The Youth Mentoring Network

Training | Events


The New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network (NZYMN) is delighted to host an excellent range of guest speakers covering the spectrum of mentoring in New Zealand. The conference programme has been designed to ensure delegats have the opportunity to interact with conference presenters and connect with your peers in the field.

Speakers are listed in the order in which they appear in the conference programme. 

Further speaker profiles will be added once finalised.

Conference Emcees:  Fuimaono Tuiasau and Hauauru (Hau) Rawiri


Day one: Tues 10 September 2013 - Presenters


Hon Paula BennettPaula Bennett

Minister for Social Development, Assoc. Minister of Housing

Paula Bennett became a Minister of the Crown in 2008 after being elected to Parliament in 2005.

As the Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett is responsible for the largest Government portfolio and a budget of more than $22 billion, which equates to a third of the Government’s total annual spend. Almost all New Zealanders are touched by the Ministry of Social Development at some point in their lives through welfare, pensions and social services. This Department co-ordinates thousands of contracts with the social service sector delivering support to at-risk and high-needs families, foster families, children in care, sexual violence services, youth justice, housing assistance, welfare payments and job skills programmes.

As Associate Minister of Housing, Minister Bennett has a delegation for social housing which fits neatly with the Social Development portfolio. As the ninth highest ranked Minister, Paula Bennett has a strong voice at the Cabinet table and advocates for children, young people, families and individuals who are in need.


Ann Dunphy

Chair of NZ Youth Mentoring Network

Based at the University of Auckland's Epsom campus since 1999, following 13 years as principal of Auckland's Penrose High School, Ann maintains the commitment to quality educational opportunities for lower-decile students that has been her life's work. She began teaching in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, then held senior leadership positions at both of the secondary schools in Otara.

During her years of principalship, Ann became convinced of the importance of community partnerships especially in mentoring, to enhance the life-chances of young people, so in 2000 co-founded the Auckland Youth Mentoring Association, which has now been developed into The Youth Mentoring Network.

Clare WaldronClare Waldron MATES 2_opt

Coordinator of the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance (VYMA)

Clare Waldron is the Coordinator of the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance and is responsible for the delivery of the VYMA Quality Assurance Project.

Clare was previously the Program Manager of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Perth, Western Australia, and was a member of the West Australian Youth Mentoring Reform Group.

Clare has a background in Sociology and Community Development and has worked for a number of community organisations supporting young people and volunteers.

Kelsey DeaneK Deane Photo_opt

Lecturer in Youth Work, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

Kelsey Deane, PhD is a Lecturer in Youth Work based in the School of Counselling, Human Services, and Social Work in the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. Her primary research interests include positive youth development, programme evaluation research, and applied research methods. She is particularly interested in investigating the processes that enable the positive growth of adolescents within the context of structured programme services as well as how programmatic, external environmental and individual factors influence the success of youth programmes. Her PhD research focused on an evaluation of Project K, a Foundation for Youth Development programme that combines an adventure programme with a community exploration and contribution component and an adult-youth mentoring partnership.


Julie Moorephoto J Moore_opt

Research and Evaluation Manager for the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD)

After developing an interest in evaluation and youth well-being during her time at the University of Auckland, Julie is now the Research and Evaluation Manager for the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD). She is involved in the development of several evaluation projects designed to examine outcomes for participants in child and youth development programmes.

In 2003 Julie worked with the University of Auckland and the Ministry of Youth Development to develop an evaluation of the Project K programme. From this she has developed a particular interest in research and sharing of evidenced-based knowledge to support the delivery of effective programmes.  She is currently working collaboratively with university researchers on several projects with a focus on Positive Youth Development and youth mentoring.

Dave MarshallDave Marshall_opt

CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters of NZ

Dave Marshall is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NZ. Prior to taking on the national role in 2009 Dave was the Coordinator of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson mentoring programme since its inception in 1997.  As a qualified Social Worker, Dave has 28 years youth and social work experience in community, educational and statutory settings. With an extensive background in work with youth at risk and young offenders, he has a commitment to evidence based practice in youth work and for the past 15 years has focussed on the mentoring model in particular as a promising youth development approach.   

Dave has undertaken several study tours to Canada and the USA to study best practice in mentoring and participated in international mentoring conferences including twice attending the week long Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring at Portland State University.

