The team at SociaLink is as diverse as the sector we support; we have differing expertise and a variety of skills, but share a common goal and love for the social services sector and those fortunate enough to work in it. We look forward to engaging with you and hearing your stories. Below is a little bit about us…
Liz is our General Manager.
She wanted to start a bring your dog to work policy, but as our office is really small and her dog is really big, plans had to be temporarily shelved.
Fortunately she is very smart and persuasive, and has persuaded TECT to build a big shiny new building, big enough for herself, her dog and anyone else who’d like to join her.
But seriously, she’s got skills:
- She’s a ‘jill of all trades’ with work experience in health, education and training, social policy and planning, community development, child protection, mental health and management for over 25 years.
- Has a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work.
- Worked for over 10 years in the Western Bay of Plenty as well as in Melbourne, London, the Pacific and Asia.
Manager – The Kollective
Gordy manages The Kollective and is originally from Scotland.
He had to move, as it was too cold to wear his huge collection of gaudy shirts (which are a real sight for sore eyes). He has been slowly adjusting to life in NZ by learning English. We can understand him most of the time, the rest of the time we just nod and stare hypnotically at his shirts.
Gordy has many years experience in:
- Business & HR management consultancy.
- Systems and process development.
- Marketing & digital presence.
- Innovation and new concept development.
Community Insights Laboratory Manager
Yet another Liz to add to our team.
Liz loves to read and think and think some more! She can also produce a pretty good cake when called upon and is known to be a bit of a coffee snob, with a stash of coffee plungers, cafe loyalty cards and coffee beans stashed at a range of spots around the office.
- Liz has a background in community psychology with a Master of Social Science from Waikato University.
- Liz knows a lot of local practitioners having taught on social practice programmes locally .
- She has a wealth of experience in family violence,
- As well as working at the grassroots level, Liz has also held board roles within the education sector and for a number of community groups.
Luke comes from an extensive background in finance and accounting for both the public and private sector, working for DHBs, health and disability organisations and NGOs, so he knows what works for social agencies.
He is based in Hamilton, but aims to be in the Bay of Plenty at least one day a week – and he already has clients knocking on the door.
He says he can be flexible, working with agencies after hours to suit them and using Zoom to maintain contact. He’s getting about 10 enquiries a week, about 50-50 new agencies and established ones that are ready to expand to the next level.
“There’s more job satisfaction working in the social sector and giving back to the community, being able to share knowledge. I enjoy helping people start up something and take it through to implementation and success.”
Policy, Research & Advocacy
Liz can be relied on to give careful thought to issues
and depending on whether her hearing aids are working well usually comes up with a considered answer of “I agree, let’s have morning tea now.”
She lived and worked in Auckland for many years acquiring a wealth of skills before returning to Tauranga and joining SociaLink.
- Spent her career working as a researcher, evaluator, policy analyst and health promotion adviser
- A Masters in Politics and Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health.
- Over 30 years’ experience working in the fields of health related services
Tracy is our financial goddess.
She loves budgets and forecasts, and is able to count using more than her own body parts.
The rest of us are also very good at maths, and know that there is only one of her and that she was employed not a fraction too soon.
Lots of experience in:
- 10 years experience in Operational Management in Private Sector.
- 10 years experience in the not-for-profit sector with funding, sponsorship and project management.
- Over 30 years administration and accounts.
- Extensive Project & Event Management experience.
Charlotte Van Doorn
After 20 years of talking to plants,
Charlotte realised talking with people was more fun and rewarding
She set off with passion, listening and talking her way around Tauranga Moana until her journey led to SociaLink where she convinced them they had just advertised “her” job. Eclectic in every way, her ultimate life goal is to be fully quirky when she grows up.
She’s pretty grown up:
- Holds a Diploma in Social Practice (Counselling).
- 11 years experience in facilitation in the areas of psycho-education, parenting, grief and domestic violence.
- Social sector programme/project implementation, management and coordination experience.
- 5 years as a Strengthening Families Coordinator in Tauranga/WBOP.
- Passionate about contributing to the wellbeing of individuals, whanau and community.
Communications – Media
Linda Thompson has been a journalist, author, communications specialist and editor for longer than anyone wants to remember.
Learning & Development
Kathy has been working in the social sector forever, and there is no one she doesn’t know.
She can get you anything you need, no questions asked; and often has an abundance of things that she would like to get rid of, anything from bookmarks to bunnies.
Lots of experience in:
- 10 years experience in community development with local government.
- 15 years experience with a variety of community organisations at staff and board level.
- A broad knowledge of the not for profit sector in the western Bay of Plenty and nationally.
Our Board are a committed bunch of people who work hard to build, empower and serve the social sector in the western Bay of Plenty. They bring a broad range of skills, knowledge and contacts to help us to drive forward and achieve our vision and mission.
Tessa Mackenzie joined the Trust in 2013 and brings with her over 17 years experience in the community and social sectors, specialising in collaborative family/community driven approaches to social change.
Over this period Tessa has worked in grass-roots to governance positions for community organisations and Government agency contracts, including many years as a Strengthening Families Coordinator/Facilitator in Tauranga Moana and Hauraki. Tessa has also represented community in local and international forums around topics such as early intervention for under 6’s, youth violence, and the social impacts of gold mining on community (Waihi).
