Board Members

The governing board of Volunteering NZ

Helga Wientjes
What matters most to members
Tania Jones
Vice Chairperson
Brayden Smith
Corrine Coombe
Board Member
Cathy Aiavao
Board Member – Pacific Peoples
Wendy Rapana
Board Member – Māori
Gail Marshall
Board Member
James Lord
Board Member

Staff & Volunteers

The operations team of Volunteering NZ

Katie Bruce

Chief Executive

Katie leads our team here at VNZ. She has a passion for sharing stories, ideas and research to create social change. 

Before joining VNZ she was Director of JustSpeak, leading a movement of young volunteers advocating on criminal justice. Katie has previously worked in academia and policy, including researching volunteering at the Third Sector Research Centre in the UK. She has a PhD in Sociology.

Adi Roy Choudhury

Communications Coordinator for Student Volunteer Week

Adi is a Communications Coordinator, working to promote Student Volunteer Week. Adi recently graduated from Victoria University with his Master’s in Global Marketing, and has experience working on a range of digital campaigns. He hopes to use his marketing background to encourage positive change across a range of causes.

Karishma Dullabh

Project and Admin Coordinator

Karishma supports Katie and Michelle in various project, financial and admin tasks at VNZ. She has been involved in a few volunteering roles and is excited to be working in an organisation that encourages volunteering. Karishma has a Bachelor of Commerce & Administration majoring in Marketing and Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. 

Michelle Kitney

Director of Communications and Sector Development

Michelle brings a range of skills and experience including communications, marketing and community engagement, and volunteer leadership. At VNZ she works towards increased recognition for the value and impact of volunteering, and best practice volunteering practices. Before joining VNZ she worked for a Wellington Social Enterprise as the Marketing and Community Manager. She has also previously worked in the public sector and within the training industry. Her voluntary roles on the national executive team of Multiples NZ and as a Trustee of Bellyful NZ build on her previous experience leading a local membership organisation.

Taylor Hamling

Web Developer

Taylor is the web developer for VNZ working on the VNZ website, InvolveMe, Student Volunteer Week, National Volunteer Week, the annual VNZ conference and many more projects. Taylor is a professional freelancer with a degree in Computer Science. Taylor’s website:

Ross Patel

Governance Advisor

Ross is currently completing his Masters in Experience and Service Design specialising in youth engagement with Non-profit organisations. When Ross is not thinking of ways Volunteer-Centre organisations can engage more people in volunteering in their communities, he is volunteering his skills in community projects such as the Youth Aotea-Reo Project – developing an app for New Zealand youth which aims to provide youth support services in a more convenient way. Ross is also the President of the Multicultural New Zealand Youth Council.

Michael Schraa

Policy Advisor
Michael produces submissions on governmental policy. His research topics include Health & Safety, ACC, governmental accountability, police vetting and well-being.
Michael is a Ph.D graduate of Victoria University of Wellington. His project combined a history of American politics, especially of the 1990s, and a history of popular psychology.
Previously, he completed a B.A. (Hons) and a B. Mus at the University of Otago. He was active in student broadcasting and print journalism. Michael has interests in public policy, sociology, psychology and cultural studies.

Caitlin Ferner

Campaign Communications Advisor

Caitlin has joined Volunteering New Zealand to help with the communications for National Volunteer Week 2019. She is passionate about volunteering, having spent much of her time throughout high school volunteering as a Pippin and Brownie leader. Caitlin is currently working towards a Bachelor of Communication at Massey University. 

Lauren Hayes

Story Editor

Lauren is helping the team with communications material for National Volunteer Week 2019. She has a background in journalism, and has also worked in government and non-profit organisations. She is excited to help share the stories of volunteers working in communities across New Zealand.

Olga Smith

Programme Advisor - Consultation

Olga is originally from Prague, Czech Republic, where she completed her Bachelor of Social work and policy and Master of Psychology. She worked as a volunteer manager and a facilitator at National Volunteer Centre in Prague. After moving to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, she was volunteering for English Language Partners Wellington and Mothers Network before getting a job at English Language Partners Wellington as a Job Mentoring Service coordinator. In this role she was working with migrants as well as volunteers who are supporting their job seekers on their job searching journey.

Marcelo Klein Vieira

Business Analyst

Marcelo is an experienced ICT professional with focus on Business Analysis. He brings knowledge of digital transformation projects across complex enterprise environments. Whenever possible, he enjoys spending time with friends, and barbecuing on weekends.

Johann Go

Programme Advisor - Strategy

Johann is leading the strategic review and writing of the ‘Recent Migrant Volunteering Strategy’, to be launched during National Volunteering Week in June 2019.

Johann is a Rhodes Scholar and postgraduate student at the University of Oxford. He completed his B.A. (Philosophy and Politics) and B.HSc (Public Health) at the University of Auckland. Johann has been involved in the voluntary sector for over a decade, with his most recent major role being Divisional Manager for St John Ambulance in Howick and Pakuranga. He is passionate about promoting diversity in the volunteering workforce and harnessing the power of ethical volunteering to achieve social justice.

Sarah Macdonald

Communications Advisor - National Volunteer Week 2019

Sarah is back at Volunteering New Zealand to help the team plan and promote National Volunteer Week 2019! Sarah enjoys how NVW highlights and celebrates the positive impact of volunteers throughout New Zealand. Sarah has a Bachelor of Design (Hons) and a Diploma in Marketing.

Anna Rendall

Graphic Designer
Anna is our in-house graphic designer who has communications experience thrown into the mix. She brings the creative, design eye to the team and helps maintain visual identity at VNZ.  
Anna also works on freelance design projects and volunteers as designer and event coordinator with a local community organisation. Anna has Bachelor of Visual communication Design (hons) with a typography major. She’s also a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and has worked towards papers in communications and public relations.

Erina Papp

National Learning and Development Manager

Erina Papp is an experienced organisational development and HR professional with a focus on engaging others to achieve results and turn vision into reality. She brings a unique mix of in-depth HR and senior management experience, coaching, counselling and community development expertise enable her to work with people to address both business and interpersonal challenges.

Amelia Blamey

Community Engagement Advisor

Amelia is studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce, with majors in Finance and Marketing, and minor in Film. She hopes to use her passion for storytelling to raise awareness and encourage activism in her community.

Felipe Escobar

Web advisor

Felipe brings a wealth of experience in analysis, modelling and implementation of technical solutions with strong focus in adding value to organisational strategy. At VNZ Felipe’s been instrumental in delivering the 2018 Student Volunteer Week and the InvolveMe landing page/promotion website design. He provides ongoing technical support and advice around gathering requirements, designing and developing reports, dashboards and websites.

Anusha Siriwardene

Senior Test Analyst

Anusha is the Senior Test Analyst for VNZ working on the InvolveMe and LeadMe tools. Her recommendations, in collaboration with the VNZ team, bring together more robust products and processes. Anusha completed her masters, majoring in Human Resource Management with a research merit and she holds a B.Sc in Information Technology.

Charlie Pearson

Communications Advisor

Charlie is the communications advisor for VNZ creating media releases, online content, and editing
and writing other communications materials. He also worked on the development of LeadMe and
was the editor of the State of Volunteering Report 2017. Charlie completed a degree in
Communications, majoring in marketing, in 2017.

Lucas Davies


Lucas is writing a series of blog posts and articles for Volunteering New Zealand, with a focus on research articles. In 2016, he completed his Bachelor of Laws, and has since worked in the field of public and immigration law. Lucas enjoys reading, dancing, chess, and a good debate with his friends over the bar table.