He has played a key role in the successful implementation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme in New Zealand leading the establishment of 15 agencies around the country with the programme now serving over 700 young people in one-to-one mentoring matches each year.

David DuBois, PhDDavid Dubois_opt

Professor, Community Health Sciences

David L. DuBois, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research examines the contribution of protective factors, particularly self-esteem and mentoring relationships, to resilience and holistic positive development and on translating knowledge in this area to the design of effective youth programs. Dr. DuBois has authored numerous peer-reviewed studies on these topics, including two widely-cited meta-analyses of the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs. He is lead co-editor of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring (Sage Publications, second edition) and is co-author of After-School Centers and Youth Development: Case Studies of Success and Failure (Cambridge University Press, 2012), each of which received Social Policy book awards from the Society of Research on Adolescence.

Superintendent Wallace (Wally) HaumahaSupt Wally Haumaha_opt

National Manager Maori Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES), New Zealand Police

Superintendent Wally (Wallace) Haumaha is the NZ Police National Manager Maori Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES).

Supt Haumaha is affiliated to Te Arawa and Tainui

Supt Haumaha helped establish the first Memorandum of Understanding between Police and 14 major Iwi groups in the Bay or Plenty, and received a Commissioner's Commendation for his role in coordinating police liaison with the 2004 Seabed and Foreshore hikoi.

Supt Haumaha long Police national service role has involved him overseeing major changes to policing in New Zealand including strengthening the Maori Wardens and Pacific wardens’ services, increasing community policing and neighbourhood support initiatives, leading the push for a truly multicultural and diverse police force and for police to support community based youth development programmes.  

Supt Haumaha’s substantial wealth of knowledge and experience makes him uniquely positioned to speak on youth justice issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.        

Rob WoodleyRob Woodley_opt

CEO, Genesis Youth Project Trust, Sergeant

Having served at the helm for a decade now, Rob firmly believes he was born to do this job, “I was born to serve my fellow man and be a part of something that is genuinely changing young lives for the better and restoring broken families’ says Rob. “I love it, live it, and dream about it.

Genesis fulfils my personal purpose in my working life and stretches me to the limit in terms of my abilities and strengths. Our strategic heartbeat resonates with me as a person”.

In addition to being CEO of the Trust, Rob remains a sworn police officer at the rank of Sergeant . Rob began his policing career in 1995 as a Constable at the Mangere Police Station. A pursuit of career options away from enforcement into preventative initiatives culminated in him being assigned as ‘project manager’ of the Youth-at-Risk Project in 2001; this was the precursor of ‘Genesis Youth Project – New beginnings’ in 2002 before evolving into a community partnership in 2004 and renamed the ‘Mangere Genesis Youth Project Trust’.

Richard AstonRichardAston_opt

Chief Executive, Big Buddy

Since 2003 Richard has been Chief Executive of Big Buddy, a non-profit organisation mentoring fatherless boys, covering NZ - Auckland and Wellington regions - with a team of 7 full time staff and a $600k budget.

Richard came from a corporate background (IBM, NCR), is also the Deputy Chair of Consumer NZ board. He has been active in various capacities in the Youth Justice Fresh Start programme and is Govt appointed member of the Auckland Social Policy Forum.

A father of 4 adult children, married to Ruth for 30 yrs. Richard is passionate about social issues and the simple power of people helping each other to solve those issues.  

Beatrice Roini Liua FaumuinaBeatrice Faumuina_opt

CEO, BEST Pasifika Leadership Academy

Beatrice Roini Liua Faumuina is an Olympian, Gold Medalist at the 1997 World Championships, Television & Sports Personality and Ambassador to the United Nations and has represented New Zealand in three Summer Olympics.

Beatrice is New Zealand’s/Oceania’s only Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FOA).

Beatrice has retired from international athletics and is now Chief Executive Officer for BEST Pasifika Leadership Academy and Charitable Foundation - New Zealand's largest Pasifika-focused Private Training Establishment with 5 campuses in Auckland and over 2500 students.

