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Alexia Veronikiati

On why I volunteer for Great Full…

As a child living in Africa, I saw terrible injustice and poverty, and I always wanted to help. As an adult, I now support my local community as its how I give back – and I've seen the positive impact of how we can make a difference when we come together. I help the team in every way that I can, but managing the Great Full stall at local markets is what I absolutely love as it gives me a chance to introduce people to our cause and listen to their own stories. 

On a philosophy I live by…

The African Philosophy, “I am because we are” inspires me and helps me navigate the world. This way of living is something I’ve carried with me since childhood and I’d like to one day pass this on to my own children. 

On the value of living in New Zealand…

I was born in Athens, Greece, moved to South Africa as a child before settling in Auckland.  After living in South Africa this place is a walk in the park! Seriously though, around the world Kiwis have an awesome reputation and I am glad to call Aotearoao home. Who knew that this little island in the middle of the sea housed so many kind souls? 

On what community looks like…

Community can be your chosen family. Community can be a place of love and respect where all our voices are heard. We all need connection and shine when we are supported by one another. It is my belief that we are stronger than any of us could be on our own and community facilitates that.

On a big life lesson…  

Take care of your health – not just for yourself but for your loved ones.

On finding inspiration…

Andreas Vollenweider is without a doubt my favourite musician of all time. He has the ability to synthesize instruments from all around the world and produce glorious music that speaks to my heart. I think his album Cosmopoly is some of his best work.

On practicing gratitude…

My best friend gave me a little journal of gratitude. Each day I write down three things I am grateful for. This little practice has changed my life and helped me see more of my life's gifts.  It has opened my eyes and opened my heart.

On why its important to give back…

Meaning and fulfillment do not come from hiding one’s self away – in fact, it’s found in the beauty of coming together. Giving back to our communities is what makes us human. Giving back sparks joy!

On how we can contribute to a healthier New Zealand… 

A statistic is sometimes hard to grasp but I’ve heard person after person share how they were affected by bowel cancer or how their family members were helped by Starship. A healthy body and mind are the basic building blocks for thriving in life – doesn’t every person deserve to thrive? We can help make that happen by encouraging friends and family members to keep on top of their health, and we can give time, donations or resources to health-related organisations.