Awareness and Advocacy Manager
Hi I’m Francesca. I have long experience in the not for profit sector both as a manager and a volunteer. My particular interest is in developing the voice of consumers within the health sector.
I have a teaching background and moved from the education sector into the not for profit sector working in a range of organisations including, Presbyterian Support, The Deaf Association and Heart Children as more recently Regional Manager for the Northern Region of Arthritis New Zealand
Over the years I’ve been active in a number of community organisations as a volunteer and have served on the board of the YWCA, been active in a number of womens organisations, helped establish Habitat for Humanity in Dunedin and providing support and advocacy for parents of children with disabilities.
I currently sit on the Consumer Advisory Committee of Pharmac.
I am the author of The Working Mother’s Handbook and have been a regular contributor writing on gender issues in the New Zealand Political Review.
Originally I joined Arthritis New Zealand in 2009 as Business Development Manager.
I am passionate about the charitable sector and have a long history in the sector – including a CBE for services to Plunket. For 9 years I was employed by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. I supported and developed a team of fundraisers across the country, working to create corporate sponsor partnerships and re-branding their two Appeals.
I have a number of interests in community activities, including rugby, Plunket, my ongoing role in the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) and my voluntary role as Wellington’s only puppy walker (training guide dogs).
Our team at Arthritis New Zealand have created a wonderful brand, with the opportunity to expand that further and further into the public arena. That’s something that I’m passionately interested in.
Community Engagement Manager
Kia ora. My name’s Tui. I joined Arthritis New Zealand in August 2011 and I have a long history and interest in Community Development spanning over 20 years. Much of my involvemnt has been working within the community, local and central government sectors.
Corporate Services Manager
I was born and educated in South Africa and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. I married a New Zealander and emigrated to NZ at the end of 1979.
In December 2004, after a varied career as a Financial Controller/Corporate Services Manager in the commercial sector in Wellington and Auckland, I joined Arthritis New Zealand.
My wife and I live in Point Wells where we enjoy the Matakana Coast lifestyle and being closer to our grandchildren. I’m a keen sports fan, especially cricket and rugby, and in my spare time play a bit of golf and enjoy a range of outdoor activities – gardening, tramping, swimming, kayaking, skiing, etc.
Manager Health Advice and Research
Hello, I’m Cathie. I have had a long career in the health sector working as a nurse and a manager in both primary and secondary care as well as the non-profit sector. My role involves leading a wonderful team of health professionals dedicated to enhancing the ability of people to manage living with arthritis. I also enjoy being involved with researchers who are passionately pursuing projects designed to contribute to improving the lives of people with arthritis.
Much of the past 20 years of my career has been spent developing and fostering continuous quality improvement in the organisations I’ve worked in. This has included managing a non-profit primary care service, developing programmes within a DHB and I enjoyed four years in the charity sector in the UK.
I live in Petone, a short commute from Wellington. When not at work I enjoy walking on the beach and beside the river with our dog and I am an enthusiastic member of a Sweet Adelines chorus. I love being close to my three daughters and three grandchildren who all live locally.
Arthritis Educator/ Registered Nurse (RN)
Hi Everyone. I’m Jane an RN working as an arthritis educator for the past nine years.
My experience as a nurse includes hospital and community practice, health education, health promotion and community development.
Arthritis affects a lot of us across all age groups and walks of life.
For many it can have a devastating impact across all aspects of living including: relationships, family, employment, social and recreational activities.
I enjoy bringing a range of nursing skills and experience to my job and appreciate the opportunity to support community understand a diagnosis of arthritis and how to manage and live positively with this long term health condition.
Hi, I’m Anna. I love helping people, so being in the supportive role of administration fits me well. As part of the national Admin Ninjas, I assist the communications team, look after the Auckland office, support national activities, and answer the phone.
I spent many years working for various charities, after several decades in the land information sector followed by a few years in natural health. I have a wealth of business management experience which I happily share. Essentially, I just want to make people’s lives easier.
