New grants coordinator ready to make a difference in Rotorua community

Jackie McCullough

 After 22 years as a lawyer, Jackie McCullough is trading in her legal career in exchange for an adventure in positively transforming lives in the Rotorua community.


As Rotorua Trust’s newly appointed grants coordinator, Ms McCullough is excited to bring her own skills and expertise to the role as she takes over from Alison Perrin, who is retiring after 15 years at the Trust.


Ms McCullough is looking forward to the new challenge and believes her legal background provides valuable expertise she can use to help community groups.


“I want to be able to assist community groups, so they can improve in whatever little way. I think in doing so, I won’t be able to help but use my legal skills to point people in the right direction.”


Ms McCullough moved to Rotorua in 2016, from Wellington, leaving behind a nine-year role as legal advisor to the New Zealand Police, at their National Headquarters.


Ms McCullough says the move was not easy, as she was passionate and motivated by the opportunities with the Police to help people and make a positive difference.


But when the chance to continue helping people through a new career path came up, she couldn’t overlook it, she says.


Ms McCullough says the common trend through all of her employment has been contact with people and endeavoring to help them grow.


She laughs as she recalls the day she was motivated to apply for the grants coordinator position.


A keen motorcyclist, she says she was about to leave on a coastal road-trip with husband, Paul, but could not depart without putting to rest the feeling that she needed to apply for the role.


“It was unlike anything I had seen before and the community aspect inspired me. I quickly put together a cover letter explaining that I was about to leave on a motorcycle trip.”


Trust manager Tony Gill says Ms McCullough’s unique skills, experience and enthusiasm make her the perfect candidate for the role.


“Her skills will benefit not only the Trust, but all members of the community we work closely with.


“We are looking forward to what she will bring to the role and know that our local community groups will continue to be in good hands.”