Otago Polytechnic
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Juliet Arnott

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Juliet Arnott is a 2017 Otago Polytechnic Distinguished Alumni.

Juliet is an artist and an occupational therapist, so it makes sense that she combined the two!

Juliet finds creative solutions to unmet social and environmental needs.  She uses her creativity and craftsmanship to help community groups, schools, health groups, artists and designers.

Her social enterprise company, Rekindle, is all about diverting reusable resources from waste.  It originally focussed on using waste timber from residential demolition in Christchurch - turning it into furniture, interiors, sculpture and jewellery.

One of Juliet’s more famous projects was Whole House Reuse, where her team deconstructed and transformed an entire earthquake damaged house into beautiful and purposeful artefacts.  More than 250 people from around New Zealand and the world were involved, creating everything from a delicately carved taonga puoro to a finely crafted backyard studio.

Juliet has received many awards for her efforts, including:

  • Winston Churchill Fellowship 2014
  • Yealands “Raise a Glass to Success” Finalist 2014
  • AMP “Do Your Thing” Scholarship 2013
  • WWF Audience Choice Climate Solutions Awards 2012
  • Rebuild and Reuse Award at SHAC Awards 2012
  • Joan Walden Award for practice in Occupational Therapy (Otago Polytechnic) 1995

Megan Gibbons, Head of College, Te Ohu Ora, says Juliet’s values align perfectly with those of Otago Polytechnic.

“Her social entrepreneurship has seen her succeed in reducing the waste and ultimate landfill space needed following the Christchurch earthquakes.  Her ability as an Occupational Therapist, to think about the person in the middle of their environment, has seen her connect with those who were most vulnerable” she says.

Read about the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic.

See the 2017 Otago Polytechnic Distinguished Alumni.