New country representative Michelle Vette

New country representative Michelle Vette

20 September 2020 | Sebastian Jüngel

In August Michelle Vette has become the Anthroposophical Society’s representative for New Zealand. The Anthroposophic Nurse Specialist and adult educator is a co-founder of the Anthroposophic Nursing programme in New Zealand and, with a colleague, used to run an Anthroposophic nurse led clinic at Weleda New Zealand.


Sebastian Jüngel How would you describe New Zealand for someone who never visited the country?

Michelle Vette
New Zealand has two official languages: English and Maori. The Maori language identifies this land as Aotearoa - the land of the long white cloud. Since being a small child this image has lived strongly in me as part of my and our identity here.

We are green island nation in the South Pacific with vast, varied landscapes and a small population.

Jüngel
What is the role of spirituality in New Zealand today?

Vette
Of course as an individual I can only speak of my experience of the meaning of spirituality in New Zealand today. This land has is an ancient depth of spirituality that has endured through the many faces of Aotearoa New Zealand’s history and is being re-lived in modern expression through Maori defining their own way today.

As a constitutionally secular society we are rapidly emerging to a diverse multifaceted culture where we are mainly working to understand ourselves. For example we experienced the heinous Mosque attack in Christchurch which was responded to and mediated by our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a fresh humanising way. This is a touchstone, a basis for a new approach to each other and implicit in that, spirituality.

In this is the freedom for individuals to pursue whatever spiritual path they find themselves connected to.

Supporting human development

Jüngel What is the specific mission of Anthroposophy in New Zealand?

Vette
To find its unique path in the Pacifica culture of this land and peoples, whilst reflecting the global context it comes from. To work with the initiatives of education, the arts, medicine, ecology and land use, for example, to develop what might be possible in this environment to help support human endeavour and development. To connect with and explore Anthroposophy’s resonance with living indigenous culture and cosmology.

Jüngel
Is there anything the General Anthroposophical Society can learn from New Zealand?

Vette
Yes, what lives and develops at the periphery in a place of abundant life forces, how an impulse may come to expression over space and time.

Jüngel
How will you realize your intentions as the new General Secretary?

Vette
At the moment it is about meeting people, listening and gathering in images and a sense of what is and how we can work together. I wish to work with the platform developed by the hard work and activity that has gone before me and begin to respond to the time that we perceive ourselves to be in - one of rapid change, insecurity and questioning. To communicate the strength that Anthroposophy can offer for inner development, strength in uncertainty and initiative to work actively with the spirit are all urgent themes for our times. I am interested in how we (all) live them for the world, in the world.

Holding the parts and the whole

Jüngel Will your profession be a help in this?

Vette
I understand nursing to be such a broad and encompassing profession that can work with the individual on the one hand whilst holding the parts and the whole. Nursing is universal and cultivates the development of warmth of heart and light of heart along with the full will of the soul. So yes, I believe so.


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