“From a global sporting career to forging a path of excellence for us, the next generation of Pasifika leaders, is my new journey. It's a journey I have been prepared for and one that I am ready to take.”  Beatrice Faumuina

Dr Siale FoliakiDr Siale Foliaki_opt

Psychiatrist and Director of Pacific Mental Health Services at Counties Manukau District

Dr Siale Foliaki is a psychiatrist and Director of Pacific Mental Health Services at Counties Manukau District. Dr Foliaki graduated from Otago University School of Medicine, and with 20 years of experience in Mental Health and Addiction medicine, he has a strong commitment to evidenced based practice consistent with international best practice guidelines for the treatment of people who experience mental illness and addictive disorders. Dr Foliaki is a Fellow of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISA)

Recently Dr Foliaki said ‘although there are many factors surrounding the high numbers of mental illness in the community, one significant factor is a lack of traditional family support’. Dr Foliaki will provide practical insights about youth mentoring in this special area of youth development.  He is New Zealand's first Tongan psychiatrist.

Tupetoa Ronald (Ronji) TanieluRonji Tanielu_opt

Senior Policy Adviser, New Zealand Salvation Army, Auckland

Ronji Tanielu, married to Rabena, is of Samoan/Tokelauan heritage, born in Apia Samoa and raised in Mangere, South Auckland. 

Ronji has degrees in law and politics from the University of Auckland and is a dedicated advocate for their South Auckland communities, for Pacific Island peoples and for those marginalised and impoverished people and communities.

Ronji co-authored the recent Salvation Army report on Pacific People “More than Churches, Rugby and Festivals” where it recommended to Government that it revives the Pacific Wave Unit of work brokers and extend Pacific youth training schemes.

Ronji has the practical experience in youth and community development, mentoring and government contracting to provide valuable insights into the issues facing Pacific youth and what can be done to support them.

Professor Te Ahukaramū Charles RoyalCharles Royal_opt

Musician, researcher and director

Professor Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal (Marutūahu, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngā Puhi) is a musician and researcher with interests in the creative potential of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), particularly as this relates to the whare tapere (traditional houses of performing arts).

He is Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence and Professor of Indigenous Development in the Faculty of Arts, The University of Auckland.

Charles has been a New Zealand Senior Fulbright Scholar, a Winston Churchill Fellow and a visiting scholar at the University of London. Charles has written or edited six books on aspects of mātauranga Māori and iwi history.

Day two:  Wednesday 11 September 2013 - Presenters

Claire O'Connell

Head of Sales, Facebook NZclaire o'connell_opt

Claire is the Head of Sales at Facebook NZ.  Claire started working in social media in 2006 at Myspace Sydney, and also went on to work for Bebo in London before joining Facebook London in 2010.
Claire is going to share some insight into how teens are using social media in New Zealand, and some ideas on how it could be used to facilitate Youth Mentoring.

Brendan BoyleBrendan Boyle_opt

Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development

Brendan Boyle was appointed Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development in 2011. 

The Ministry of Social Development is the government agency responsible for leading social development and operates out of 300 locations nationwide. The Ministry has a departmental budget of approximately $1.2 billion and administers approximately $21.6 billion in social assistance to New Zealanders.

Prior to joining the Ministry, Brendan was the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Government Chief Information Officer.  Prior to that Brendan was Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand.   He was also the inaugural Director of the e-Government Unit at the State Services Commission, charged with leading the development of an e-government strategy and work programme.

Brendan holds a law degree from Otago University and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also completed further executive education at the Harvard Business School and the AVIRA Leadership Programme at INSEAD in France.

Hon Nikki KayeNikki Kaye low res_opt

Minister for Youth Affairs, Food Safety and Civil Defence, Assoc. MInister of Immigration and Education

Nikki Kaye was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Auckland Central electorate in 2008, winning the seat for the National Party for the first time in New Zealand’s history. She was re-elected as the MP for Auckland Central in the 2011 election.

Following her re-election in 2011, Nikki held the role of Chair of the Education and Science select committee. In April 2012 she successfully called for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Digital literacy and 21st century learning environments. The select committee reported back to Parliament in December 2012.

In January 2013, Nikki was promoted to the National Government’s Cabinet and given responsibility for Ministerial portfolios of Food Safety, Civil Defence and Youth Affairs. She was also made Associate Minister of both Immigration and Education. Nikki is proud to have been given these portfolios and to have been promoted into Cabinet.

