Who we are

We are a small team of locals with a wide range of skills and experiences. Some of us have been in the Bay for generations and others are newbies. We are passionate about the Bay and look forward to working with you.

You can contact us here

Sheila Hart

Chair

Sheila originally moved to Island Bay in 2009 and enjoyed 5 years just off Severn Street.  Work and medical training took her off to Toronto for a year and on her return, she headed to Southgate Road where she has lived since.  She describes this as living in a tiny bit of paradise!

Sheila is an anaesthetist at Wellington Regional Hospital. She has worked there since coming to Wellington, initially to finish her training and then as a Senior Medical Officer. She is the Deputy Clinical Director of the Department of Anaesthesia and currently the President of the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists. 


In her spare time, she enjoys keeping active on 2 feet or 2 wheels, enjoying the wealth of beautiful countryside that Wellington and NZ have to offer. You will also see her wandering the streets of the bay and surrounding areas with her wee pooch!

Sheila is passionate about creating a connected community – a connected community is a strong community. She hopes to help grow the relationships in the community of Island Bay and Southgate during her time on the  Residents’ Association Committee, bringing her values of fairness, inclusiveness and transparency that serve her well in her professional life. 

Jelle Keizer

Committee member

Jelle has lived in Island Bay and Southgate for 15 years. He is a 16-year-old student attending Wellington High School. He is a paddler on the school’s waka ama team and the lighting director at my school.

Jelle manages the Island Bay Residents’ Association website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page. 

Jelle brings a youth perspective to the committee. He hopes to see Island Bay develop a strong community atmosphere. He wants to allow everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions and share their creative ideas within the association.

Catherine Inder

Co-secretary

Catherine has lived on The Parade in Island Bay for 14 years. Catherine has a background in law and health and currently works at the hospital in Newtown in the Strategy and Planning directorate. Catherine is supporting the implementation of a networked, community-designed, localities-based health system and wants to help foster a strong, inclusive, kind, and caring community in the Bay. Catherine has many hobbies and passions, too many to list, and is part of a large, close extended family spread throughout Aotearoa. Catherine promises to work hard for IBRA supporting and contributing where needed. 

Sonya Cameron

Co-secretary

Sonya has lived in Island Bay since 2010 and loves the village feel, her great neighbours, the beautiful beach and Manawa Karioi bush walks. She works at MSD as a Principal Advisor for a program growing Food Secure Communities. She was a co-founder and is a steering committee member for Wellington Timebank, and cares about growing strong, inclusive communities.

Sally Page

Co-secretary

Sally has lived in Island Bay since early 2020, when she, her husband and two children Georgia (6) and Hazel (3) moved back to Aotearoa from Beijing, China. She works at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Sally loves being involved in her community and wants to help create an environment in which children can explore safely and thrive. She is passionate about looking after our environment and taking climate action. She is keen to help create a Residents’ Association that celebrates and reflects all the different cultures, ages, and views of our community. Sally was previously involved in the Berhampore Community Association, and in addition to having lived in China, she has also lived in Fiji. She loves the outdoors and can often be seen riding her bike with her kids through the village, hiking or running in the bush, or surfing at Lyall Bay.

Fran de Gregorio

Co-secretary

Fran has lived in Island Bay for all of her life and is a 3rd generation Island Bay resident. She has strong roots in the Italian community with many extended families still living here. Her family husband, three children and herself live on The Parade and have done so for the past 16 years.
Fran is proud to live and work here in the Bay, owning one of the businesses in the Shopping Centre. Over the years she has worked in many different service-based businesses in Island Bay and neighbouring suburbs. This has helped Fran to build relationships and strengthen her connections with the community.
Fran has had a long-time involvement with the Island Bay Festival and was the festival coordinator from 2013 to 2017, which was a very successful period in the history of the Festival.
Fran was part of a group of strong community women who organised the large public meeting back in 2014 attended by hundreds of Island Bay Residents. This gave her greater insight into building her awareness of some of the challenges our community has faced over the years.
With all this experience she has deep connections and roots within various areas of the community at large.

Ben Everist

Committee member

As a family man who recently welcomed his fourth child, when Ben’s not working as an award-winning real estate agent, he’s parenting, involved with kids’ sports and activities, or actively working on ways he can reduce his family’s waste footprint.

