John has been actively engaged in international development for thirty years.  

John and his wife Alison undertook a three-year VSA assignment in South Africa from 2009. He then became VSA’s first VSAConnect Coordinator (VSA’s returned volunteers network), establishing VSA’s alumni association.  

John led Save the Children NZ for 21 years from 1987, beginning as a one-person operation and then establishing and managing international programmes, participating in governance, and supporting volunteer fundraisers. John had oversight over Save the Children’s financial management, negotiated with the New Zealand Aid Programme, and supported diverse fundraising activities.  

“I have a particular interest in many of the values in VSA’s Strategic Intent – of building and harnessing respectful partnerships, working and learning together, growing understanding, social justice, and enabling New Zealanders to make a difference.” 

John Bowis Council 2017