In terms of academic achievements Tessa holds a Diploma in Homeopathy, Bachelors Degree in Social Policy, and a Post-graduate certificate in Professional Supervision (Social Work & Counseling).
Tessa also brings a broad range of lived experience, including being a grandmother, and the mother of four adult children. She is not afraid to challenge the status quo around social issues and believes we need to move towards a more relational, strengths based way of working, acknowledging Mātauranga Māori and the importance of learning to understand the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi in taking that journey of connection to each other as people, and to the land.
Amohaere has had a diverse and extensive career within the health sector. From first beginnings as a nurse aide in the Kawerau Maternity Hospital in the 1960s, Amohaere saw first-hand, the needs of Māori whanau for culturally appropriate services.
For the past 30 years, Amohaere has been a staunch and consistent advocate for tikanga based services for Maori whanau within health and social services. She has actively supported the establishment of kaupapa Maori service provision within mainstream health services in Auckland, Rotorua and Whakatane.
In 2018, Amohaere recently retired as the Regional Director of Māori Health, under the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB). A vital aspect of her role as Regional Director was to establish and maintain, on behalf of the BOPDHB, vital and respectful relationships with the 18 Iwi within the Bay of Plenty region.
Amohaere now sits on a number of governance boards and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her governance roles especially as they relate to kaupapa Maori service provision and tikanga-based practice. She is also acutely aware of the necessary relationships that are required with whanau, hapu and Iwi in order to progress initiatives involving Maori.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to Māori health development the title of Distinguished Fellow – Māori health Sciences (Nursing) was bestowed upon Amohaere by Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.
Amohaere was born in Whakatane and raised in Otākiri, a rural Bay of Plenty settlement. Her iwi affiliations are Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngāti Maniapoto.
Ko Mauao te maunga, Ko Tauranga te Moana
Ko Takitimu te waka, ko Ngati Ranginui te iwi,
Ko Ngai Tamarāwaho, Ko Ngāti Kahu ngā hapū
Ko Huria, ko Wairoa ngā marae
Ko Wiremu Matthews toku ingoa
Wiremu has worked mostly in health and wellbeing over the last 20 years from pharmacist, to gym owner and personal trainer, hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing) coach, executive coach in wellbeing and leadership, to kaupapa Māori primary health and wellbeing services within Manawa Ora (the Centre for Health), and Poutiri Trust.
He has been on several boards in both commercial and non-profit entities and enjoys co-designing strategic plans and measurables that address root causes.
As owner and director of Kānuka Wellbeing and Leadership he and his team teach timeless principles and values (including those of te ao Māori) through workshops and seminars, and then support people via coaching to implement these in their day-to-day lives, as individuals, within their whānau, within hapū and work teams, and into community.
“We believe learning and living these principles (ngā taonga tuku iho) together more effectively will create the environment we need to flourish as deeply connected people in a community that supports, uplifts, and strengthens.”
Treasurer and Trustee
Nigel is currently the CEO of Priority One, the economic agency for the Western Bay of Plenty. His background is in digital marketing and media.
He has significant commercial experience and knowledge gained from a wide ranging background in small and large companies within the private sector. In his role with Priority One his area of focii are:
- Fostering innovation
- Creating a compelling destination
- A hub for skills & talent
- Connecting & collaborating
- Investment attraction
All key areas for SociaLink – a great alignment.
Lynda joined the SociaLink board a while ago now. She has highly developed skills in strategy development and system design and has had extensive experience leading central government departments in this area.
She is a long standing Rotary member and a member of the Graeme Dingle Foundation board. A family focused person who brings extensive experience and knowledge to our sector.
Ko Mauao me Moehau ngā maunga
Ko Te Awanui, ko Waihou me Tikapa ngā moana
Ko Mātaatua me Tainui ngā waka
Ko Toroa me Marutūāhu ngā tūpuna
Ko Ngāi Te Rangi me Ngāti Tamaterā ngā iwi
Ko Ngāi Tūwhiwhia, ko Ngāti Tauaiti, ko Ngāi Tamawhariua me Ngāti Pinenga ngā hapū
Ko Opureora, ko Te Rereatukāhia me Te Pai-o-Hauraki ngā marae
Ko Anaru ahau
Tihei mauri ora – Read more about Anaru here
Soifua was born in Tonga but has called Tauranga Moana home for over 16 years.
She is Tātāriki Rautaki for Waiariki Whānau Mentoring and has spent many years within the community and social services sector in various roles between frontline, management and governance.
Her passions for the sector include celebrating cultural intelligence, activating organisational success and supporting safe collaborative practice. She is keen to be part of a team that shares knowledge and values authentic relationships.
Her favourite job is mum to five fānau who continue to ground her by reminding her daily that she’s not that good at TikTok. She is grateful that she can be a parent as part of a supportive village made up of her kāinga from Niuafo’ou and Ha’apai.
Mel Tata (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ranginui Iwi.
She has spent 15 years working in Māori health and has a background in social work.
Mel says she is committed to Māori achievement and prosperity, seeking and sharing opportunity through meaningful relationships.
She has a passion for governance, particularly co-governance models.