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PANZ welcomes Courtney Sina Meredith as new Association Director

By April 30, 2024No Comments

PANZ Association Director Courtney Sina Meredith. Photo credit Janet Lilo

The Publishers Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Tākupu is delighted to announce that Courtney Sina Meredith has been appointed as Association Director.

PANZ President | Tumuaki Claire Murdoch says, “Courtney needs no introduction to Aotearoa’s literary community as a writer. However, what blew our panel away in a seriously competitive field of candidates were her strategic vision, her exceptional relationship-management and communications skills, her sound administrative and financial chops and her impressive grants, fundraising and advocacy experience.

Courtney’s skills are a perfect match for the challenges and opportunities facing PANZ and its partners in 2024 and beyond.

Speaking on behalf of PANZ Council, I can’t wait to work with her and look forward to welcoming her and introducing her to all our members and stakeholders this May, when she will formally take up the role.”

Meredith is a globally recognised cultural leader whose work across the arts, education, culture and media draws on her Sāmoan and Mangaian roots through a proudly queer lens. Cited by CNZ as the top sixth spokesperson for the arts in national media, she is a trusted advocate for the creative sector and a voice for change.

She was the Executive Director of RainbowYOUTH where she led a critical restructure and the Director of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust that she financially future-proofed through to 2026.

Courtney is the author of two poetry collections, two children’s books and one book of short stories. Her work is taught internationally from schools across the Pacific to graduate studies at UCLA and written into academia from Stanford to Oxford. Her academic acknowledgements include an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Iowa in 2016 and the Young Alumna of the Year award by the University of Auckland in 2021.

Courtney has been awarded prestigious opportunities around the world from being invited by the BBC to the House of Lords in London to discuss Britain’s cultural future, to sharing her writing in the gardens of Frida Kahlo in Mexico. Her residencies and delegations include the Island Residency in Alaska, delegate to the British Council as part of London’s cultural olympiad, the Bleibtreu residency in Berlin, Queensland’s Poet in Residence, and as New Zealand’s representative to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She has judged many local and global literary competitions across poetry and prose including the Commonwealth Short Story Competition as judge for the Oceania continent.

She is the Co-Director of Kim Meredith Gallery, the first Pacific owned and operated dealer gallery in New Zealand. Previous roles she has held include Partnerships Manager at Manukau Institute of Technology, Newsreader and Arts Reporter for PMN, Commercial Accounts Executive ICAEW (UK), Arts and Culture Advisor with Auckland Council, and Contributing Editor for Paperboy at Bauer Media.

Courtney lives with her partner and constant collaborator, renowned artist Janet Lilo (Te Rarawa, Sāmoa, Niue), and their three beautiful sons and spoilt pooch, in Tāmaki Aukilani.

She says,  “I grew up watching my grandfather fire through stick-em-up westerns, he was transported out of Glen Innes and into  American deserts. Decades later, and with the support of my wonderful mother, he helped PANZ translate a section of Luteru Ross Taylor’s book into Gagana Sāmoa.

The power of the written word cannot, ironically, be captured in words. All I can offer is my small truth that a year after the loss of my Pa, he has a sparkling moment in the canon that I treasure deeply.  I was drawn to this directorship for the kaupapa and excellence of membership – and the opportunity to work alongside Claire Murdoch and PANZ Council.

My vision in this role is founded on aroha, advocacy, and advancement – all with a good dose of my Pā’s cheeky grin behind me!  O le ala i le pule, o le tautua – the pathway to leadership is through service. Fa’afetai tele lava, I can’t wait to get started in May.”