RainbowYOUTH has appointed its new Executive Director and welcome Frances Arns to the whānau.

Arns steps into the role with a desire to broaden the education and awareness role of the organisation and to continue to prioritise ensuring accessibility for takatāpui youth.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the growth of RainbowYOUTH and building on the great work that is underway,” says Arns.

“Personally, I see a lack of education and awareness as a root cause for many of the issues faced by queer and gender diverse rangatahi. I’m looking forward to working with the team to explore how we might broaden education and awareness, and setting some goals for the organisation.


“Focusing on operating RY in a way that aligns with tikanga Māori and ensuring accessibility for takatāpui rangatahi will continue to be a priority for us”.

With experience on the RainbowYOUTH Executive Board and several years experience working in strategy, finance and community engagement, the Executive Board are excited to have Arns onboard.

“We had an excellent group of candidates apply and we went through several interview stages before we offered the role to Frances,” says Sophie Sills, RainbowYOUTH Board Co-chairperson. “We had an intergenerational interview panel which reflected the multifaceted nature of RainbowYOUTH’s work and priorities for this role”.

“Over the last few years, we’ve really focused on strengthening our work in regional areas, developing a valued and recognisable brand presence and growing the capacity of RY in terms of what we can return to the queer and gender diverse community. says Sills.

“We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum with the leadership of Frances, who will bring a fresh perspective, experience in governance, finance and strategic planning”.

Arns replaces outgoing Executive Director, Duncan Matthews, who held the position for four years.