After nearly two and a half decades of service to the lāhui as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, OHA bids a fond mahalo and aloha to former Board of Trustees (BOT) Chair Colette Machado.
Born and raised in Hoʻolehua, Machado is a long-time grassroots community organizer and activist. She has a long history of commitment to her community and involvement in organizations such as Hui Alaloa, Mālama Molokaʻi, and Ka ʻOhana o Kalaupapa. She was an original member of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and served as Founding President of the Molokaʻi Land Trust. Machado has more than 24 combined years of service to State of Hawaiʻi boards and commissions, having served as the Chairperson of the Molokaʻi Island Burial Council, and as a member of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission, and the State Land Use Commission.
Representing Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, Machado was elected to the board in 1996 and served in various leadership positions at OHA, including BOT Chair for almost eight years and the Chair of the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment for eight years. During her tenure as BOT Chair, OHA received the transfer of 30 acres in Kakaʻako Makai, acquired the commercial property at OHA’s current location at Nā Lama Kukui, as well as 511 acres of Wahiawā agricultural lands surrounding the Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones, and the 20-acre Palauaea Cultural Preserve on Maui. Machado departs OHA with the aloha, gratitude and respect of her colleagues and the staff.
“Like the niu stands paʻa against the wind, Trustee Machado’s steadfast leadership of the board will be greatly missed,” said Acting BOT Chair Brendon Kaleiʻāina Lee. “Her life-long efforts to stand up for Native Hawaiian rights will continue to be an example for generations to come. Because of her vision and leadership, OHA has a solid foundation to move our lāhui forward over the next 15 years.”