Andrea Lee - National President
Our 16 year old son was diagnosed with a genetic condition in 2007 which marked the beginning of my involvement with Parent to Parent including being a Support Parent for the past 9 years. I am passionate about the role of Support Parents – I have learnt the most from other parents and whānau and in turn work to support others and advocate for a good life in the community for our family members. I believe in the value of the information and grassroots local support Parent to Parent offers throughout the country. This drives my commitment and ambition for Parent to Parent to be the best it can be to meet the needs of parents and whānau incorporating the principles of Enabling Good Lives in this time of change.
I am acutely aware of the challenges Parent to Parent have as an organisation both fiscally and in sustaining our future to best serve families in the changing landscape of digital information and connection. We must evolve as an organisation and respond to the needs of parents and whānau.
Prior to becoming a mother, I taught English and have a BA in sociology. I have an extensive background in the not-for-profit sector including both the education and disability sectors in paid, voluntary and governance roles in NZ and internationally. Over the past 12 years I have attended numerous disability sector conferences both nationally and internationally, presented at workshops and conferences and undertaken training including the SAMS ‘Influencing Change’ programme. I currently work as the executive director for Fragile X New Zealand.
As a Support Parent and current President on the National Board I am committed to working for parents and whānau.
Julie-Ann Johnson - Vice President
My husband, three children and I reside on the rural Canterbury Plains. After gaining my Bachelor of Commerce and Management in 1991, I was an accountant for several Christchurch companies including Tegel Foods, Tait Electronics and Kiwi Packaging. Once the children all started school I have since been a self-employed contractor providing accounting, review, project management and administrative services.
The arrival of Patrick, now aged 12, started a challenging and often rewarding journey for our family as his intellectual disability impacts on family life, education and community. He is a young man full of surprises, a great sense of humour and a mighty love for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
I have been the treasurer for the Selwyn Launch Group since mid 2016. Their aim is to promote the inclusion of young adults with disabilities through work experience, employment and social activities. I have had three years’ governance experience as a trustee on a primary school board, which began in June 2013.
I have been an active member and committee chairperson of Greater Canterbury Parent to Parent since June 2010. Volunteering as a support parent is extremely rewarding.
From Christchurch, Peter has extensive business management experience; leading a major disability service organisation for 13 years, and holding senior management roles at Child Youth & Family and Waikato District Health Board.
He is currently a business consultant for Healthshare, serves on two boards, and is a member of ACC’s Serious Injury Advisory Group.
Peter is married to Ann who is an Early Intervention Teacher and they have six adult children, one of whom has a disability.
Peter tries to get out regularly on his mountain bike, and also enjoys coaching people to reach their potential using a mindfulness approach.
Nick has had a long-standing relationship with Parent to Parent for more than 20 years as a volunteer, employee and contractor. Having previously worked at national office for two years, Nick was also involved in the development, training and delivery of the SibSupport programme since its inception in 1995, and continues this involvement today. Nick has also been involved in the development and delivery of the Second Generation workshops, targeted at parents and adult siblings.
Nick also works as a freelance producer, director, tutor and actor in the performing arts sector and is currently a trustee and creative director for the Hamilton Performing Arts Trust. Nick was recently a part of the working group that negotiated the terms of the successful gifting of Clarence Street Theatre from Hamilton City Council to a newly established Trust, which he also helped to put in place.
Nick hopes to continue his long relationship with Parent to Parent and the quality services it provides that make it such an essential and respected contributor to the disability sector in New Zealand.
As a Cambridge mother of a 15-year-old daughter who requires 24/7 care after a traumatic brain injury 4 years
ago, Sarah has learned quickly how to advocate for her to have an inclusive life.
Accessing a multitude of services for her daughter on a daily basis has enabled Sarah to see where positive change can be made. She is passionate about offering practical insights as to how to access resources from a more effective wraparound model of care service.
“It’s challenging to access supports when you don’t know where to find them and there is fragmentation between services in the sector. I knew I could use my governance skills to help shape better outcomes for our communities.”
A strong advocate for communication, activation and belief, Sarah describes herself as a glass half full thinker who knows how to navigate a very complex health system and build strong relationships in order to achieving best outcomes for whānau. In 2018 Sarah became the recipient of the Institute of Directors Emerging Director award in the disability sector forging her path into governance and igniting her passion to bring a grassroots experience and perspective to the board table. Sarah also sits on the national boards of Life Unlimited and CCS Disability Action outside of her professional role in marketing for a leading media company.
As a member of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum's Indigenous Business Sector Group, and Deputy Co-chair NZ of their Emerging Leaders, Erin has cross-sectoral insight plus an acute understanding of strategic stakeholder engagement. She was recognised as 'Professional Woman of the Year' by the National Association of Women in Construction NZ in 2019, for her services to the sector and community. Erin also has experience in the Aviation and Tech industries from her work at Airways New Zealand.
A double degree graduate, Erin holds Bachelors of Commerce (Management) and Arts (Psychology) from the Universities of Canterbury and Otago respectively. Her background in Market Research and Data Science is the foundation for her inquiring mind, sound analytical skills and challenge she brings to the board table.
In her free time, Erin enjoys running and meditation, and can usually be found relaxing on the beach with her husband and two sons who are avid surfers.
Ko Frian Wadia toku ingoa. My husband and I have 3 lovely boys 16yrs, 14yrs and 12yrs old, all with varying disabilities and learning needs. Through our experiences within the education and health systems over the years, I have become a passionate advocate for creating systemic change to ensure inclusion and enabling a meaningful dignified life for all individuals with disabilities. I am particularly interested in the creation of a truly inclusive education system where every student is valued, supported, has a strong sense of belonging, and is able to learn and thrive.
In my professional capacity, I am a certified ECE teacher, currently working part time and recently qualified as an Early Intervention teacher.
Over the last few years, I have been part of various support groups, committees, school and governance boards.
For the last few years, I have been on the leadership team of admins for VIPS Equity in Education, an online inclusive education advocacy forum for families, and have been a support parent with Parent to Parent. Currently I am in my second term on our local primary school board; and in 2019 I was appointed to the national Lotteries Individuals with Disabilities distribution committee, and the Teaching Council governance board.
My constant endeavours are aimed at empowering families and disabled people; improving systems, policies and legislation to ensure disabled children’s rights are upheld; and equity is ensured for all children irrespective of their abilities, socioeconomic status, neurodiversity and any other challenges. I love gardening, listening to music, and watching movies whenever I get the chance. I look forward to contributing my skills, expertise and lived experience to the best of my ability, for the benefit of our children and whanau.