A movement not a moment!


Across New Zealand there is a rising movement of churches and faith-based groups seeking to serve and support their communities. Passionate people ready to make a difference. People with a faith led ethic that believe in the power of social justice, coupled with the boundless compassion of Christ-centred love. People like you!

At Glen Eden Baptist Church and VisionWest Community Trust, we know the power of church and trust working collaboratively, and have been doing so for over 30 years. Together, we have a passion to support churches and faith-based groups with practical support in getting started, growing services, and building strategy and capability so that you can work similarly in your community.

For this reason we are delighted to announce our second Transform Conference at Glen Eden Baptist Church in Auckland on the 18th and 19th March, 2020. Transform 2020 is a two day event for Pastors and Community Leaders searching for input and inspiration to spark their community projects.

Transform20 keynote speakers will challenge and encourage you to engage as a Church on topics of Poverty, Homelessness, Community Development, Chaplaincy, and Kaupapa Māori. You will leave inspired and equipped to bring transformational change in your local context.

Our intention for this conference is to make it as affordable for churches as possible. For this reason we have set our registration cost at only $65 per person for the two days. Register Today!

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Null  Null

Proudly supported by the Baptist Foundation


Andrew Becroft
Children’s Commissioner

Judge Andrew Becroft is the New Zealand Children’s Commissioner. Prior to this he was the Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand and was appointed a District Court Judge in 1996. In 2009, Judge Becroft received an award from the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand as Communicator of the Year. In 2010 Judge Becroft was the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland. In 2018 he was the winner of the Public Service Wellingtonian of the Year Award. Judge Becroft is a former council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society. He is the Patron of the New Zealand Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment, and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc. Judge Becroft is married with three children, aged 23, 21 and 18. 

Aimee Mai
CEO, CAP New Zealand

Aimee Mai is the CEO of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) New Zealand. Aimee began working at CAP in 2009, and after serving in a number of roles across the organisation, she became the CEO in 2013. Under Aimee’s leadership, CAP has experienced rapid growth and expansion throughout New Zealand. Today, Aimee counts it a privilege to be part of what God is doing in Aotearoa, and she remains passionate about the church reaching out to serve the poor and share the transforming love of Jesus.  

Charles Hewlett
National Leader of the Baptist Churches in New Zealand

Charles Hewlett is the National Leader of the Baptist Churches in New Zealand. Prior to this he spent 13 years on the staff at Carey Baptist College, the last eight of these as Principal. He is married to Joanne and they have three children, two living with severe intellectual and physical disability. Charles has a deep confidence in the local church and its ability to bring renewal to people and places.

Lisa Woolley
CEO, VisionWest Community Trust

Lisa Woolley is the CEO of VisionWest Community Trust, one of New Zealand’s largest community services providers, serving over 20,000 people each year through more than 1,500 employees and volunteers throughout New Zealand. The Trust is well known for its innovative and holistic approach, encompassing a wide range of services to the community. 

Lisa is a recognized expert of social issues and champion for social justice within New Zealand. With more than 20 years of experience as an advocate, volunteer, policy advisor, commentator, manager and CEO, she is passionate about community development and addressing social issues such as poverty, marginalisation, unemployment and homelessness.

Joining VisionWest in 1998, Lisa became the CEO in 2001 and has since led the organisation to unparalleled growth and impact on the local community.  Lisa has completed a Masters in Social Practice, writing a ground breaking thesis on Supportive Housing in NZ, and has been recognised for her leadership with awards locally and internationally. 

Gary Grut
Senior Pastor, Glen Eden Baptist Church

Gary Grut is the Senior Pastor at Glen Eden Baptist Church. Gary’s ministry experience commenced in 1987 when he gave his life to the Lord. Since then he has served in the role of Youth Worker at two Auckland churches, and was Associate Pastor at Titirangi Baptist Church for 15 years. Gary then took the role as Baptist Youth Ministries as National Team Leader before accepting the Call to Senior Pastor at Glen Eden Baptist. Gary is married to Sarah and they have been blessed with four wonderful boys.