Ben is well-travelled and worldly, but since moving to Island Bay has been passionate about contributing back to his community. 

Ben’s focus on the committee is to encourage inclusion and kindness in our community, support WCC on ways Island Bay can take a lead on reducing waste in our community, and finally support the facilitation with the community to gather views on creating and improving Island Bay’s community assets and town centre.

Bruce Gadd

Committee member

Bruce worked in the Public Service for 30 years working for 7 agencies mostly in Wellington but had two stints overseas in Hamburg and Milan. He has been involved in some large events including the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the 2013 America’s Cup Challenge in San Francisco, and the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He now works part-time for a Wellington-based consultancy company. He first lived in Island Bay from 1988 to 2004. Bruce moved back to the Bay in 2019. He loves being back near family and friends and enjoying all the benefits of the South Coast.

Chris Wratt

Committee member

Chris and his family have lived in Island Bay for over 20 years now. Although relatively new to ‘the bay’ compared to some, Chris loves the small coastal village feel that it has. His family is closely connected to Island Bay United Football and both Chris and his partner Charlotte are active volunteers there.

Chris is a teacher at St Francis de Sales School and he loves the historical connection between the school, church, and the original Italian families which began settling here over 100 years ago. He is beginning to learn to speak Italian and jokes that he is transitioning to becoming Italian one day.  

Chris put his hand up for IBRA because he loves this place and believes that he has broad connections and a good feel for what residents want for our suburb.

Pat Vinaccia

Committee member

Pat has lived in Island Bay all his life. He is the very proud owner of the Empire Cinema which he runs with his daughter Mia. He owns a property company and for 25 years has developed various prominent buildings in the city. Previously Pat has been involved in the fishing industry. Pat is of Italian heritage. He has 3 daughters and he very much enjoys golf, fishing, horse racing and spending time with his partner Karen and his family.

Pat wants to continue to add to this vibrant community and has more to give through his business networks and experience. He wants to make it a place where people want to feel connected and a place where we can be safe and have fun.

Jeff McDonald

Committee member

“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility, and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.”
Robert F. Kennedy
When Jeff arrived in Te Whanganui a-tara, his colleagues threw names into a hat of where he should live…..
He was hoping for a place where he felt a part of a village where he would find manakitanga. Somewhere safe, friendly, inclusive and compassionate. The majority suggested Island Bay and he indeed found the village.
Jeff and his whanau have lived here since 2013, in that time they have developed a network of amazing friends and established bonds of support and community.
Jeff is a filmmaker with a focus on creating stories that deal with humanitarian issues and inequities. He has an education in science, communications, film and management. He has worked in public relations, community care, management, governance, film producing and directing. Recently Jeff had the privilege of being the CEO of a charity for almost two years.
Jeff sees the ensuing challenges for Island Bay and Wellington being housing affordability and density, infrastructure, our natural environment, reduced opportunities, economic inequities, community support and connectedness.
As a committee member, Jeff’s goal will be to be collaborative, empathetic, consultative and connected with his local community. He strongly believes in supporting a community that celebrates its people, its diversity, mutual respect, heritage and culture.
Jeff will represent the Island Bay Community with integrity, imagination and humour, having a positive impact on current and future residents.
Jeff’s children have grown up here and he looks forward to living here for many years to come. Jeff is proud of his community and hopes that he can contribute to the preservation of its mana.

Mark Henderwood

Committee member

Mark has lived locally with his family since 2009 and loves being part of this community. As Priest in Charge at St Hilda’s Anglican Church, he leads a team to serve the local parish, encouraging engagement and participation. Overseeing the earthquake strengthening the church, you’ll see a significant transformation for the building in 2022. He coordinates the chaplaincy team at Massey University Wellington and studies theology at Otago University.

As a nurse, Mark’s current work focuses on clinical education for intensive care environments, particularly with ventilators and patient monitoring.

Mark supports his wife Gillian’s music, with gigs and recording.

Ruby Ghanem

Committee member

Ruby is a 17-year-old, who has lived in Island Bay since 2007. She is very interested in politics and the community she lives in. Ruby has been a part of Model UN where she enacts political policy which benefits everyone in the world.

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