New Zealanders from refugee backgrounds participating fully in New Zealand life
The need for a strong collective refugee voice was first identified in 2001.
From 2001 to 2006 a group of dedicated leaders met on a regular basis to ensure that people from a refugee background had input into policy development and service delivery.
This work was underpinned by the principle: Nothing about us without us. This principle recognises that people from refugee backgrounds have the skills, knowledge, and experience to address resettlement issues.
The group, facilitated by Adam Awad, recognised there was a need for a formal organisation to continue the work.
ChangeMakers Board and staff with Kumi Naidoo from CIVICUS, December 2007
ChangeMakers Refugee Forum became an incorporated society in 2006 and was registered with the Charities Commission.
Since 2006, ChangeMakers has expanded our services from advocating on behalf of refugee background communities to include research and community development activities.
Our Board is governed by people from refugee backgrounds who represent the interests of former refugees generally rather then their communities specifically. We also have 20% representation from other communities.