My spare time is currently divided between involvement with my teenage son’s school as the President of the Parents/Caregivers Community, and numerous breast cancer charity groups. When the sun is shining, I’m out walking or gardening but in winter I’m more likely painting and reading.
Talofa lava. My name is Lettie but I’m also known as Brenda. I have been working for Arthritis New Zealand for four years. I love working with Pacific people, especially to empower them to manage their gout.
My background is in social work and health promotion. I have worked in the health sector for 26 years including 12 years as a health interpreter and translator for Counties Manukau and 10 years as a community coordinator for ProCare Health Limited.
I was born and bred in Samoa, then moved to New Zealand at age 16 to further my education and work to support my family back home. I am married with five children and seven grandchildren. I live with my husband on a lifestyle block in Muriwai where we grow flowers and have sheep, chooks, a guard dog and a cockatiel!
I trained as a journalist and have continued to work with people and words throughout my career, mostly in not-for-profit organisations. I have been a newspaper reporter, written programmes for radio, and dabbled briefly in television as well as working as a freelance writer, editor and proofreader.
Most recently, I was communications coordinator at Presbyterian Support Northern, one of the largest social service providers in the country. I live in Auckland with my husband and older son (a software developer). Our younger son lives in Wellington and is a 3D animator. I enjoy reading biographies, cycling, and watching movies.
Pacific Community Development Coordinator - Arthritis NZ
Talofa lava, my name is Dan Umaga. I was born in Newtown, Wellington in the 1960s. I am a first generation New Zealand-born Samoan. Our family shifted to Wainuiomata in 1965 where I grew up.
I’ve worked in the health sector for more than ten years and did a short stint with Kiwibank. I spent a number years with Quitline as the Senior Advisor Pacific where my role was to support Pacific people to quit smoking.
I am pleased to be able to continue that passion to help improve the lives of Pacific people here at Arthritis New Zealand in the role of Pacific Community Development Coordinator.
Primary Care Liaison Coordinator/
Registered Nurse (RN)
Hi I’m Dave. Before taking up my role as a Primary Care Liaison Coordinator, I worked as an Arthritis Educator for 10 years. Now my work focuses on developing partnerships with primary care health professionals.
I’m a Registered Nurse with a specialist qualification in orthopaedics. I worked at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in the UK before moving to New Zealand in 2003 with my wife Sharon and my two daughters, Erin and Ailish, initially I worked at Dunedin Public Hospital. We live in Broad Bay on the wonderful Otago Peninsula.
Outside of my work, my passion is music. I sing in the bass section of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir. I also play drums, guitar, and bass (not all at the same time!) for a local acoustic rock band in Dunedin, and I am currently learning to play the piano/keyboards.
Hi, I’m Robyn, I work as an Arthritis Educator and have been with Arthritis New Zealand for three years. I really enjoy the varied types of communication I have with people, which includes phone calls, face-to-face contact with small groups, facilitating workshops and internet based coaching support. I have a background in nursing, and after raising a family, I returned to Massey University to study psychology and completed a master’s degree and doctorate majoring in health psychology. I am committed to helping people gain knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for themselves with arthritis to further support their health and wellbeing.
Kia ora I’m Georgia. I’m from Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu descent and I have a professional background in Psychology and Health Promotion.
I’ve been working in Arthritis New Zealand since November 2015 and I’m passionate about supporting people with arthritis, particularly in Māori communities.
I have enjoyed the many opportunities I;ve had to connect with people via Arthritis New Zealand. I also love offering information and advice to help people to better manage their arthritis and the wide-ranging impact that it has on everyday life.
I am the receptionist/administrator in our Christchurch office. I look after most things in the South Island, from supporting our exercise class coordinator to being the contact for our involvement in the Total Mobility taxi discount scheme in Canterbury.
Arthritis New Zealand is a great place to work; the staff are friendly and supportive and we all work well as a team to support the many New Zealanders living with arthritis.
I have two national certificates in computing and administration, and have also completed a Certificate in Nanny Education. I grew up in Christchurch and love living here. When not at work, I’m either on the netball court, in the kitchen baking, walking my dog, or riding horses.
