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About Us

For Better Mental Health / Te pae tawhiti o te Hinengaro

Leading social change by inspiring positive action

Changing Minds is a national not-for-profit organisation operated entirely by those with personal experience of recovery from mental health and/or addiction issues, we work in the broad area of wellbeing services, advocacy, human rights, and health policy.

  • We collect, articulate, and activate the strategic voice of lived experience.
  • We provide information, advice, education, and advocacy on a range of health and social issues that impact on mental health for all people.
  • Changing Minds leads collaborative social change projects aimed at reducing mental health discrimination, promoting social inclusion and improving mental health and wellbeing for communities, people and whanau.
  • Changing Minds is training and growing a network of leaders to use their personal lived experience of mental distress and recovery to inspire others and create change in their communities.

Board of Trustees

mental health

Lawrence Storey

Brontë Jefferies

Jess Thorne

Anaru Ah Kew

Aaron Hockly-Holdich

Turaukawa Bartlett

Staff

mental health
Taimi

CEO, Chief Experience Officer

Taimi Photo

Taimi has been involved in the mental health sector for over a decade, managing a variety of roles and significant projects encompassing consumer advice, communications, media and marketing, digital initiatives, social entrepreneurship, business development, mental health promotion and education and training.

Over the years, she has worked on innovative projects with specialist sectors to increase their mental health literacy, including such diverse groups as tertiary training organisations, corporate business, media and entertainment industries, schools, youth and older persons, addictions and the Police.

Taimi represents the lived experience voice in various strategic governance positions relating to sector and service improvement, policy and suicide prevention. Featured as a global thought-leader in the March 2018 edition of M2 Woman Magazine, Taimi’s history in film, theatre and television, means she often uses the arts as a safe vehicle to help audiences understand and see value in challenging experiences. Her creative work includes the world’s first International Mental Health Arts Festival ‘The Big reTHiNK’ as featured in ‘MiNDFOOD’ Magazine and collaborating on “Mockingbird” and the annual “Atawhai” festival.

Ksenia

Accounts and Finance – finance@changingminds.org.nz

‘Distributor of loose change’

Ksenia was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, moved to New Zealand in 2012 and graduated from AUT Business School with honours majoring in accounting in 2016. Ksenia has provided business services to Small to Medium enterprises and start-ups in both the private and public sectors, including co-designing a business plan that won the AUT Venture Fund competition and granted a tech start-up that Ksenia co-founded.

Ksenia manages all things financial for Changing Minds to ensure we can focus on the things that are important to our community within our limited charitable budget.  Having an eye for details, Ksenia ensures Changing Minds’ financial data is orderly maintained, transparent and accountable. One of those strange people that loves numbers, Ksenia is invaluable to us as she enjoys making sense of the data and provides useful insights for the team and board to assist in our decision making. As a bonus, she is a whizz at graphic design and can whip up an infographic to help us understand the data better.

Ksenia is a new mum, so in her spare time, she is busy trying to figure out what work-life balance is. (shhh… she hasn’t realised there’s no such thing yet…) She is also a book-worm, foodie, and productivity nerd. Before baby, Ksenia was an ultramarathon runner having completed a number of long-distance races but the pram now gets in the way.

Tamara

Project Manager – Rākau Roroa, rakauroroa@changingminds.org.nz

‘Nurturer of Tall Trees’

Tamara’s enthusiasm for positive change and use of practical tools that consciously create engagement, productivity and empowerment daily, has created a significant difference in reaching and impacting on the lives of thousands of people around the globe through ‘The Happiness Experiment’. Now with a host of materials and products including the 3GT journal and the 3GT app on IOS currently in its second stage of development. This is the ground-work for a social enterprise she is currently designing to engage and support youth to navigate their way to greater social and emotional resilience, all through a simple gratitude habit.

Running our national Lived Experience Leaders program, Rākau Roroa, sitting on advisory groups for the Health Quality & Safety Commission, the Income Generation Committee for Help Foundation, the Strategic Leadership Group for Equally Well and finishing her Yale Transformational Leadership program keep her on the pulse. She loves connecting people to make great partnerships happen. she sees her value in translating the consumer voice from community level right through to government to influence positive change both for the user of services and for society as a whole.

She would like her legacy to be improving the ACC Sensitive Claim process so that it may be a supportive, positive experience for those seeking help for sexual abuse & sexual violence.

Borni

Cultural Advisor – culture@changingminds.org.nz

‘The People Whisperer’

(Te Arawa/Tuhoe/ Tuwharetoa) is the Kaitohutohu Ahurea (Cultural Advisor) for Changing Minds, and Performing Arts & Community Broker for Taurima Vibes. He is also an independent producer, director, lecturer, facilitator, actor and singer.

