Our Team

Meet the Autism New Zealand nationwide team empowering people living with autism through information, support and education.
Karen Lonergan
Auckland
Karen Lonergan
National Outreach Manager
Auckland
Karen Lonergan
National Outreach Manager

Tamatekapua te tupuna
Te Arawa te waka
Te Arawa/Ngati Tuwharetoa nga iwi

I have worked as Manager in the disability sector for 34 years for a variety of organisations across the country and have been with Autism New Zealand since 2010.

Romy Hume
Auckland
Romy Hume
Employment Support Facilitator
Auckland
Romy Hume
Employment Support Facilitator

I support autistic adults who want to find employment, assisting them with all aspects of the job-hunting process. My approach is highly individualised, taking into account each person’s unique traits and preferences.

Janine Felton
Auckland
Janine Felton
Outreach Coordinator
Auckland
Janine Felton
Outreach Coordinator

I recently joined Autism New Zealand in early 2018 as an Outreach Coordinator at the Auckland branch and also work with some of the adult support groups.

Kim San Giorgio
Auckland
Kim San Giorgio
Northern Hub Information and Support Coordinator
Auckland
Kim San Giorgio
Northern Hub Information and Support Coordinator

I have been in this role since September 2017, and am responsible for grant applications and accountabilities, office administration and supporting the Northern Hub team. I have a Bachelor of Science and a background working within the disability sector.

Cassandra Lyons
Bay of Plenty
Cassandra Lyons
Outreach Coordinator
Bay of Plenty
Cassandra Lyons
Outreach Coordinator

Kia Ora. My role is to reach all those people and families who need support and education with Autism. I have a positive attitude towards people with Autism and their families while having an empathy for each person and their family’s unique journey.

Karen Holmes
Canterbury / West Coast
Karen Holmes
Outreach Coordinator
Canterbury / West Coast
Karen Holmes
Outreach Coordinator

Hi I am Karen Holmes. I come to Autism New Zealand with a background as a parent of an adult autistic daughter and a counselling background. I love the work that I do and I look forward to being there alongside people in their journey.

Gabrielle Lennon
CANTERBURY / WEST COAST
Gabrielle Lennon
Outreach Coordinator
CANTERBURY / WEST COAST
Gabrielle Lennon
Outreach Coordinator

I have a Humanities degree and qualifications in Behavioural Analysis and picture exchange communication systems. I have 11 years’ experience working with supports and behavioural strategies for autism in schools, homes and employment.

Jeff Johnson
Canterbury / West Coast
Jeff Johnson
Adult Social Group Support Facilitator
Canterbury / West Coast
Jeff Johnson
Adult Social Group Support Facilitator

Mallory Quail
Canterbury / West Coast
Mallory Quail
Southern Hub Information and Support Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator
Canterbury / West Coast
Mallory Quail
Southern Hub Information and Support Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator

I joined Autism New Zealand in 2016. I currently work as a Lego Coordinator and Information and Support Coordinator. I love working for an organisation that is passionate about making a positive impact in the community. 

Nicole West
Gisborne
Nicole West
Outreach Coordinator
Gisborne
Nicole West
Outreach Coordinator

I grew up in Gisborne and am the mother of three teenage sons. My eldest is on the spectrum. I have two-part time positions: Outreach Coordinator for Autism New Zealand and Coordinator for Growing Through Grief Eastland. I love gardening and yoga.

Sarah Cudby
Hawkes Bay
Sarah Cudby
Outreach Coordinator
Hawkes Bay
Sarah Cudby
Outreach Coordinator

I have a son who was diagnosed with Autism when he was three. I'm passionate about providing support and advocacy for all individuals and families with an ASD. I enjoy helping others navigate the often complicated yet hugely transformational ASD journey.

Viv Nelson
Nelson / Marlborough
Viv Nelson
Outreach Coordinator
Nelson / Marlborough
Viv Nelson
Outreach Coordinator

I have been working part-time for Autism New Zealand since 2008. I run Parent, Adult, and Young Adult Support Groups, and I mainly help families (with a child who has a diagnosis), particularly those with a new diagnosis, with support, strategies etc.

Jill Hounsell
Nelson / Marlborough
Jill Hounsell
Outreach Coordinator
Nelson / Marlborough
Jill Hounsell
Outreach Coordinator

I started with Autism NZ in 2001 as a Volunteer/ Chairperson and in 2012 as an Outreach Coordinator. My son was diagnosed with ASD in 2000 at 18 months. I have had the privilege to meet many amazing families, enabling me to learn so much about Autism.

Sharon Oliver
Otago
Sharon Oliver
Outreach Coordinator
Otago
Sharon Oliver
Outreach Coordinator

I started with Autism New Zealand in 2002. I like to help parents navigate this path called Autism Spectrum, as I too am on this path. I try to help parents through pathways they need to travel and provide a listening ear from someone who understands.

Tammy Hutchins
Rotorua
Tammy Hutchins
Outreach Coordinator
Rotorua
Tammy Hutchins
Outreach Coordinator

I have been working with Autism New Zealand since 2015.
I have eight children, two children with ASD – so it’s fair to say that “there is never a dull moment in our lives”.

Wendy Jenkins
Southland
Wendy Jenkins
Outreach Coordinator
Southland
Wendy Jenkins
Outreach Coordinator

I've worked for Autism New Zealand since 2012. I have three sons and one is diagnosed with ASD. I am passionate about providing support and advocacy on behalf of all individuals and families with an ASD and knowing that I have made a positive difference.

