Denise Tims is the Lionel Stewart scholar for 2021.

Denise is of Māori, Scottish, Irish and English descent and has been serving for 10 years in Randwick Park, South Auckland, with Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH), a mission order of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand. Alongside her husband Dave and family, the ministry focuses upon living and working in neighbourhoods of high deprivation. 

In 2017 the Randwick Park neighbourhood won the New Zealand Community of the Year award. Denise also works part-time at Carey as te kaitautoko of the Māori leadership and development programme, called Ngā Pou Amorangi.

“In Randwick Park we have worked collaboratively with key entities to spearhead neighbourhood-led development initiatives that recognise the importance of partnership relationships such as mana whenua and the Auckland Council. Listening to the hopes and dreams of our neighbourhood and responding to them helped us to identify the need for developing social enterprises. These include a lawn mowing enterprise, Stepping Stones, and a bouncy castle business, Bounce for a Cause,” says Denise.

“I am incredibly grateful to have received the Lionel Stewart scholarship. This is to help complete both my second year of postgraduate study at Carey and then in 2022 I hope to move into the Masters programme and do a thesis on Christian neighbourhood-led community development.”