Meet the Team

STEMFest Project Team

Tia Lush – Founder

STEMFest has been founded by Tia Lush. A graphic designer and technologist with a passion for inspiring young people and their families through shared learning experiences.

In 2016, Tia founded and co-organised the first ever (and subsequent) STEM festivals in the City of Peterborough, UK. The Peterborough STEM Festival continues to grow in impact and strength, welcoming 600 visitors in the first year to over 3,000 visitors in the third year.

Tia immigrated to NZ with her family (comprising of a kiwi husband, teenage daughter and younger son) in 2017 and settled on the sunny shores of Tauranga and not looked back since.

When she’s not organising award winning STEM festivals, Tia loves working with companies and individuals on creating  brand identity and design projects. Visit for all things design related.

You can read more about Tia’s story from Peterborough to Tauranga.

Soraya Hebert – Project Manager

Soraya graduated with a Master Degree in Tourism and Event Management in 2017 in France where she grew up. During those years, she had the opportunity to spend five months in Cape Town, South Africa working for an event company and also organising an International Lawyer Convention in Italy while working at a French event agency in Paris.

Soraya is passionate about travelling and discovering new horizons, which is why she decided to travel around the world for five months and that was when she met her kiwi partner. Soraya spent her first year in New Zealand living in Auckland where she worked for a company organising incentive programs and organised events in Eden Park, Waiheke Island and Queenstown. Three years ago, Soraya and her partner decided to move to Papamoa and they have not regretting it for a minute! She loves everything about the Bay of Plenty and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Even if she does miss her beloved French cheese and baguette now and then…

After being a travel agent for a couple of years and facing the challenge of COVID-19, she was eager to be back in the event industry. Soraya joined the STEM Wana Trust team in February 2021 and is passionate about delivering an amazing STEM festival for the community!

Ewa Saar – Project Coordinator

Ewa (pronounced as “ever” in forever) is the team’s newbie and will be predominantly taking care of our STEM in Community project and outreach projects. She was born in Poland, famous for Copernicus, European bisons, very good ski jumpers, pierogi, and Marie Curie-Skłodowska, French-Polish Physicist who is remembered for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to finding treatments for cancer.

Before coming to New Zealand Ewa worked in Supply Chain and Project Management at the world’s biggest yoghurt company. During that time she decided that she wanted to pursue new experiences, so she quit her job and started travelling. During her travels she had an opportunity to gain experience in multiple kinds of interesting and varied roles.

She’s looking forward to developing her event organising skills further having had a taste for it from organising big gatherings for the Polish hitchhikers’ community.

Ewa’s current interest in the STEM is from subscribing to multiple popular youtube science channels (of which probably Kurzgesagt is the best in her opinion). She studied mathematical economics in Poland and always loved mathematics so she’s very excited to be engaged in promoting STEM and logical thinking to Kiwi children.