Our people

We employ a passionate & dedicated team across Aotearoa.

Meet the Board
Frian Wadia
National President
Frian Wadia
National President

Frian and her husband are parents to three young boys in their late teens, each with unique strengths, abilities, disabilities, and learning needs.

Through her experiences within the education and health systems over the years, Frian has become a passionate advocate for creating systemic change to ensure inclusion and a meaningful, dignified life for all individuals with disabilities. She is particularly interested in developing a genuinely inclusive education system where every student is valued and supported, has a strong sense of belonging, and can learn and thrive.

Frain has been a pivotal figure at Parent to Parent for over a decade, first as a Support Parent, then as a Board Member, Vice President, then President in 2024. Since 2022, she has been a leading National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group member, championing the EGL approach and empowering families to be staunch advocates for their disabled children’s rights. In 2023, Frian founded the Neuroscience And Trauma Informed Network Aotearoa Trust (NATINA), demonstrating her passion for creating trauma-informed schools and communities and preventing educational trauma.

From 2019 to date, Frian has been on the Lotteries Individuals with Disabilities distribution committee and the Teaching Council governance board from 2019 to 2022. In her professional capacity, Frian is an Early Intervention Specialist and loves supporting Autistic tamariki, their families and ECE teachers using family-centred and strengths-based approaches.

Over the past few years, he has also been involved in various grassroots community groups, committees, school/education/community governance boards, and advisory groups in the education and disability sectors. Frian is currently on the leadership team of admins for VIPS Equity in Education, a grassroots online advocacy and support group for families.

Frian’s unwavering dedication is aimed at empowering families and disabled people, improving systems, policies, and legislation to ensure disabled children’s rights are upheld, and equity for all children—irrespective of their abilities, socioeconomic status, neurodiversity, or any other challenges.

Andrea Lee
Board Member
Andrea Lee
Board Member

Originally from the Waikato, Andrea, her husband and two children settled in Nelson in 2004 after living and working abroad for many years.

With a BA in Sociology, Andrea has over 30 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector including both the Youth, Education and Disability sectors in paid, voluntary and governance roles both in NZ and internationally. Before having children, she worked in Bosnia after the Bosnian war as a teacher educator and was the Director of Studies at an international school in the UK.

Parent to Parent became part of Andrea’s life in 2007 when her son was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition. She has attended and presented at numerous disability sector conferences both internationally and in New Zealand. Andrea is a current Parent to Parent Support Parent.

Andrea works as the Executive Director for Fragile X New Zealand.

Julie-Ann Johnson
Board Member
Julie-Ann Johnson
Board Member

Julie-Ann lives with her family on the rural Canterbury Plains. After gaining her Bachelor of Commerce and Management in 1991, she was an accountant for several Christchurch companies including Tegel Foods, Tait Electronics and Kiwi Packaging. Once their three children had started school, she became a self-employed contractor providing accounting, review, project management and administrative services.

The arrival of Patrick, their second child, marked the beginning of a challenging yet deeply rewarding journey for the Johnson family. Parenting an intellectually disabled child was initially daunting, but Julie-Ann sought support from Parent to Parent and, in turn, became a fierce and resilient advocate for Patrick and other families.

Her journey led her to become an active Parent to Parent member, Committee Chairperson of Greater Canterbury, a Support Parent from 2010, and a Board member from 2018. Volunteering as a Support Parent has been the source of particular personal growth and reward for her.

Patrick attended mainstream primary school. Over the six years, Julie-Ann watched the teachers learn about Patrick and saw their excitement when he surprised them with his learning and abilities. Patrick and his fellow ORS friends also taught the neurotypical pupils that disabled kids do have a great sense of humour, are not incapable, and can be included in workplaces and the community once they leave education.

Julie-Ann has been serving as the treasurer for the Selwyn Launch Group since 2016. The group's goal is to promote the inclusion of young adults with disabilities through work experience, employment, and social activities. In addition, she has governance experience as a trustee on a primary school board.

Brian Pulefolau
Board Member
Brian Pulefolau
Board Member

Brian and his wife, Betty, are the founders of Pasifika Autism Support Group (PASG). Their experiences following their eldest son’s autism diagnosis at four years old motivated them to set up a group for other families seeking information and support. A crucial aspect of their work is raising awareness of autism in Pasifika communities.

Brian has completed Certificates in Business and Small Business Management and sits on the Board of Trustees for his son’s school. In 2010, he played a pivotal role in the ASD Advisory group that provided advice for the development of the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline. Brian received the ‘*Autism New Zealand Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer Award for 2016’* for his tireless advocacy for the many families in the support group.

Rebekah Corlett
Board Member
Rebekah Corlett
Board Member

Rebekah is māmā to Sophia, who was diagnosed as Autistic at two-and-a-half years old and is fifteen now. Sophia is non-speaking and uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to communicate.

