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.”

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.”

Ruth-Ann Anderson

Deputy Trust Chair

Ruth-Ann says she has been blessed to call Glenorchy home since 2004 and enjoys involvement with several diverse groups within the community. “From the start of my time at the Head of the Lake I have been impressed with a long standing community attitude that if something needs  to be done, you get on with the work and make it happen.” She believes that The Glenorchy Community Trust will help those groups and individuals  who have a vision achieve it.

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.

Keiran Frost

Keiran is Managing Director of The Headwaters, which is the organisation that supports the Glenorchy Community Trust.
Originally from Nelson he moved to Glenorchy in early 2019 with his wife Sarah after working internationally and throughout New Zealand in a range of senior Hospitality and Tourism roles over the last 28 years.
He says “Its been great to be part of such a small, vibrant and resilient community and my role at The Headwaters allows me to interact with visitors to the region and share the stories of what makes this place so special”
He is looking forward to seeing the impact the Trust can have in the community over the years to come.

Geoffrey Thomson

Geoffrey lives in Glenorchy, at Mt Earnslaw Station, with his wife Diana. Apart from periods away from the district for boarding school, university and some years doing Civil Engineering in New Zealand and overseas, he has lived in Glenorchy most of his life. It is home.
Geoffrey has been involved in a number of committees and organisations related to high country farming and the Glenorchy community, and he appreciates the value that people from different backgrounds and experiences give to enhancing the life of the community.
I have been privileged to join the Board of Trustees of the Glenorchy Community Trust as a long-term resident of the district. A number of Glenorchy organisations provide funds for community projects as part of their annual events, and I see the role of the Glenorchy Community Trust as being viewed by local people as adding to the wellbeing of the community, and not seen as competing with the existing organisations in the funding of 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.