Board of Trustees
The Board is made up of a diverse set of people all dedicated to ensuring that mental health and addictions services and resources in the Auckland region are as effective and as accessible as possible.
Magdel Hammond (Chair): Magdel has a passion for the mental health and addictions sectors – offering people growth and development opportunities and building social capital. She is currently the General Manager of Peer Services at Connect Supporting Recovery, including service user participation. She also manages and delivers Peer Employment Training services and is involved in a leadership capacity in a number of consumer organisations in the Counties Manukau region. She has an Honours degree in Social Work and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Not-For-Profit Management.
Alexander Stevens: (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu) is a Kaupapa Maori Researcher and Lecturer who has worked in the Health and Social services for over 15 years. Alexander has a counselling background specialising in addictions, mental illness and health care ethics. In 2012 he graduated from Otago University with a Masters of Indigenous Students focusing on empowerment of Maori to access health and social services. He is currently working towards a PHD in Maori Health with a sexual violence prevention focus with the Auckland University of Technology. He believes discussing sexual violence and its prevention will strengthen survivors and victims in the community to reduce rates of mental illness, addictions and suicide in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Malcolm Dixon (Deputy Chair): Malcolm Dixon (Deputy Chair): Malcolm is really passionate about the work that Changing Minds does, striving to ensure that people not only recover from their mental distress, but that they thrive and flourish, and build resilience. He has been involved with a number of different consumer-lead organisations and projects since retiring early from severe mental stress himself after 24 years as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in 1990. He later worked at Georgie Pie, McDonald’s, and with disabled people. He is also strongly interested in ensuring that there is a reduction in the stigma and discrimination that often emerges in regards to mental health and addiction issues.
Thomas Hamilton: Tommy works as the Executive Director of Rainbow Youth, a queer and trans* youth led and run peer support service based in Auckland central. Tommy has also worked in a governance role for organisations such as GenderBridge, OUTline NZ and is the current chair person of the Auckland Youth Workers Development Trust. Working within communities for over 8 years in Auckland, with experience prior to that in the arts and community in the USA, UK and Australia Tommys’ interests are many and experiences are varied. From working alongside experts and academics to working within a consumer led model. I look forward to sharing my perspective hopefully adding to the diversity and knowledge of the Changing Minds crew and community. Alongside this contribution I look forward to new learnings from our amazing communities that may offer continued hope for all.
Alastair Anderson (Treasurer): Alastair is currently employed as an ICT Administrator with Mind and Body Consultants Ltd. Before this he worked within the IT industry, overseas and in New Zealand. He has been on the Board of the Council for Mental Well Being Trust for more than four years.
Melanie Shaw: Melanie is the Mental Health Specialist at Lifeline Aotearoa, where she works to support, develop and oversee mental health services with a significant focus on the National Depression Initiative and peer support services. Melanie is an experienced senior clinician who has experience of working both statutory and not for profit organisations for over twenty years. She has a background in trauma work both at in-patient settings and in the community here in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Melanie has a passion for the mental health and addictions sector and always strives to give a voice to those most in need of being heard. Her passion and commitment for this work continues to grow and she is very committed to Changing Minds and the work it is involved with.
Miriam Larsen-Barr: Miriam is a mental health promoter for Like Minds, Like Mine at Mind and Body Consultants Ltd and service director of Engage Aotearoa where she shares evidence-based recovery tools and information, filtered through a personal perspective. She has lived experience of recovery from mental-health problems, holds a Master of Arts with First Class Honours in psychology and is currently enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Programme at the University of Auckland. Miriam has been involved with Changing Minds for a number of years and is passionate about the organisation’s role in ensuring people with experience of mental-health problems are able to influence their communities.
Katie Hodgson: Katie is a long-time consumer/client/tangata whai ora. Before retirement from paid employment she worked for Framework Trust as their Consumer Development Leader, where she assisted her clients to have a stronger voice. She also worked for Te Ata, and previously in education and youth justice. Although no longer in paid employment, Katie continues to do voluntary work when she can.
Alison Schneller: Alison has worked in the health sector as a lawyer and manager since 1996, including a role as a legal advisor for NZ’s first Health and Disability Commissioner. She has a Masters degrees in Health Law and Sociology. In 2006 she joined Counties Manukau DHB’s Mental Health and Addiction Services. She is excited by the opportunity to bring her experience to Changing Minds, as she sees the need and potential for improving advocacy for those who experience mental health and addiction problems.
Tuiloma Lina Samu: Tuiloma Lina Samu is a Samoan qualitative researcher in her third and final year of a PhD degree through Massey University’s SHORE/ Whariki Research Unit. She has vast community development and governance board experience. She contracts to Literacy Aotearoa to train people to tutor adults with literacy and numeracy issues. Tuiloma Lina has proficiency in five languages – including Te Reo Maori. Through her daughter Jessica, she has strong connections to the Tongan community. Her favourite saying in English is: “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Her favourite pepeha in Maori is” Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi he toa takitini” – my strength is not individual it is built from the collective efforts and history of many. She is an orator matai chief/ tulafale of Sapunaoa village in Falealili, Upolu, Samoa.
Bex Martelletti – Board Secretary: Bex decided to apply for the voluntary position as Secretary on the Changing Minds Board after seeing the wealth of change and the pro-active position that Changing Minds had embarked on. After engaging with Changing Minds through it’s newsletter and Facebook page it was evident to her that Changing Minds was a supportive and informative organisation dedicated to education and support. As a person who has had personal experience of mental health issues Bex saw this opportunity as a chance to give back to a part of the community that still has to struggle with greater understanding, acceptance and support. Bex has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Media Studies and a Bachelor of Broadcast Communications in Radio. She is currently employed in the radio industry.