Nathan Mikaere-WallisNathan Mikaere-Wallis

Director of X-Factor Education and neuroscience presenter and trainer for Brainwave Trust

Nathan lectured for ten years in Human Development  at Canterbury University. He is a neuroscience presenter and trainer for the Brainwave Trust, and a Child Protection trainer.  He serves on  Boards including Brainwave, The Champion Centre and Cholmondeley Children's Home. He is also the Director of his own consultancy, X-Factor Education, which was established to facilitate training, professional development and the application of  neuroscience  research to practice.

In addition to being a father with a history as a foster parent, his professional background is in child counseling, teaching and social service  management.

Dr Terryann Clark PhD, MPH, RcPN (Nga Puhi)Photo of Terryann Clark_opt

 Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Auckland

Terryann is a senior lecturer at the School of Nursing, The University of Auckland. She is the principal investigator of the Youth '12 national youth health survey and a founding member of the Adolescent Health Research Group.   She is a nurse and works in youth health.

Her major research interests are: youth health, indigenous and Maori health, chronic illness and disability for teens, mental health, sexual health, healthy youth development and resilience.


Dr Pat Bullen, PhDPatBullen(2011)_opt

 Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

Pat is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education’s School of Learning Development and Professional Practice at The University of Auckland. She is one of the co-investigators of the Youth’12 national youth health survey. 

Her major research interests are in the factors that contribute to adolescent thriving, particularly during times of transition. Central to her work is how research can be applied to enhance the human condition by informing policy and practice.


Alison SuttonAlison Sutton_opt

Strategic Analyst, COMET Auckland

Alison has worked in adult literacy for 25 years as a programme organiser,  researcher, evaluator and project developer.  She currently works as a strategic analyst for COMET Auckland, an education trust linked to Auckland Council.

Alison leads the work on family learning and literacy and provides data and analysis to underpin COMET’s work advancing education across the city. 

Jason (Jay) MareroaJason Mareroa_opt

Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau / Ngai Tūhoe / Ngāti Awa / Te Whakahea / Ngāti Porou / Ngāti Kahungunu / Te Rongomaiwahine / Ngāti Toa / Ngā Puhi

With a background in social work, community and youth development, Jason is a kaiako (lecturer) in the field of indigenous education enabling students to develop and implement effective interventions and positive transformative strategies especially in family violence. Also a regular MC or facilitator at various conferences, forums and events, Jason provides a unique quality and experience.

Currently sitting on the Auckland Youth Advisory Panel as the Deputy Chairperson, Jason has been actively advocating and challenging the interests of youth at a local, regional and national level since 2006. Passionate about rangatahi Maori and youth participation in decision-making at local, regional, and national levels, Jason, aged 24, will share a current initiative he is involved with known as the Children and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan (CYPSAP).

John KotoisuvaJohn Kotoisuva_opt

Founder / Chief Executive C-Me Mentoring Foundation

John’s passion for motivating and empowering the next generation started with his very own two sons who are now qualified tradesmen employed in the engineering industry. With his engineering trade background, and his experience in tertiary teaching and industry assessment, John started the C-Me Mentoring Foundation Trust in 2008 to drive his new initiative, an innovative programme called “Trades At School”. This programme manages and facilitates the transition of students from secondary school into skilled industry employment and higher education in partnership with community, families, schools, industry, and industry training organisations through a holistic approach to individual development.

Trades At School is about bringing purpose to senior secondary school students, purpose that is realistic, achievable and relevant to life after secondary school. A purpose that is industry focused. The programme has grown from 11 students in 2008 to expected enrolments of over 100 for 2013, and is embedded into 17 secondary schools in Auckland, mainly in South Auckland. Trades At School is currently funded with support from ASB Community Trust and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

Joy Eaton (BA, DipSM, DipTchg)Joy eaton_opt

Deputy Director, Starpath Project

Joy is Deputy Director of the Starpath Project. She started her career in education as a geography and social studies teacher at Tangaroa College and has since held a number of senior management roles in mid-low decile schools, including four years as principal at Henderson High School in West Auckland.

Joy has a deep academic interest in the role of hope in the sustainability of innovation and change in education and, as part of a Research Fellowship with Unitec, produced a paper entitled The Life and Death of Change. She was also invited to be part of an international research team making a comparative study of middle leadership in schools in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Recently, Joy has been actively involved in environmental education and has continued to support community work with an interest in youth mentoring, teen parent education and the issues of deprivation that create barriers to school attendance.

