What we do
ARMS is Auckland’s specialist settlement support agency, providing targeted programmes for skilled migrants, international students, other work visa holders, former refugees and their families. Our programmes and services are delivered in several locations across Auckland.
Since 2003, our dedicated staff, volunteers and community partners have provided specialist settlement, orientation, training and employment services for over 30,000 clients.
ARMS staff collaborates closely with Auckland’s service providers and community groups. We organise Local Settlement Networks, Settlement Network Steering Groups, a Regional Settlement Support Network, and a Regional Settlement Support Steering Group.
ARMS Mission: To provide quality leadership in facilitating the successful settlement of newcomers, economic empowerment of communities, and intercultural respect.
Current Strategic Directions (2015-18):
- Enhance our regional co-ordination role across agencies and service providers.
- Grow our effectiveness in community development through capacity building, collaboration and collective impact.
- Increase our portfolio of products and services for newcomers, community groups and providers.
- Strengthen the value of our leadership and advocacy role
Who we are
Rochana Sheward (Ro-ka-na) – Chief Executive Officer (Watch a welcome message from our new CEO)
Carol Gilroy – Regional Employment Programme Manager
Shoma Prasad – Regional Communications/PR Manager
Jun Luo – Information Systems Officer
Kathleen Horn – English Language Advisor
Navin Jhinghan – Finance Officer
Sally Chu – Administration Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator
ARMS/ARCC Partnership Project Staff –
The WISE Collective
Sasikala Syed Niyamathullah – WISE Project Worker
ARMS/ARCC Partnership Project Staff –
Safari Multicultural Playgroups Projects
Cherie Broome – Safari Programme Coordinator
Mary Hakizimana – Safari West Project Assistant
Tsehainesh Gebremeskel – Safari Central Project Assistant
Angelica Lambert – Safari South Project Coordinator
ARMS Trust Board
The overarching philosophy of the ARMS Trust is to respect, acknowledge, value and uphold:
(i) The intrinsic worth, rights, dignity and strengths of all people;
(ii) The Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand, including the rights, responsibilities and privileges conferred on and retained by the signatories;
(iii) The many cultural identities, languages and perspectives reflected in Aotearoa New Zealand society;
(iv) Principles of community development that increase the self-reliance of communities and individuals rather than increase dependency on others;
(v) The laws of Aotearoa New Zealand, international human rights, and professional best practice.
Our Board of Trustees
Dr Bruce Bryant – Trust Chair
Bruce is a first generation New Zealander with a heart and a conscience for those who may need a hand up not a hand out, many of them Maori, and many of those who have recently arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Father of five, Bruce was a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants for over 40 years and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology, Faculty of Business and IT. He holds the degree Doctor of Business Administration from Southern Cross University in Australia; a Master’s degree in Taxation Studies (Hon) from University of Auckland and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Massey University. He is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a senior member of the New Zealand Trustees Association.
He is also an approved mentor to the Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) service and is an independent director on the board of Core Education Limited, a leading provider of innovative education delivery models in Aotearoa and worldwide.
As well as his role with ARMS, Bruce is a Trustee (Chair) of Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust in Tauranga where in 2014 they turned 37 out of 38 ‘youth at risk’ around from entering into the prison system and back into their whanau, families and in some cases back to school. Te Tuinga means to weave together and this trust that Bruce chairs, is weaving together the local communities of Tauranga Moana.
Saddled alongside this Chairmanship he is also a Trustee of The Going West Trust in Waitakere. These trust roles are honorary positions.
Bruce believes that the taiaha of knowledge is the weapon for the disadvantaged to face the future with, and his networks and combined skills of 40 years in the business sector and the Trusts he is involved with, provide him with a perfect platform to help those that need help most in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Anita Keestra, JP – Vice-Chair
Anita is passionate about growing strong communities, enhancing business growth and regional economic development. She has worked with numerous industry sectors, community groups, youth entrepreneurs and wider opportunities for women’s programme for the past 25 years.
Anita is currently working as a Business Development Specialist with the Faculty of Business and IT at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). She is director of a training consultancy business and a freelance photography business. Anita also lectures in business management, business growth, personal financial management, employment and soft skills. She is an experienced business person having owned and managed businesses since 1994.
Anita holds a MBA, Graduate Diploma in Economic Development and Bachelor of Education (Adult Ed.). She was awarded the Sir James Fletcher Award for Outstanding Contribution to Enterprise and the Adult Community Education – Educator of the Year Award in 2008.
Anita is a Justice of Peace (JP), an Accredited Business Consultant and a member of the Institute of Accredited Business Consultants (NZ) Inc. Anita is on the Board of Trustees for Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) and Papatoetoe High School. She is on the Auckland Council’s Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and on the industry consultation advisory committee for Business College NZ Ltd.
Anita is committed to building strong relationships and supporting diversity. She is passionate about collaborative partnerships, life-long learning and optimising people potential. Anita believes in an organisation culture that values people at all levels.
Gurbrinder Aulakh is a lawyer at Auckland City Lawyers and was previously a lawyer in India where apart from being an executive committee member of the High Court Bar, he was also on the panel of some of the prestigious boards and organisations.
In New Zealand he has been actively supporting the wider community initiatives in his various roles with different organisations. As a migrant settled in NZ, he has also been championing the cause of the community through his articles in ethnic media and speeches at the public functions. He enjoys trekking and travelling in his spare time.
Rahul is the son of migrants from Kerala who arrived in NZ in the early 80s. Currently he is a manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. He has lived, worked and studied in 8 countries and as such empathises with the challenges faced by new migrants to NZ. He is a management consultant that has worked in corporate, NGO and public sectors in NZ and in continental Europe. He has consulted to the leaders of some of the world’s iconic organisations on strategy, trade, politics and performance, and has worked on high profile public campaigns in NZ. However he derives the most pleasure from the voluntary work he has done over the years with community and NGO groups.
He is awe of the tremendous contribution made by migrants over the history of (and the present) NZ, and is excited about working collaboratively with the wider community to build successful migrant stories in the challenging and exciting future that lies ahead for NZ’s largest and most diverse city.
Pramjit Rai Suchdev (Jeet), QSM- JP
Sam Sukumar has had a long engagement with Auckland Regional Migrant Services, as a member of our Settlement Support Groups, Auckland South and Central, during his time serving in different roles in Inland Revenue.
Sam is currently an Asset Management Coordinator at Housing New Zealand, and previously was a Business Services Advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Sam has also served in several managerial roles in the food and beverage sector.
As an approved mentor for Business Mentors New Zealand, Sam helps businesses on a one-to-one basis and also presents at education and training institutes.
Sam is passionate about empowering people and providing the right support and believes that migrants and former refugees bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience that contribute to enhancing New Zealand’s economy. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club International in recognition of his services to the community.
Through his involvement on the ARMS Board, Sam hopes to be able to contribute his skills and insights to migrants and former refugees in terms of their issues.
Sam speaks English, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Telugu.
Watch our 10th Anniversary video below: