Selina Anderson

Wonder woman, rabbit lover, art champ.

Selina Anderson has a pretty youthful outlook. It’s no surprise coming from someone who helped to found Connect the Dots – a charity focused on building confidence and leadership in girls. The zinger is that it’s done by harnessing the power of creativity and the arts. Selina is currently working with Nga Rangatahi Toa as their Director of Creative Arts. We have a chat to her about the sisterhood and generosity.  


What does generosity look like when it comes to the arts community?

Meaningful engagement in the arts comes from everyone being given the chance to try something and be creative.

Experiencing the arts is having your voice heard or experiencing personal development through the creative process. This for me is generosity – having the opportunity given to you in the first place.


Who is someone that inspires you to aim high and think big? Why?

Often for me it’s seeing something, or hearing something where I think I could do that, or I want to do that.  It can be a TED talk or a conversation with a friend. It could also be something that annoys me so much I think it needs to be changed. So I try to change it.  

One of my best friends Andrea Gaskin (who I run Connect the Dots Charitable Trust with) is constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting me to say “yes” to things. She is always searching for new ideas and getting us to think bigger and wider which both scares and inspires me!  

Another person is my boss Sarah Longbottom, (Executive Director at Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative). This is because I have admired her for years, and now working with her makes me want to be more and do more.  These are two seriously badass women who do things their own way.

And of course my husband needs a mention because while we are not in the same industries, he is always there saying “do it!”.


How would you like New Zealand to better engage with younger generations?

From my experiences in my work I see a lack of opportunities for young people to be heard and properly utilised. I can name so many passionate, intelligent young people I have worked with over the years, and I saw the frustration of not being supported enough to continue to grow. We can’t just keep seeing them as ‘these young people’. They should be active contributors and shapers of everything we do, not just the recipients of adult decisions. Magic happens in a room where our differences are replaced by our sameness. 


You have done a lot of work with girls. If you could give all the young women out there one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Flip that horrid saying ‘like a girl’ on its head by being yourself. Being a girl does not equal less than. Be proud of being a girl and being a woman. Don’t apologise for it and don’t undermine yourself to fit into the idea of what you should be. Also, support your friends and lift them up. When you are older, your female relationships will be some of the most important in your life. So be kind!  

You won't even miss your 1%, but the people that need it will if you don't support this amazing initiative! Get some serious karma points knowing you are making a difference and paying it forward.