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Profile - Martha Dewey

Martha Dewey (née Shields) attended St Hilda’s from Year 9 – 13 (1994 – 1998) where she especially enjoyed art and all the arts subjects, Japanese and making some great friendships and memories that she still treasures today. Winning the 7th Form Painting Prize and a trip to Japan are highlights of her high school years.

After leaving school, Martha gained a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in English and Film and Media Studies at the University of Otago. Following university, Martha worked a variety of jobs including at Inland Revenue, teaching English in Japan and in administration at the University of Otago. While Martha enjoyed these roles, she missed expressing her creative side.

Taking time out from her career to raise children took longer than anticipated for Martha when she had twins 22 months after her eldest son. It was her children that were part of the inspiration for the My Little Local app. Martha and her husband Shay would often hear about fun kids’ events – after they had happened. It got them thinking, “Why isn’t all the info about Dunedin and what’s going on, all in one place?”

Using their local knowledge, combined with Shay’s extensive experience in TV news and a lot of guesswork, problem-solving and research, the My Little Local app was born. The app is ‘Everything Dunedin, all in one place,” and aims to be a positive community hub for local news, events and businesses. The app has been downloaded 46k times to date and the most popular feature is the traffic notifications. My Little Local Clutha was launched one year after the inception of the original My Little Local app in 2017. The Clutha app is well received by locals with over 68% of the district having downloaded it.

When Covid-19 reached our shores, Martha and the My Little Local team received positive feedback on the way My Little Local kept the community updated on the effects of the virus both during the first wave, and again during its resurgence.

Martha’s favourite part of working on the My Little Local apps is content creation and curation. She relishes the creative opportunities in this and loves the social media element. She also looks after administration and accounts. The entrepreneurial journey has been both challenging and exciting, there is always more to learn about all aspects of running a business.

While she doesn’t have a lot of free time outside of work and keeping up with her children’s sports that range from surfing to tap dancing, Martha hopes to learn more about digital design, social media marketing, pick up a paintbrush again, get back into yoga and spend more time skiing and snowboarding.

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