Bringing communities together in partnership

A girl in a skatepark gives the piece sign and smiles at the camera

Honouring and reflecting on our nation’s past, but with eyes set firmly on a collaborative and connected future, YouBeYou celebrates diversity, inclusion, equity and empowers unity. From events and our principal services of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Diagnosis and Accreditation, together with training and collaborative services, YouBeYou is here to pro-actively build unity.

Our individual abilities, our ethnic make-up, our cultural roots, how we identify and our beliefs, all make up who we are. With mutual respect and a genuine wish to exemplify a zero-harm environment, we can live together in a manner that creates and celebrates kotahitanga (unity).

As a people, we are stronger together in celebrating our differences.

Our Values / Ko o tatou whakapono matua

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Respect

We value, respect, and explore our nation’s long human history.

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value

We understand that in our differences there is strength. In unity there is community.

A person holding a sign aloft that reads Equality in Diversity

Understand

We seek an improved society through understanding, not prejudice. Through connection, not separatism.

Three young adults look directly at the camera taking a selfie and all laughing and smiling

celebrate

We journey toward a future acknowledging division exists in our world, but that it doesn’t have to be like that.

An older man shares a laugh with a smiling boy with downs syndrome

Nurture

We nurture the reality that all we wish for ourselves, for our children, for our families and for our friends, is to be happy.

A person from behind wrapped in a rainbow flag wearing a baseball cap backwards that says Equality

Unity

We champion our commonalities, what binds us as people, as human beings, as a society.

YouBeYou advocates that our society in 2022 is represented by over 200 ethnicities, cultures, identities, and abilities and as such, needs a stronger voice for all to be heard and brought together in unity as one.

Where it all began

Our korero began in November 2021 when founder, Gordy Lockhart, became aware of LGBT human rights abuses at an Evangelical state-integrated school in Tauranga Moana. It was alleged that teaching practice and school enrolment documentation presented homophobic and transphobic views.

A photo of Gordy Lockhart sitting on a chair smiling
Gordy Lockhart
‘Founder – YoubeYou - Aotearoa’

Subsequent investigation alleged ingrained LGBT discrimination at several other religious state integrated schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Public outcry, petitions, protests, and months of media attention caused New Zealand’s Department of Education to incept a formal inquiry into LGBT discrimination at state-integrated schools via the Education Review Office (ERO). For the first time in history, The ERO would use anonymous surveys of the student body to identify areas of concern.  

Shortly thereafter, a belief in the value of a diverse, inclusive, and equitable wider society saw YouBeYou - Aotearoa formed with the premise that as a people, we are stronger together in celebrating our differences. As a city, we are better through valuing our diverse populations. For in each minority, lies our majority.  

While YouBeYou - Aotearoa has its roots in the fight for equality for our LGBT whanau, our role today lies in helping wider Aotearoa New Zealand celebrate a vibrant and exciting modern city.  

Each year, YouBeYou will consult with the aim of identifying one of our local minorities to be the focus of that year’s celebrations.

Together, in unity, we can create a vibrant and exciting new world where each of us feels able to be exactly who we were born to be.  

Join us in making a difference.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Ko te whakapono kei te mahi tuatahi ahakoa kare koe e kite i te katoa ote arawhata. "

 Dr Martin Luther King

Our Trustees / Omatou kaitiaki

Our Trustees are critical to our premise as they provide the connection to our community. It’s important to us that we’re as representative and diverse as the society for which we seek to advocate. Our trustees are chosen for their expertise, their community connection and most importantly, their absolute passion for a better, more accepting and future focused world.

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Rev. John Carr

John, minister of Western Bay of Plenty Methodist Churches, works to create inclusive, safe spaces and advocates for marginalized communities. Committed to social justice, he envisions a future where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

Trish valois

Trish, director at Te Whakatipuranga – School for Young Parents in Tauranga Moana, is a passionate advocate for equity, dedicated to addressing the needs of marginalized individuals and promoting equal opportunities for all in Aotearoa..

a headshot photo of Sally Cooke
James chen

James leads Intelket, a strategic marketing consultancy with over a decade of experience. He is passionate about universal design, DEI advocacy, and elevating grassroots voices, with a background in social marketing and governance in health and education.

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Keegan Millar

Keegan operates Orbit Entertainment Limited.
The talent behind the conceptual development and delivery of YoubeYou - Aotearoa's successful YOUNITY events in 2022, Keegan believes in creating a world where we are all free to be who we were born to be.

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Premila D’ Mello

Premila is president of Tauranga's Regional Multicultural Council and a high school teacher.
Through her work, Premila has an inexhaustible understanding of The Bay of Plenty's cultural make-up.

A head shot photo of a smiling Summer Xia
Summer Xia

Summer is assistant director at New Zealand China Council.
With a career in cross-cultural communication, Summer knows why an appreciation of diversity is key in our modern world.

Amanda Lowry plays tennis
Could this be you?

Are you passionate about Aotearoa and the celebration of our society as a diverse and inclusive space. Do you want to see more equitable communties where we all have the ability to thrive? Yes to the above, well then. Come be part of the magic!

A headshot photo of Gordy Lockhart
Gordy Lockhart

Gordy runs his own management consultancy. As a passionate advocate for fairness and a committed leftist, he argues that current Western economic policies are at the heart of the increasing global division and disparity.

“If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done."

“Mena ka hiahia koe ki tetahi mea kaore ano koe iwhiwhi, me tino pai koe ki te mahi i tetahi mea kaore ano koe i mahi. "

Thomas Jefferson