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 Gail and Sue on 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!

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.

Judy Cochrane
Judy Cochrane

Mā te hurhuru te manu karere, with feathers a bird flies. No matter what we do, someone will be better off because of the work that we do. That’s the philosophy Judy carries with her in her communications work which usually has a social change, social good focus. Judy has spent a significant part of her career influencing change in the education, and inclusion and diversity spaces. Mahi aroha/volunteering is in her DNA - well in all of our DNA if only we took care to notice. Mahi aroha grows people, opens minds, opens hearts and creates joy.

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.

Lachlan McKenzie

Lachlan has worked in communications for about 10 years. He’s particularly keen on internal communications, content, plain English, but considers himself a bit of a generalist. He has volunteered for a number of community groups and clubs, and has worked both in not-for-profit and public sector, and loves how communications can help with storytelling. Beyond the world of communications, Lachlan loves tramping, running, orienteering, travelling, or spending time with his family.

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.

Aly Thompson
Intelligence Officer

Aly coordinates our workshops and training opportunities for community organisations. She's a marketing and communications professional with a bent for process design and efficiency. A seeker of variety, she has worked in a range of contexts from small business, to central and local government, international tech companies, and the charity sector; but she finds the most satisfaction in the for-purpose space. After six years living in Germany she returned to NZ hoping to revive her connections to the community, which she'd lacked with her limited German. She is a wordsmith and a strategist, and enjoys problem solving through analysis.

“ 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