Back to blogs.

Farewell. A message to the digital equity community from outgoing DECA person Anissa


Kia ora koutou e te whānau,

Some of you will have heard that I stepped back as Community Manager and Equity Advocate for the Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa (DECA) toward the end of last year. As you can imagine, it was a hard decision, but navigating chronic health issues and family needs made continuing with DECA impossible. A combined effect of all the things meant I ended 2023 with an official pronouncement of severe burnout. After enforced rest, I still have limited capacity to work but welcome the opportunity to gently build freelance life so I can prioritize recovery and my families well-being alongside my writing, ND coaching and systems change advocacy work.

It’s not easy, this nationwide, community-led cross-sector collaborative systems-change approach mahi. Innovating, advocating for change and co-creating new systems with relationship-based approaches is by nature messy at times. 

It was an honour to serve the digital equity and inclusion communities of Aotearoa through DECA. There is much work to do in nudging our country to a more equitable place and I heard from many on the digital inclusion frontlines how overwhelming that can feel, especially when folks feel like they’re flying solo. It’s been gratifying to see DECA start to fulfil its purpose through connecting people and projects, the online hui’s, government advocacy, seeding and supporting the constellation’s work, welcoming the first Pacific Village Digital Navigator, sharing resources and much more

 It’s been incredible learning more about the diverse community-based and led digital equity and inclusion work underway across Aotearoa. What fed my work with DECA, lit me up and continues to give hope is knowing all you beautiful and talented people are out there serving your communities and the greater good. I am super proud of my part in getting DECA established over the last few years and the thorough handover work I did when things were super tough at the end of 2022. 

I know DECA will continue to do good work, amplifying the digital equity community’s work, connecting and advocating for much-needed digital inclusion. DECA has been in an organisational review since August last year but I look forward to seeing the movement grow from my hilltop on the west coast of Tamaki. I may not be able to walk alongside you as part of DECA, but I am cheering you on from here. Please take care of yourselves and your teams. People first, always.