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 Our Team


Dr Geoff Bridgman - Chair
Geoff officially took the role of Chair at the AGM in 2009. He is a lecturer at Unitec, and a highly experienced researcher in his own right. With a strong commitment to social change, Geoff contributes vision and long term thinking, longside his wide practical experience of being involved on Boards.

Ruth Nelson -Treasurer  
VFW recently utilised the Appoint Better Boards organisation to recruit a dedicated treasurer for the Board.  We welcomed Ruth Nelson who has a background in accounting with 18 years in business advisory roles.  Ruth has a strong focus on governance alongside risk and compliance.  Ruth is currently a Board member for the Auckland Central Area of RNZ Plunket Society.   Ruth is an action-orientated problem solver who enjoys working with people and supporting the not-for-profit sector in uplifting communities.​

Cathie Powell - Board Member
Cathie was in the role of Administrator of Violence Free Waitakere for several years, and has now joined to Board, alongside her work at Unitec and commitment to the Alternatives to Violence
Project. She is a creative and practical thinker who is a great resource for our team.

Togia Lanefale - Board Member
Social worker with Man Alive  after graduating from Unitec’s Social Development degree, Togia is our Man Alive member of the Board. He is always ready to give practical support to the
many events we run, and his time with us on student  placement has been a bonus in terms of ​​knowing our operations.

Samuel Cho - Board Member
of the Asian Network has brought Samuel's lengthy experience of working with our new settlers and their needs to our Board. 

Caroline Cottrell-Board Member

 Experienced Social Worker from Shine brings her extensive knowledge of working as a social worker in the arena of family violence. 

Reverend Fred Holloway - Kaumatua
Similarly to Awa, Papa Fred is an on-going supporter of our work, comes to open events, and gives us considered guidance when we ask. His presence in our community and organisation is deeply valued.

Core  Team

Lyn Amos -Organization Development Manager

Lyn is our team leader. She has a passionate interest in social justice and is currently undertaking her Master's thesis in Community Psychology. She applies her  business background skills to both our financial systems and funding endeavors which in turn supports, grows and sustains our amazing projects.

​Tamara Clarke, Office Administrator
Tamara has worked as a clinical educator running a student clinic out of Wai Health and has been a member on Health Wests Community Board.  She stepped out of physiotherapy to spend time with her young family, enjoying being part of their early years. Having lived in West Auckland for most of her life, she wanted to be part of building a more resilient community and has been particularly inspired by VFW's commitment to projects that strengthen families through positive parenting messages.

Elaine Dyer - Projects Coordinator
Coming from a long term background in violence prevention locally, nationally and internationally, Elaine has been working with Violence Free Waitakere since 2000. She is a gifted Networker, Facilitator, Trainer and Event Organiser; a passionate advocate for peace, and a grandmother!

Coral Timmins -Toddler Day Out Event Manager

Recently stepping out of Council's injury prevention team, Coral brings a long term involvement with Toddler Day Out to now carry the overview of this dynamic event.

Kay Lindley -Toddler Day Out Agency's Area Coordinator

It would be hard to find a more connected person to the networks of Waitakere. Recently retired from her role at Health West, we are fortunate to have this passionate and gifted woman as part of our team for the Toddler Day Out for 2014.

Caty Fergusson - Playdays and Little Kauris Coordinator
Caty is focused on getting more of the families who are not currently involved in any form of ECE in Massey East to collaborate on providing their young children some experience of pre-school learning. WIth the experience of being a Kindy Teacher, along with her passion for providing and prompting eduction for pre-schoolers brings so many benefits to the community.

Heather Steadman- Our Amazing Place Project Leader/Coordinator
Heather brings excellent organisational, business and community networking skills while supporting and helping to organise the Our Amazing Place Community Treasure Hunts and further develop this learning community as the project template is shared and extended nationwide.

Riikau Karepa "Pa" of  Tu Kaha Toa Productions/ K101 Youth Club/- Banishing Bullying Together's Project Respect Coordinator. Pa is a well  known Kamatua of West Auckland and his leadership, enthusiasm and creative approach using Kapa Haka, Spoken Word, Music, Drama and Hip Hop is a great way to engage and mentor McLaren Park Henderson South youth. Along side him are leaders, Katrina, Joanne and Brittainy, plus a great team when needed.

"Our Home, Our Place, Our Family, Our Community", is Project Respect's motto. They are learningm then in turn teaching our community through their performances about how  we can all Banish Bullying Together.