The Refugee Family Reunification Trust

About us

The Refugee Family Reunification Trust

We are a Charitable Trust incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and registered under the Charities Act 2005.

Since the Trust was established in 2001, we have raised over $2,700,000 for refugees, and not a single dollar of donations has been used to generate this income.

We help refugees to pay for the costs of:

  • application fees charged by Immigration New Zealand
  • medical reports required by Immigration New Zealand
  • lodging an appeal with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal
  • airfares to bring approved family members to New Zealand
  • other related expenses, at the discretion of the Trustees

We do not pay for advertising, fundraisers, salaries or rent – so that 100% of donations can be given to refugees. No remuneration is paid to the Trustees. Seperate funding is obtained specifically for necessary administration costs, and we are able to keep these costs to a bare minimum due to the Trust’s reliance on unpaid volunteers – even this website has been designed at no cost to the Trust. The Trust does not receive any government funding.


Dame Fiona Kidman
Fiona Kidman DNZM OBE is a Wellington writer who has served on boards of numerous literary organisations and also those of humanitarian agencies. She has had a long involvement with the Cambodian refugee community. Her work has been recognised in France and she has been awarded the French Legion of Honour (Legion d’Honneur)
Niborom Young
Niborom Young was born in Cambodia and, like millions of Cambodians, lost most of her family to the horrors of Pol Pot’s ‘killing fields’ in the years that followed the war in Southeast Asia. Arriving in New Zealand with nothing more than memories, she set about taking on the challenges of her adopted country and creating a new life.  Niborom continues working as a social worker, interpreter and Justice of the Peace for her local Cambodian community. In celebration of Woman’s Suffrage Year, she created an oral history project recording the stories of ten Cambodian refugee women. Based on the completed stories, she recently published her book I Tried Not To Cry. Niborom’s Queen’s Service Medal reflects the work she has done for her community.
Kim Hill
Kim Hill is the presenter of the top-rating programme, Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, on RNZ National. She is the winner of a number of broadcasting awards, including the 2012 International Radio Personality of the Year from the Association for International Broadcasting.
Ismail Ibrahim
Ismail Ibrahim is a former refugee, originally from Somaliland, and an experienced professional in programme and project management. With Amanda, Therese and Brigid, Ismail is a founding trustee. After 23 years as a Trustee of the Trust, in March 2024 Ismail has become a Patron of the Trust instead.


Amanda Calder – Chairperson
Amanda Calder qualified and practised as a solicitor, and has worked as a volunteer refugee advocate for more than 20 years. Amanda established and Chairs the Trust, and runs its day-to-day activities. In 2011 Amanda was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for her services to refugees.
Therese O’Connell
Respected former community worker and artist, Therese has been a trustee of the Trust since its inception in 2001.
Brigid Feehan
Brigid Feehan trained as a solicitor and has worked in various roles in the public sector. Brigid has also written a couple of children’s books and been involved in initiatives promoting children’s literacy. A life-long Wellingtonian, Brigid has been a trustee of the Trust since its inception in 2001.