Rebekah lives on the Kāpiti Coast with her husband, Jason, Sophia and their son, Ryan, who is twelve. Sophia is ORS-funded, and in the last couple of years, she has moved from a specialist primary school to a mainstream high school, which has been a significant undertaking.

Rebekah writes a substack blog, Reasonable Accommodations with Rebekah, which discusses her experiences and thoughts on education, health and life as a parent in general, and gives a voice to whānau who feel excluded from mainstream services and experiences in Aotearoa. Rebekah is also an Administrator of the Facebook group VIPs - Equity in Education NZ.

Meet the Team
Karen Miles
Chief Executive
Karen Miles
Chief Executive

With a degree in psychology, family counselling expertise, and experience across family-led services and corporate change management, Karen is well-used to supporting people through challenges.

A people person with family experience of disability and depth of professional knowledge, Karen is equally comfortable in advocating at the highest levels of governance as delivering services on the ground.

From Canada to New Zealand, Australia and Micronesia, Karen has set up services where there were previously none and led the drive to create family-centred models of disability support.

Emily Acraman
National Services Manager
Emily Acraman
National Services Manager

Emily has worked for Parent to Parent for five years, initially joining us as a researcher, and currently in our National Services Manager role.

Emily has a postgraduate diploma in applied psychology and leads our team of experienced researchers and information officers. Emily has a psychology background and has worked in numerous roles both within the health and disability sector, and in local government.

Emily lives in Kirikiriroa with her two young boys, one of whom has a disability. Emily is personally familiar with the needs and challenges facing disabled children and young people, and is a strong advocate for her own children, and others facing similar challenges.

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Helen Smith
Training Lead
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Alicia King
Funding Lead
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Roni Jacobs
Financial Administrator
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Izel Becker
Office Manager
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Christina Slade
Administration Assistant
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Don Martin
Regional Coordinator - Northland
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Angela Ramos
Regional Coordinator - Auckland North
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Ramona Dillon
Regional Coordinator - Auckland South & East
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Brendon Smith
Regional Coordinator - Auckland West and Central
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Yuanyuan Tong
Regional Coordinator - Waikato
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Jane Ford
Regional Coordinator - Coastal Bay of Plenty (and covering for Central Lakes)
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To be confirmed
Regional Coordinator - Central Lakes
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Jill Fallowfield
Regional Coordinator - Hawkes Bay
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Jack Baigent
Regional Coordinator - Wellington
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Meredith Dyer
Regional Coordinator - Wellington
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Sarah McLarin
Regional Coordinator - Nelson
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Sophie Carter
Regional Coordinator - Greater Canterbury
Rebecca Honeybone
Rebecca Honeybone
Regional Coordinator - Greater Canterbury
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To be confirmed
Regional Coordinator - Otago
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MaryAnn Hughes
Regional Coordinator - Southland (and covering for Otago)
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Chrissy Frost
Project Lead
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Lisa Pirihi
Project Coordinator
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Cassandra Lewis
Information Officer
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Caleb Osborne
Information Officer
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Ashe Yee
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Kirsty Kirkpatrick
Information Officer
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Christina Forrest
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Sara Meyer
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Fiona Ritson
Content Writer & Producer
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Leila Malthus
Visual Content Creator
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Ian Ramos
Technical Coordinator
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Kathleen Sanft
Community Liaison
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Summer Findlay
SibLeader Coordinator
rob hamill feature
rob hamill feature
Parent to Parent is delighted to have Rob Hamill as our patron

Rob is an outstanding role model for all New Zealanders as someone who has pushed boundaries to the limit and succeeded in overcoming challenges along the way. He has experienced adversity in many forms and triumphed nonetheless.

Rob Hamill
Parent to Parent Patron

Rob is an outstanding role model for all New Zealanders as someone who has pushed boundaries to the limit and succeeded in overcoming challenges along the way. He has experienced adversity in many forms and triumphed nonetheless.

Rob won a World Rowing Championship silver medal, a Commonwealth, and set a world record on the indoor rowing machine. While competing at the Atlanta Olympics Rob heard about in the inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race to take place the following year which he and Phil Stubbs went on to win after spending 41 days, 2 hours, 55 minutes traversing 4,000 km of the Atlantic Ocean from Tenerife to Barbados in a 7m row boat. Rob is a motivational speaker and the author of The Naked Rower.

Rob is married to Rachel, who has been a Parent to Parent support parent for a number of years. They have three active young boys, one of whom has a rare eye condition.

Rob gives of his time voluntarily to Parent to Parent on many occasions to help raise awareness of the organisation. He is a keen advocate of the organisation and actively promotes the services it provides to families who are raising children with disabilities.

Parent to Parent is privileged to have a patron who is well-regarded both nationally and internationally, and who also has a personal awareness of parenting a child with a disability or health impairment.

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