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Co-Founder and Director

Fiona had always been drawn to working with children who experience behavioural or learning difficulties.


She started her career working with under-fives and studying Early Childhood Education and Care. This showed her the world of Psychology and led to a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education.


From growing up on a farm, she learnt the value and impact the land can have on one's development and wellbeing. At the age of 18 she had a dream to start a 'Farm School' and that led to travel to understand how other education systems worked. It also meant she could follow the snow and continue ski instructing!


Her passion for the outdoors meant she was a guide and learned a lot about working with teens and the energy they hold. She wanted to find a way to support Kiwi youth, to support them to feel loved and learn to love themselves, to experience the epic NZ outdoors and to build a community of support and be the best versions of themselves.


She worked in the Christchurch Youth Justice Sector for five years, studied Forensic Mental Health, and is also a Practitioner NLP and the Havening Technique™. After a short time working with adults in the mental health sector, she was awarded the Vodafone Foundation grant with Bailey Peryman that enabled them to start Cultivate.


She is now the Managing Director and a loving step-mother and mother of 3 boys with another child on the way. "Cultivate is something well beyond that original dream and will continue to develop and be responsive to the needs of our young people in Canterbury".

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Renata is the mother of two gorgeous young children, who nicknamed Cultivate as 'Fi's garden' as they lived just down the road from the Peterborough Street Farm, when it was opened.


They love getting fresh produce and seeing it on the table, which is a huge part of what she wants for our younger generation - to see sustainable and healthy ways of living.


As a customer who loves the philosophy and quality of what Cultivate provides, a background in running her own business from home, Renata has the skills and passion to support the central services and keep up with the development of the business.



Cultivate Board Director

Robyn became involved with the board in 2019, becoming a Director early 2021. Her background is finance and general management and as a Director, Robyn provides oversight and strategic guidance for the organisation, with a focus on systems, processes and helping implement and maintain robust financial reporting practices to help ensure Cultivate's longevity.


Throughout her life, Robyn had a lot of mentors who supported her, and knows that this had a significant impact on her learning and her life. As an organisation to support and become involved with, Cultivate stood out to her for it’s unique combination of youth work and farming, and the way in which the team at Cultivate support and empower the young people that are undertaking a Cultivate internship.


The success rate of the intern program is very impressive, and shows that the farm environment supports significant personal development and personal growth for those who work there.


She is passionate about the importance of knowing where your food comes from and how to grow it, and is always extremely impressed with the high quality produce the team at Cultivate produce, all while empowering young people to change their lives.


If you are interested in our volunteer or internship opportunities, or if you'd like to know how we can help you find your patch in our community urban farm, get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!

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"I love the energy that comes with a young person and the wisdom that's generally untapped because they haven't been in an environment where they feel comfortable to open up and share their perspective of the world. I'm learning so much every day from giving them a voice. It's mind-blowing!"

Fiona Stewart, Co-Founder Cultivate Christchurch

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