Who we are

We’re comms people volunteering our time to help community organisations communicate better.

From communications directors to recent graduates, we’re experts in writing, editing, social media, web usability, strategy, internal communications, media, stakeholder relations, marketing communications, change communications, branding and more.

Some of us work full-time, others part-time. Some of us contract, some of us are studying. Others are taking a career break or at home with kids. One thing we have in common is that we all want to give some of our time – even just a little – to help boost the efforts of the amazing organisations working in our communities.

You can see a list some of our volunteers in Collective good and more on the work they’ve done in Case studies.

Getting to the heart of the matter…

Our vision:
Connected communities for a stronger Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our mission:
Volunteering our skills and time to help the community sector communicate more effectively.
Our values:
Give a boost | Step up | Keep it simple | Have fun

Founders and trustees

Gail Marshall and Sue McCabe set up the Community Comms Collective in Wellington in 2013, hoping to harness the generosity of communications people and achieve more than they could through their individual efforts. They are the founding trustees of the Community Comms Collective Charitable Trust. In 2017, Louise Lum, who founded the collective’s website usability service, joined the Trust Board, along with Lynne Le Gros in 2023.

Our team

Our services are managed by volunteers who bring valuable knowledge, experience and connections to their work ‘helping people help others’.

Gail Marshall
Co-founder, Trustee and Matchmaker-in-Chief

Gail is a communications professional with more than 25 years' experience across the NFP, public and private sectors. Gail dreamed up the collective as a way to give back to the community using her comms skills. With limited time to give and indecision about where to volunteer, she figured that collectively we could achieve a lot more than as individuals. Running the collective is an important part of her jigsaw puzzle approach to work and life! In 2023 she was awarded Volunteer Wellington's Mahi Aroha Volunteer of the Year.

Sue McCabe
Co-founder and Trustee

Sue has a background in communications but generally likes to keep her work as diverse, challenging and flexible as possible. Sue has been a volunteer, like forever. She’s convinced that inside every New Zealander is a volunteer itching to get out and give – and that the collective offers a great way to free this inner being. Sue’s a staunch advocate of the power of and greater potential for the community and voluntary sector to work in partnership with government and corporates to make New Zealand an even cooler place to live in.

Louise Lum
Trustee and Web Usability Matchmaker-in-Chief

Louise loves supporting organisations to make their websites relevant and user friendly. She's living proof of how volunteering can provide unexpected opportunities for development and growth. It really is a win win! In March 2017 she received a special commendation in the Technology Volunteer of the Year category at the TechSoup NZ New Zealand Charities Technology Awards and after working as a UX consultant is now enjoying championing user experience in the public sector.

Lynne Le Gros
Lynne Le Gros
Trustee and Matchmaker

Lynne is an experienced marketer and communicator with a passion for contributing to community through volunteering. Her career has spanned all key sectors: FMCG, consumer durables, services and the charitable sector working in both large and small organisations. Lynne says the magic of matching a passionate volunteer with a project is always a buzz, and loves helping to enable generosity through sharing professional skills and knowledge.

Hamish Girvan
Hamish Girvan

Hamish is an experienced marketing professional with over 20 years experience in the tech sector, both here in New Zealand and overseas (Kansas City USA of all places). Hamish has been a volunteer with the collective since 2014 and has undertaken a range of assignments including web usability assessments, He loves the feel good factor of being a volunteer. Listen to his RNZ interview about being a collective volunteer.

Stephanie Gray

Stephanie is a senior practitioner with experience across many sectors. She grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, so feels at home in tropical downpours. Steph honed her skills in Wellington and is now happy to call Nelson home. She likes science comms, long-form journalism, video shorts, radio, plain language editing, whiteboard sessions, pen and paper, project management software and great photography. Through her career Steph has always tried to put a little time aside for volunteer work, for the likes of Forest & Bird, New Zealand Musician Magazine and the Community Comms Collective, of course!

Penny Elliot

Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Penny has communications experience across the tertiary education, health and not-for-profit sectors. A keen writer, storyteller and self-confessed ‘science nerd', Penny is happiest when getting stuck into the details of a meaty issue and takes great satisfaction in simplifying complex information. She also loves a good brainstorm! Penny’s passion for volunteering was instilled in her as a child when helping her grandmother at a charity store during the school holidays - and she’s been hooked ever since! Outside of her mahi, Penny can often be found outdoors, tramping and trail running.

Margaret McLachlan
Margaret McLachlan

Margaret has been working in marketing and communications for about 20 years, including in local and central government and not-for-profit organisations. She’s currently working as Communications Manager for Volunteering New Zealand. She’s pleased to help connect community organisations with willing and able volunteers.

Emily Turner

Emily has over 20 years experience working in strategic communications and engagement across the public sector and advertising agencies. She has a sound knowledge of the machinery of government, excellent influencing skills and a specific interest in ensuring kaimahi know what they need to know. As one of the original volunteers of the collective, Emily says she’s enjoyed seeing how both the organisations and volunteers thrive. An enthusiastic ‘foodie’, Emily can also assist with matchmaking anyone with Wellington bars and restaurants.

Asher Wilson-Goldman

Having worked in comms and engagement on some of the biggest government programmes in recent years - including the COVID-19 response - Asher loves a challenge and hates being bored. He has worked in the state sector, a variety of political and non-government communications roles, and as a freelance journalist and writer. Outside of comms, Asher lives on the Kāpiti Coast, likes walks in the bush and on the beach and fights for climate justice.

“ Asking for help of the collective was one of the best decisions we have made and we tell everyone we meet to use this fantastic support! ”

Natasha McDougall,Parkinsons New Zealand