Fred Astle
Head of Māori Service Development, VisionWest Community Trust

Mā te rongo ka mōhio! Mā te mōhio ka marama!
Mā te mārama ka mātau! Mā te mātau ka ora!

Through perception comes awareness! Through awareness comes understanding!
Through understanding comes knowledge! Through knowledge comes well-being!

Fred Astle is VisionWest’s Head of Maori Development Services and Director of Kaupapa Maori at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medicine. Having grown up on maraes in the Franklin area and completed both undergraduate and post-graduate stucies in Maori development, Fred has an ever-increasing passion for kaupapa Maori that gives him a sense of purpose. Fred has previously worked at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education, various Government departments, NGO’s and the Auckland DHB. Fred describes his work as very transformational, life changing and a lot of fun.

James Palmer
CEO of Christian Savings Ltd

James Palmer BA, LLB, is CEO of Christian Savings Ltd., a position he has held since 2015. Christian Savings is New Zealand’s only registered charity that is also licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as a non-bank deposit taker. Christian Savings manages over $180m, with more than $130m in loans to churches and Christian charities around New Zealand.

As a lawyer, practicing at Palmer & Associates, his areas of practice included commercial and property law and the not-for-profit sector. These areas of expertise have been a valuable asset to Christian Savings. James is married to Melissa. They have two young sons and attend St Columba Presbyterian Church in Botany, Auckland.

Trevor McGlinchey
Ngāi Tahu

Trevor is an active member of his marae at Moeraki, where he is the chair of the marae-owned charitable company. He is also involved with the cultural life centres around Moeraki Marae.

Currently, he is the long-serving Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services. An organisation dedicated to working for a just and compassionate society in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this role he has had a long relationship with Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). He also sits with CPAG as a member of the Nga Tangata Microfinance Trust, an organisation which provides fee and interest free loans to low income people.

Trevor was a member of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, he was also on the reference groups for the Green and White Papers for Vulnerable Children. His previous roles have included establishing a community-owned kaupapa Māori trust providing community initiatives and training and education in Oamaru, as well as a period in the public service.

Steve Parker

Steve is a member of Glen Eden Baptist Church and a Trustee of VisionWest Community Trust. After migrating with his family from the United Kingdom in 2004, Steve retired from his role as NZ General Manager and Director of a multi-national business in 2014. He then sought to increase his activity in the not-for-profit sector, offering his 30 years of business experience and expertise to executive teams and boards.

Steve now has broad knowledge and experience in governance, also holding officer roles for Community Waitakere (since 2010) and the Baptist Foundation (since 2014). In the last two years he has also joined the boards of August Properties, Dayspring Trust and Howick Baptist Healthcare.

Brook Turner
Head of Community Services Development at VisionWest Community

Brook has over 20 years of social services experience and is proficient in a range of community development approaches including social enterprise. For his work in the social sector he has been awarded a Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Local Hero award, the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and a Royal Society of the Arts Fellowship from the United Kingdom. Brook is also a graduate and alumni member of Leadership New Zealand. Brook believes the vital ingredients for social change are faith, innovation, entrepreneurship, and a pursuit of greater equality across all ethnicities, genders and ages.

George Gavet
General Manager of Education and Training Centre at VisionWest.

George has been working with youth for nearly 35 years beginning firstly with coaching, then moving into teaching ‘youth with potential’.

His professional career has been mainly in the education sector serving priority learners through his work in the compulsory schooling and tertiary sectors. George has held Chief Advisor roles at the Ministry of Education, the Tertiary Education Commission and various executive and management roles within the business and education sectors. He has also set up charitable trusts, currently chairing two of these while being an active Trustee on two other boards.

George is a husband and father first, then a community leader before anything else. He subscribes to the Samoan proverb: “o le ala I le pule o le tautua – the road to leadership is through service”


  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni - Minister of Social Development and Disability Issues
  • Mark Woolley - Founding VisionWest Chaplain
  • Heather Penman - Current VisionWest Chaplain
  • James Widgery - General Manager of Community Housing VisionWest
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hutson - Director - The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit

Null  Null

Our work is always growing and evolving.

To get our latest updates, sign up for our regular email newsletter.