About the Trust

Glenorchy Community Trust manages a grant pool. In the future, the Trust will be funded by the profits generated annually by The Headwaters businesses as well as other support.

Any group or individual can submit an application for funding of the projects which align with the community’s shared vision and values. Priority will be given to projects based around the head of Lake Wakatipu.

Projects considered for funding will need to demonstrate that they:

  • Overcome a specific problem, address a demonstrated need, or create a future opportunity
  • Have received financial support from sources other than the Trust
  • Have good management and governance

What we do

Glenorchy Community Trust supports projects in the Queenstown Lakes District of New Zealand. The Trust favours projects that are associated with Glenorchy and the surrounding region. The Trust supports projects that focus on:

  • Preserving the natural environment
  • Advancement of education
  • Promotion of public health
  • Recreational facilities in Glenorchy
  • Promotion of the public’s understanding and appreciation of culture and the arts

Trustees of the Glenorchy Community Trust are advocates for the aspirations outlined in the Glenorchy Community Plan and encourage grant applicants to review this wider vision for the region.

Trustees meet on a regular basis, and grant applications are invited and assessed three times a year but may be submitted at any time in anticipation of the next funding round by completing the application form found here.

The Glenorchy character

Supporting, preserving and enhancing Glenorchy’s unique attributes is very important to the Trust, and these aspirations guide grant decision making.

Trustees believe that the Glenorchy community:

    • Has a unique history, character and natural beauty
    • Values innovation, imagination, resilience and self-sufficiency
    • Seeks a future that balances a thriving local economy with the need to protect and enhance the natural environment that surrounds it

How is the Trust funded

The Glenorchy Community Trust receives all operating profits from The Headwaters, as well as donations from other public or private donors who wish to support community projects in and around Glenorchy.

The Headwaters in Glenorchy seeks to serve as an example of sustainable tourism. Its goal is a triple-bottom line set of measurements reflecting environmental, financial and community sustainability. It encompasses a rebuilt general store (Mrs Woolly’s General Store), a full range of accommodation options including camping, glamping, campervan spots, multi-bed bunkrooms, and individual cabins at Camp Glenorchy and Mrs Woolly’s Campground, the Head of the Lake Activities Booking Centre and Mrs Woolly’s Pantry catering.

The Headwaters, is a collaborative creation from philanthropists Paul and Debbi Brainerd, who have previously established environmentally-sensitive, community-based education projects in North America. Paul and Debbi have visited the Glenorchy region over many years for recreation and holidays, and call Bainbridge Island near Seattle home.

Recognising that is will take a little time forThe Headwaters, to return operating profits, its founders have donated initial funding to be administered by Trustees to successful Glenorchy Community Trust grant applicants. In the short to medium-term, Trust grants will be capped at $5,000 per recipient. Once operating profits grow, Trust grants may increase.

Only one grant donation will be paid to any organisation in any funding year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March. If your organisation is not a legal entity (legally constituted as an organisation, trust or company)  your application is limited to $1,000.

Meet our Trustees

The Glenorchy Community Trust is directed by a passionate and diverse group of leaders from within the local community. The Trustees, introduced below, are committed to supporting initiatives that foster the vibrancy and resilience of the Glenorchy community.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Trustee then please contact secretary@glenorchycommunitytrust.co.nz.

Amanda Hasselman

Amanda has lived at the Head of the Lake since 1981 and she still thinks Glenorchy is the best place to be. “Huss and I have farmed and raised four kids and have always been involved in the community. The Glenorchy Community Trust offers a great opportunity to support a broad range of community-based projects.”

Paul Ferris

Trust Chair

Paul and his wife Marie moved to the Head of the Lake after he retired from 36 years as a primary and secondary Principal. He received a QSM for his leadership in that role and is a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow.  His family have strong roots to the early Wakatipu and Glenorchy. Throughout his life he has either holidayed with family or hosted family in the Wakatipu. He can see that the changes in Queenstown indicate what will happen to Glenorchy over time, and he is anxious that we are much more aware of our relationship with the environment and the need to protect it for generations to come. Through the work of the Trust, Paul hopes to see Glenorchy develop some of the resilience needed to sustain it over the long term as a great community and ensure it remains a great place for young and old. 

Callan Grimmer

Callan Grimmer

Callan Grimmer has resided in Glenorchy for over 20 years. During this time he has been heavily involved in tourism both here in the region and internationally.
Grimmer, as he is know to everyone,  has also been an active member in Ambulance Service both in Glenorchy and Queenstown over this period and is a big believer of giving back to what he considers to be a unique and special part of the world. 
He is excited to see how the Glenorchy Community Trust can continue to support a wide range of important community projects.

Ronda Gollop

Ronda Gollop

Ronda is a 5th generation Glenorchy resident and has lived in Glenorchy and Queenstown all her life.

She has seen many changes over the years and sees this Trust as an excellent opportunity to ensure great community projects get some support they need to help keep making Glenorchy a great place to live.

Kath Cahill - Glenorchy Community Trust

Katherine Cahill

Katherine is honoured to have  lived  in Glenorchy for the last 14 years and has strong connections with the community having  worked in tourism, being involved in the  Flower Show, Rural Women and establishing the local Book Club.

Katherine is excited about the incredible opportunity from the Glenorchy Community Trust  to support the unique community and individuals that choose the head of the lake as their home.

Debbi Brainerd

Debbi first came to New Zealand over 20 years ago with her husband Paul to trek the Hollyford and Routeburn tracks. In 2012 they built a holiday home in Glenorchy, a place they believed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. In 2014 they bought the campground for each other on Valentine’s Day, and eventually created Mrs. Woolly’s General Store and Camp Glenorchy as part of The Headwaters project. Debbi and her husband started The Glenorchy Community Trust to contribute the profits of The Headwaters back to the community. Debbi previously founded IslandWood, a school in the woods, which provides hands-on environmental learning programs for 4th and 5th graders, on a 255-acre forested campus on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington. When free time presents itself, Debbi enjoys horseback riding, hiking with friends, cooking, and one of her all-time favorites, being out in the paddocks with the local sheep.

Katie Russell

Katie first came to Glenorchy to work in a tourism job for the summer and is still here over a decade later and loving it. “Life has changed since that first seasonal job, and my partner and I have built a home and started a family. The strong community, outdoor pursuits and natural beauty keep us anchored in this place. I’m honoured to be a part of the trust and look forward to seeing the positive impacts it will have for Glenorchy and surrounds.”