since his retirement from full-time employment Dave has continued running seminar series and has been involved in facilitating the Peace Education Programme since 2021.

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

Eduardo Larrinaga

Eduardo, 33 years old, is from Mexico.  He started working at a very young age in his father’s workshop, where they manufactured aluminium doors and windows and learned the importance of manual work which, without knowing it, was the first stage of his professional life.

The family business changed and moved to retail sales like his grandfather who had a retail store for construction materials. There he learned the basic skills about construction, materials and techniques that he applied regularly to improve his home or work place. Now after a whole life he graduated as a mechatronics engineer and MBA. He continues to improve the family business in his country and now is grateful to be here to continue his development as a professional.

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.

Emma Stevens

Emma has been working with costumes for over a decade, having a wide range of skills from design, development, repair and procurement.  Emma is familiar with both large scale projects as well as the minute detailing of lingerie, which she brings to her Lingerie course.

 With a wealth of experience and knowledge - there has yet to be a project Emma hasn’t tackled. 

Flo Rayner

Flo started cross stitching when she was 15 after attending a family stitching group. Tired of doing patterns that consisted of animals, flowers and houses, Flo started creating her own cross stitch patterns that were more to her liking. She has created cross stitch patterns that range from musical artists such as David Bowie, to cross-over themed patterns like Goku vs Superman.

With others requesting her patterns, she has set up an Etsy store to sell her patterns worldwide. Flo has taught friends and family how to cross stitch, and has also taught English in China and coached college students in small bore rifle shooting. 

Galit Maxwell

Clay has been part of my life in the past 20 years. Everyday we touch and use objects, when they are made by hand from natural resources it elevates our daily tasks to ritual. I enjoy the meditative wheel throwing production as well as the peaceful hand-building process. I truly believe that using hand-made pottery makes food and drinks taste better. 

I make a wide range of domestic-ware with the focus on an earthy appearance using a matt deep colour expression. I use stoneware clay and mix my own glazes.  

The majority of my hand-built pieces are textured slab vases in a variety of shapes and sizes. The vases offer a unique display for flowers, but also can be used as a piece of art on their own. 

More information about exhibitions and outlets can be found on my website or my Facebook page.  My instagram @galitmaxwell is my most up-to-date visual platform.

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