The AYLI Team
Rachel Dobric, Executive Director
CONTACT - email@example.com | 021 068 1230
Born and raised in South Auckland, Rachel has worked for a range of organisations - including Ara Taiohi, the Human Rights Commission, Teach for All and the New Zealand Parliament. She has strong knowledge of multilateral climate negotiations, having attended seven rounds of the UN climate negotiations with the New Zealand Youth Delegation (2009-2011 and 2016), with AYLI (2013), and independently (2014-2015). In 2014 Rachel attended the pre-session to the climate negotiations in Lima in Venezuela on behalf of the UNFCCC's youth constituency (YOUNGO). She also joined P3 Foundation's team to attend side-events to the Millennium Development Goals Summit in 2010.
Rachel is passionate about extending the opportunity to attend international conferences to all New Zealand youth, believing them to be both life-changing and invaluable leadership experience.
In addition to her work for AYLI, Rachel currently sits on the Steering Committee of the New Zealand Youth Delegation, and on the Management Committee of the Dalmatian Cultural Society in Auckland.
Eleanor Parkes, Fellowship Mentor
Eleanor has a background in international relations and human development - her MA in Development Studies focused on disaster risk mitigation in Pacific Island communities. Currently she is working with Youthtown to support youth councils in South Auckland, and is teaching social practice in Henderson.
As an advocate for human rights, Eleanor sits on the board of ECPAT Child Alert, and she worked as a campaign coordinator for Amnesty International NZ. She is passionate about the environment and strongly believes in the interconnectedness of human rights and environmental protection, leading her to complete an environmental internship in China and to lead AYLI's 2016 delegation to the UN Environment Assembly.
Eleanor enjoyed working in experiential education throughout Southeast Asia; when she returned to New Zealand she began running dance classes for young people from refugee backgrounds.
Sedef Duder-Özyurt, Marketing Leader
Sedef is an AYLI alum from our delegation to COP23 in Bonn, and third year student at Victoria University studying Environmental Science. With a particular interest in civics education, she is a founding member of student led organisation Active Citizenship Aotearoa and was the Campaign Manager for the Virgin Voter Collective. Sedef has always been passionate about being around nature and protecting it, taking part in a Sir Peter Blake Trust expedition to the Sub Antarctic and sailing to Turkey with the Australian Navy. Sedef is thrilled to be a part of the AYLI team to integrate her experience in comms and marketing with her passion for the bolstering of emerging Kiwi leaders. Looking to the future, she intends to continue to serve those around her and the planet as well as she can, working in global governance or climate change negotiations.
AYLI is a charitable trust, so we're governed by a board of trustees. As a youth leadership organisation, we think it's really important to be led by young people - so we have a policy of making sure over half of our board members are under 30. We'd love you to meet them!
Benj is one of AYLI's alumni. He was part of our delegation to COP20 in Lima, and led our team to COP21 in Paris - allowing him a unique and valuable perspective on AYLI's board. You can read the story of how he got involved with AYLI here!
By day, Benj is an Auckland based filmmaker who loves the challenge of producing media that is both engaging and effective. He primarily works on educational and promotional material to inspire social change, but also creates music videos and short films. He believes that better media can help create a better world. In addition, Benj is involved with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth and the New Zealand Red Cross.
Benj loves that AYLI brings together such a diverse range of amazing young Kiwis - from all over the country and from so many different interests and disciplines.
Hayden is experienced in leading young New Zealanders to build international connections. He was a founding member and National President (2001-03) of UN Youth New Zealand, leading five delegations to attend The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN). Hayden has also served as National President (2005-07) of the UN Association of New Zealand.
Hayden brings professional public sector experience in education and social development. He worked at the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO for seven years, before being appointed as National Youth Participation Advisor at the Ministry of Youth Development.
Hayden has participated in a diverse range of international youth opportunities including as delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Forum (2001), The Footsteps of Rewi Alley Tour (2013) and the Commonwealth Emerging Leaders Dialogues Asia (2016). Hayden is a Justice of the Peace, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Institute of Directors, and a member of the Asia New Zealand Leadership Network. Hayden recently completed a Master of Business Administration in Thailand, as a New Zealand Prime Minister's Scholar for Asia.