Safe Exit

Meet our some of our team and Board who guide us to tackle the significant issues impacting women and girls. Plus read a few staff stories and discover what they have planned at Good Shepherd NZ

Our People

Our People

Meet our team

Emma Saunders, Chief Executive

Emma is responsible for leading and driving the efforts and impact of Good Shepherd in Aotearoa. She brings experience in strategy, innovation and service design, and belief in equity, service and systems for strength. Emma has always gravitated towards tackling significant issues that compound disadvantage for people, particularly women. She was born and raised in Te Awakairangi / Lower Hutt. 

Our Board

Marian Kleist, Interim Chair

Marian has many years’ experience in social services, and has held senior management roles in a variety of organisations working with asylum seekers and refugees, families with a member experiencing major mental health issues, people who have been sexually abused, and victims of crime. She serves on the New Zealand Parole Board, has been a social worker in women’s health and worked for the probation service. Marian remains committed to improving the lives of women and children.

Sr Teresa

Sr Teresa Donworth

Sr Teresa is a founding member of the Good Shepherd NZ Board. After working in finance she joined the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and has been involved in many ministries in the residential, community and institutional settings. Sr Teresa spent 15 years as a prison chaplain, and eight years with The Trading Circle, and is particularly interested in supporting people to realise their potential through employment.

Sara-Jane Elika

Sara-Jane is an admitted Barrister and Solicitor to the High Court of New Zealand and a strategic management consultant with a background in media, creative enterprise and education. Her passion for contemporary Pacific music has gained national and international recognition including published academia in ethnomusicology. As an independent director in governance, her key strengths include leadership analysis, stakeholder engagement, employment relations, policy and cultural intelligence.

Ally Gibbons

Ally was born and raised in Rotorua and is part of a strong Te Arawa extended whānau. Both her language and her tikanga are important to her. Her 40 years in education has been closely aligned to the achievement of young Māori women, and she was principal at Rotorua Girls’ High School when it was awarded the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence in Governing Award/Te Awatea Award. She has 15 years of governance experience in the Education Sector and led school reform projects in the United Arab Emirates.

Anne Astin

Anne is an experienced Board member, Chairperson and Executive with more than 25 years of working in the areas of education and science, the food, beverage and pharmaceuticals industries, food safety regulation, energy, land management, environment, and social services. Anne is passionate about advocating for those in our societies who are not able to do so, promoting women in leadership, sustainability in the food industry, and elevating organisational governance. 

Staff stories

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You can also make a donation, or set up a recurring donation, by contacting us directly

Nicola Eccleton

Head of Purpose and Impact

Nicola is responsible for ensuring we achieve our purpose and grow our impact across our services and activities. She is responsible for communications, research, evaluation, advocacy and developing new projects and partnerships to achieve our mission. Nicola brings to the role a broad range of experience across small business, education, community development and social services. 

Natalie Vincent

Head of Financial Wellbeing

Natalie is responsible for all Good Shepherd NZ’s microfinance activities, including Good Loans, DEBTsolve and Drive. Natalie is also responsible for managing partnerships in the microfinance and broader financial inclusion sector for the benefit of financially excluded New Zealanders. She brings significant social sector experience, including previously as Chief Executive of Ngā Tāngata Microfinance. 


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