Bridget Pasefika
Taranaki
Bridget Pasefika
Outreach Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator
Taranaki
Bridget Pasefika
Outreach Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator

I started my role in 2014. I give information, advocate for families and individuals and generally support wherever it is needed including school, home, healthcare, workplace and community…Every Step Together.

Jo Moffat
Taupo
Jo Moffat
Outreach Coordinator
Taupo
Jo Moffat
Outreach Coordinator

I have been working for Autism NZ since 2011. I have three children, the eldest of whom has an ASD diagnosis. I also have a teaching diploma, so education is a passion for me.

Samantha Mayall
Waikato
Samantha Mayall
Outreach Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator
Waikato
Samantha Mayall
Outreach Coordinator and LEGO Coordinator

I have been working for Autism NZ since the start of 2016 as LEGO Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator in the Waikato. Before this, I was a volunteer in our LEGO Groups.

Joelle Walker
Waikato
Joelle Walker
Outreach Coordinator
Waikato
Joelle Walker
Outreach Coordinator

I started at Autism New Zealand as the Holiday Programme Coordinator from 2014 to 2017.  For several years I was a High School Teacher of English and Drama and continue to teach Drama to school aged children and youth. 

Neil Stuart
Auckland
Neil Stuart
National Education Manager
Auckland
Neil Stuart
National Education Manager

I over 20 years experience working with children with autism. I have worked at Autism New Zealand since 2011 developing a large number of education and training programmes.

Tanya Blakey
Auckland
Tanya Blakey
National Educator
Auckland
Tanya Blakey
National Educator

I have two teenage daughters, one of whom is on the Autism Spectrum.
I've been jointly involved developing the education programmes and enjoy travelling the country presenting them with unique lived experience and humour since 2011.

Robyn Young
Canterbury
Robyn Young
Regional Educator
Canterbury
Robyn Young
Regional Educator

While recognising the challenges of Autism, I love to celebrate the magic moments. Combining my extensive teaching background and 9 years as an Outreach Coordinator I have gained invaluable insight and empathy for those living and working with Autism.

Jo Charman
Auckland
Jo Charman
Regional Educator
Auckland
Jo Charman
Regional Educator

I’ve started at Autism New Zealand in 2011, first as an Outreach Coordinator and now as an Educator. I am also a parent of a child with ASD.
I like to bring a practical and humorous approach to presentations from a personal and professional perspective.

Anita Nicholls
Wairarapa
Anita Nicholls
Outreach Coordinator
Wairarapa
Anita Nicholls
Outreach Coordinator

I am the mother of two adult sons with Fragile X Syndrome and autism. I worked for seven years at the Ministry of Education as an Early Intervention Teacher. I am happy to support families and schools by providing advocacy and information.

Jenny Woodfield
Wellington
Jenny Woodfield
Outreach Coordinator
Wellington
Jenny Woodfield
Outreach Coordinator

I have been working for Autism New Zealand since February 2017. Before that I worked as a primary school teacher, teaching children with special needs.

Dane Dougan
Wellington
Dane Dougan
Chief Executive
Wellington
Dane Dougan
Chief Executive

I have been the Autism New Zealand Chief Executive since 2013. I have an undergraduate in Accounting and Commercial Law and Masters in Management Studies. It is a privilege to work for such an amazing organisation and the community we seek to serve.

Amanda August
Wellington
Amanda August
National Business Manager
Wellington
Amanda August
National Business Manager

I started in this new role in June 2017. My responsibilities include operational and financial management. I am a Chartered Accountant and have almost 10 years experience in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors in New Zealand and overseas.

Kirsty Herapath
Wellington
Kirsty Herapath
Central Region Hub Information and Support Coordinator
Wellington
Kirsty Herapath
Central Region Hub Information and Support Coordinator

I joined Autism New Zealand in August 2017 and I work out of the National office in Wellington. I’m responsible for grant applications and accountabilities, office administration and supporting the Central hub branches.

Jane Woodhouse
Wellington
Jane Woodhouse
Finance Administration Manager
Wellington
Jane Woodhouse
Finance Administration Manager

I've been with Autism New Zealand since 2009 in finance and administration. I have learnt a lot about autism and it is great to see the effort our staff put in to helping people on their journey with autism.

Cristina Maglaque
Wellington
Cristina Maglaque
Finance Assistant (Accounts)
Wellington
Cristina Maglaque
Finance Assistant (Accounts)

I started with Autism New Zealand as a Volunteer at National Office in Sept of 2012, and in November 2012 I was employed in the Finance Department at National Office as a Finance Assistant Accounts. I am a B.S. Psychology graduate in Manila, Philippines.

Mary-Therese Nalder
Wellington
Mary-Therese Nalder
Finance Assistant (Membership & Funding)
Wellington
Mary-Therese Nalder
Finance Assistant (Membership & Funding)

My name is Mary-Therese.  I’ve been employed by Autism New Zealand to look after membership and funding since 2014.  I’m married to Grant and our eldest child has ASD.

Morgan Ryan
Wellington
Morgan Ryan
Education Coordinator
Wellington
Morgan Ryan
Education Coordinator

I process registrations as well as managing the schedules, admin, and reporting for our National Educators. My autistic best friend has taught me a lot about the social issues effecting adult autistics and neurodiverse individuals.