In 2011 former television presenter Hilary Timmins moved to Britain to be with her partner, executive film producer Robert Whitehouse. “It was a tough decision to leave New Zealand and particularly courageous of my son Callum who has since gone on to graduate university and works in a music studio here. We go home to New Zealand as often as we can and fortunately I was there earlier this year,” she says.
A Seed Is Planted
It was during UK fundraising events for the Christchurch earthquake that a seed was planted. “I began meeting amazing Kiwis doing extraordinary things,” Hilary says. “I thought their stories made a great career motivational tool but it wasn’t until I was talking to Kent Gardner — a businessman and philanthropist — who also thought the stories should be told that an idea solidified. Kent and Rob were incredibly supportive of the idea for Dream Catchers, without them it wouldn’t have happened. Raising funding was a mission. I couldn’t get the TV channels interested to facilitate NZ On Air funding and kept hitting dead ends with corporate sponsorship. It was Kent and Rob who kept telling me, ‘You can do this’.”