A graduate from South Seas Film and Television School and has a BA from UNITECs School of Performing and Screen Arts. Borni is a core whānau member and producer for Te Pou Theatre and is an active Equity NZ board member. He began his creative career in music before turning to film and theatre producing, acting and directing.

Borni is a suicide prevention and wellbeing advocate dedicated to help create open conversation and sustainable support networks. He has a strong focus on community empowerment through storytelling. As a broker he has created strong relationships with The Auckland City Mission, being co-creator of The Hobson Street Theatre Company a theatre initiative working with those living rough and using mission services.

He has built support and created strong relationships throughout the Well-being and Mindfulness landscapes as well with NZ’s 3 strongest HIV awareness foundations to create awareness through performance. In the past 5 years he has been dedicated to find understanding around what well-being and mindfulness in the performing arts industry looks like, how to create clear unification within the ranks, and to discover tangible pathways for open conversation and destigmatising negative perceptions.

Tatiana

Engagement Specialist – engagements@changingminds.org.nz

‘Creator of Connections’

Tatiana is an artist, a writer, dancer/choreographer and a trained actress, having graduated from South Seas Film and Television School and from The Actor’s Program. She also holds a Diploma in Film making from NZFA, a Bachelor in Theology from Laidlaw College, and a Masters in Creative Writing with Honours from AUT.

She has also worked extensively on the production side of various TV commercials and Theatre shows as an Art Director, Set designer, Props and Wardrobe and anything that requires creativity and flair.

Originally from Brazil, a young Tatiana survived significant mental health and addiction challenges before finally making her home in New Zealand over 15 years ago. She now lives in Auckland with her two daughters. She is a prolific public speaker, and having experienced the recent loss of her husband, she has become an advocate for healthier grief support, and is passionate about fostering more authentic and safe conversations about personal wellbeing, mindfulness and inclusive connections.

As Changing Minds Engagement Specialist, Tatiana works extensively on creating content and events which promotes wellbeing, inclusion and recovery. Through her artistic approach she constantly aims to integrate her lived experience and her role to build relationships, foster connections and spread compassion in a meaningful and authentic way.

Ally

Operations & Digital Platform Project Lead – Rākau Roroa, operations@changingminds.org.nz

‘Juggler of Logistics’

Photo Of Ally

Ally was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 2011. Ally has over 12 years of experience as an executive assistant & in event management across many different industries working in both the private and public sector, including Marketing, Commercial, Sales, and Communication.

Ally manages all things operational in Changing Minds and is also seconded as the Digital Platform Project Lead – Rākau Roroa. As a master of logistics, Ally always knows the flight-paths of all the balls Changing Minds has in the air, keeps the organisation ticking along with its legal, contract and community responsibilities and ensures the team is well-prepared and organised for the multitude of roles and deadlines.

In her spare time, Ally also runs her own business, loves to sing, cook and to catch up with friends where music is always involved

Tim

Digital Content Creative, digital@changingminds.org.nz

‘The Visual Journalist’

Tim Photo

Tim is a multidisciplinary designer & art director. He graduated from Auckland University of Technology with an honours degree in graphic design. He has just returned from living in America for six years, working in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles. He has worked for major advertising agencies to small digital startups.

He has joined Changing Minds as he is interested in working in mental health and addiction and using his skillset to empower change in these sectors. Having lived experience himself, he knows he can reach a wider, and younger, audience through his experience with digital design and its various platforms.

Tim is the Digital Content Creative at Changing Minds. He makes sure the company has a clear “look and feel”. His purpose is to align all platforms, external communications and official documents to the Changing Minds brand, in essence, managing all things digital and design related.

Strategic Objectives

Strategic objectives

Information:

Promote relevant, timely and easily accessible information to those who are impacted, including individuals and families, workplaces and industries.

Reach:

Advocate for those with lived experience by influencing decision-makers at a policy and programme (delivery) level (not just in mental health).

Gather:

Gather, collect and collate personal stories, experiences, systemic information, new research/evidence and societal perspectives.

Promote:

Use innovative events and projects to promote positive stories, support, inform, educate or change conversations around mental health, well-being and addictions.

Growth:

Grow our funding, human resources, and geographic influence.

Values

  • Changing Minds is an evidence based, progressive, professional and holistic organisation.
  • We respect people’s differences of culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, personal values and spiritual beliefs.
  • We promote self-determination through supporting self-confidence, empowerment and recovery and promote full participation in society.
  • We recognise and act on inequitable health outcomes for Māori, Pacific and migrant communities.
  • We advocate from a human rights approach.
  • We work from the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • We stand up against discrimination and social exclusion.
  • We advocate for Government to act on social determinants of mental health and addictions (good housing, income and employment, education and health) at regional and national levels.
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