Tribal affliations: Ngāti Rongomaiwahine / Pahauwera/ Kahungunu
Desna collaborates with a wide variety of communities, business professionals, artists and academics to achieve results which effect change in people, practice and place. Chairperson of Ngā Aho, Māori Design Professionals, Desna also serves on several design and arts governance boards and is actively involved in Māori discourse via research, exhibitions and wānanga. Her Science Communication Masters Thesis (Otago University), is titled “Taipōrutu, Taonga Tuku Iho. Articulating a Mātauranga Māori Sense of Place.” The thesis reflects upon the complex system of interconnected factors contributing to the current relationship between Māori and their land base.