Hi I’m Allan. I’m motivated by seeing the difference we make for people with arthritis. I
enjoy hearing them tell us about how they used the information we gave them to better
As arthritis educators, we’re tasked with providing information about arthritis in a number
of ways. We are rostered to answer 0800 calls and we facilitate group clinics and
educational events in the community. We also take turns to run Facebook live chat sessions
each Monday from 7pm to 9pm.
I moved to New Zealand from the Philippines in 2008 and have worked as an aged care
nurse for the past eight years. In my spare time I play badminton, basketball and the guitar.
At home, my wife and I can often be found tidying up after our two children who are like
blenders without lids!
Kia ora, I’m Beatrice. Before joining Arthritis New Zealand I worked for 21 years as a teacher and more recently as the manager of Dress for Success in Wellington, centre manager in Lower Hutt for Christians Against Poverty (a budgeting charity), and programme developer/lead facilitator for Women of Worth Ltd.
Each day is different. I spend my time making contact with various volunteers and external agencies and building solid and positive relationships.
I have lived with osteoarthritis for the past 16 years, so I have a strong affinity with Arthritis New Zealand which supports those living with, and affected by arthritis.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband, walking my dogs, dog-sitting, church stuff, catching up with friends, travel, swimming, doing DIY and camping.
Arthritis Educator / Registered Nurse (RN)
Hello my name’s Carolyn. I’ve been a theatre nurse for around 24 years and have loved it! Firstly I worked Women’s Health at the old Christchurch Women’s Hospital, a great place to have worked, but sadly now gone. Following the earthquakes, I moved to Auckland for 18 months and worked as a Nurse Advisor and also at Middlemore Hospital before relocating back to Christchurch.
I love educating people to be confident at what they are doing and to feel better about themselves. Working in operating theatre as a senior nurse and manager, I used to love teaching my staff so that they felt confident in assisting with surgical procedures. I have osteoarthritis myself ,so I have some knowledge and empathy of what people with Arthritis are going through.
Nowadays my family and I live in a town called Leeston 45 minutes from Christchurch. In my spare time I love walking, cycling, doing aqua-jogging, sewing and pilates. I’m also near to finishing a postgraduate certificate in musculoskeletal management. I have two sons and two beautiful cats called Thomas and Mathilda.
Hi, I’m Jane. I have a background in policy development and research and have worked for government and in the health sector before working for Arthritis NZ. Based in Wellington, my role involves researching, finding evidence, issuing SurveyMonkey surveys and identifying key issues and solutions.
I enjoy the ethos of working for a not for profit organisation, and with previous campaigning experience, enjoy raising awareness and implementing steps that can help people lead improved quality of lives.
Hi I’m Zoe. I work with people affected by arthritis and help them toward self-management of their conditions. I do that in a variety of settings, I go out in to the community to run workshops and information sessions, offer self-management advice over the phone and online, and in person. I help to facilitate an exciting online programme called Managing Osteo Arthritis (MOA).
I really enjoy working with people from all walks of life, it’s such a joy. If can help them to manage their arthritis at the same time, that’s a bonus!
I studied psychology at the University of Otago, and then majored in health psychology at Massey University in Wellington. I’m a Mum to a baby girl who takes up any time that I used to think was spare. We go for walks, do yoga, and enjoy music and playgroups together. Then enjoy hanging out with her Dad on the weekends.
Hi I’m Pam. I joined Arthritis New Zealand in 2017 in the role of Administrator in Wellington.
This is a great place to work and each day is different from the last. I enjoy the people contact and being at reception receiving phone calls, answering questions and directing callers to the person they need.
Previously I worked as a Stage Manager and I was luckily enough to stage manage Orange, a play written for Arthritis New Zealand which championed young people overcoming the pain and perceived limitations of arthritis.
This was performed in Wellington and Auckland. My biggest joy is my family and my friendships. My interests include cooking, scrapbooking, sewing, theatre and gardening.