Ant backhouse_opt

Ant Backhouse

National Director, “I Have a Dream” Charitable Trust NZ

(Project Coordinator - Inaugural Dreamer Class est. 2003)

Ant Backhouse, better known by his Dreamers as ‘White Daddy’ or ‘Coach’, has spent a decade as Project Coordinator of “I Have a Dream” – one of NZ’s most longitudinal wrap-around Mentoring programmes. His 2012 discussion document “Managing students INTO school, rather than OUT” and the media interest that followed have been a talking point amongst educators to provide more relevant educational pathways and experiences for underachieving young people.

Not many adults can attest to have grown up alongside a group of 53 Pasifika, Maori and Refugee young people from early primary school through into tertiary education - but Ant can. Many of his Dreamers are the first in their families to attend University. Having a 20+ year history in Youth development and having overcome the day-to-day educational challenges mentoring his Dreamers from the age of 8 onto 18 has given him significant insights worth learning from.

Ant is now invested in spreading the organisations research-based success factors. He hopes to attract similar projects to be started and is keen to invest his time in long-term systemic innovative change within communities and the education system.

Bernardine VesterBernardine Vester_opt

Director of EducationPlus Auckland

Bernardine was the foundation Chief Executive of COMET, originally a charitable trust of the Manukau City Council and then a legacy entity of the Auckland Council.  In 2002 she became an Eisenhower Fellow, a prestigious international award for emerging and consequential leadership.  In 2006 she was awarded the Holmes Prize for Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington for her research on the relationship between local government and education.  Originally a secondary teacher, Bernardine served as Junior Vice-President of the PPTA for three years and on the Principals’ Council; has served on boards of trustees; and is currently Deputy Chairperson of the Teach First New Zealand board.  She became involved in the Auckland Youth Mentoring network in 2001, and designed, implemented and managed the first Auckland youth transitions service, which served over 1200 students over a four-year period from 2004 – 2008.

Bernardine’s most recent work includes providing advice for the Mayor of Auckland on approaches to education and skills; and membership of the Ministerial Reference Group for the White Paper on Vulnerable Children, 2012. She is currently preparing a book on education policy and its effects on learning South Auckland; and is a Director of EducationPlus Auckland, a consultancy business.

Fuimaono Tuiasau (BA, LLB)  Fuimaono Tuiasau_opt

International Manager, Auckland Chamber of Commerce Conference Emcee

Fuimaono is a Samoan matai with the ali'i title Fuimaono Atanoa from Salani, Falealili. Fuimaono graduated from Auckland University with a BA and LLB and then practised for many years in NZ as a Barrister and Solicitor as a senior litigator in civil, family and criminal matters. 

Fuimaono then worked for many years in the Ministry of Justice in Wellington and in 2008 moved to Auckland to work in the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

Fuimaono has led policy development work, coordinated research and managed operational issues, and now leads and manages a range of important strategic and operational relationships. Fuimaono has extensive networks with central government, local government, business sectors, Pacific communities and the voluntary sector.  He has a strong interest in youth development issues and practices, particularly around Pasifika youth and families

Hauāuru Eugene Rawiri, (BEd)Hau Rawiri_opt

Project Manager Māori Education, COMET

Conference Emcee

Ko Tainui te waka                                                  My canoe is Tainu  
Ko Hauraki te rohe                                                The area is Hauraki 
Ko Kohukohunui te maunga                                  Kohukohunui is the mountain 
Ko Tikapa te moana                                              Tikapa is the sea 
Ko Waihihi te awa                                                  Waihihi is the river 
Nō Ngâti Paoa, nō Ngāti                                        I am from Ngâti Paoa and Ngâti Whanaunga                                                           Whanaunga

Hauāuru is Project Manager Māori Educationstarted at COMET. Hauāuru is a fluent speaker of Mâori and tikanga Māori. He has a Bachelor of Education and is currently studying toward his Masters Degree.   Hauāuru has experience across the education spectrum, including lecturing on the School of Foundation Studies and the Bachelor of Applied Social Work at MIT and on the Auckland University Bachelor of Education programme and with Te Wananga o Raukawa.

 Hauāuru has worked for the Auckland Regional Council as a te reo and tikanga advisor for the Council leaders, where he also implemented the education plan for the region. Hauāuru is actively involved in tribal negotiations for his tribe of Ngāti Paoa in the Tāmaki and Hauraki areas and has served on their governance board.

Mauri ora!