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Meet the Team

Tūtakina ngā Kaimahi

Mums4Mums Trustees / Ngā Kaitarahiti o ‘Mā Māmā, Mō Māmā’

CJ Dafoe

Founder & Managing Trustee

Making a difference in the community is what drives CJ – she loves being a part of Mums4Mums and hearing the success stories from the whānau who have been blessed by having the Mums4Mums volunteers assisting them in the first weeks and months of being a new mum.

She personally knows how hard it can be being a new mother and was so grateful for the help of her friends when she became a mum.

Now she gets to return the favour and in a much bigger way.

Prabha Ravi, QSM, JP

Trustee

Prabha is an Independent Director, Management Consultant, Facilitator, Assessor, Coach, and a Mentor. She sits on various local, national, and international not-for-profit boards. She is currently the Co-Chair of Community Governance Aotearoa.

Prabha is also the founder, producer, director and choreographer of Natraj School of Dance, a well-established and reputed Indian classical dance school based in Lower Hutt since 1999.

She has been recognised with several national, regional and community awards including The Queen Services Medal by the New Zealand government in 2017, Hutt City Mayoral Civic Honour Awards for Cultural Affairs and Community Group in 2011 for her contribution to dance and ethnic communities, and more recently a special commemoration Award by Indiannewslink at their business awards for leadership qualities and management experience. She was a Finalist for Wellingtonian of the Year Award in 2016 for Education and is a Justice of Peace.

Tamra Steens

Trustee

Tamra is passionate about families as she believes they are the foundation that knits society together - and māmā and pēpi are the heart of that.

She grew up in Tauranga, to where she has returned after studies and other pursuits led her elsewhere, including Dunedin, Wellington, and Auckland.

She holds a BCom in Management and a BA in Psychology from the University of Otago and a PgDip in Geography (GIS) from the University of Waikato.

Tamra currently works as Practice Liason and Systems Admin for a local PHO, where she is on the journey of discovering more about Tikanga Māori and her own Māori heritage. She sits on the Clinical Governance Board where she provides data and represents the PHO.

Tamra is happy to be contributing to such a worthy cause and hopes her skills and background will prove valuable with Mums4Mums.

Graham Cooney

Trustee

Graham is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management. He was National President of the later in 1987/1988. 

He was a founding director of Blue Sky Meats (NZ) Ltd, a public meat exporting company which employs about 350 staff and has a turnover of more than $100 million. The company was formed in 1986 and Graham was Chair from 2007 to 2016, when he retired from the board.

 Graham was on the Council of the Southern Institute of Technology for 11 years, including being Chair from 2002 to 2011. During this time, zero fees were introduced and despite charging no fees, cash assets grew from about $2 million to $30 million. 

He was an independent appointee to the Rugby Southland board in 1998 and Chair from 2007 to 2010. Graham was the Rugby Southland representative on the Highlanders franchise board (1999 – 2006) and was elected to the board of NZ Rugby in 2010. Six years on that board included 3 as Rugby committee Chair, 5 on the Audit and Risk committee and representing NZR on the Crusaders board following the Christchurch earthquake. 

In 2012, Graham was a ministerial appointee to the NZ Racing Board, where he was Chair of the Dates, Net Proceeds Committee and Combined Racing Integrity Group as well as a member of the Audit and Risk committee.

Other governance roles covered club and regional sport, national meat industry bodies, a computing company, a local Government trading company and independent Chair of a law firm. Graham now lives in Tauranga.

Dianne Perrett

Trustee

Dianne worked in a broad range of service industries before departing New Zealand’s shores for London.  She was in the UK for 4½ years at a leading full-service marketing agency.

She moved to South Africa in 1989 and founded several businesses: an advertising agency, corporate promotional clothing company, publishing company, and an adventure activity website portal.  

After selling all but the adventure business, Dianne decided to concentrate on business strategy and public speaking, which also took her beyond the South African borders.

She successfully complete work in Australia, the UK, Holland, Kenya and Zambia, and her client base has been broad, both in terms of size and sectors, ranging from start-up entrepreneurial businesses to international corporates and professional practices.

She is also a published author of Simple Solutions to Effective Marketing.

Dianne has held:

  • Chair of IMM (Institute of Marketing Management) - KZN Inland Region

  • First female member - Rotary Club of Pietermaritzburg - Board Director (2006/07)

  • Board Non-Executive - St John’s DSG (1996-2010)

  • Board Non-Executive - WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa), Vice-Chair of the Board (2007 to 2015).

  • Board Non-Executive - Grace College (2015-2021). Chairing the Strategic and Marketing sub-committees.

  • Currently:  Board Vice-Chair - Sunfield Home, Howick, South Africa (a home for intellectually impaired adults)

  • In addition, she chairs a number of her clients’ Board and ManCo meetings.

Dianne is married to Keith, a retired veterinary epidemiologist,

and they have two children who both teach in Dubai.

Dhara Shyamal

Trustee

Dhara is an MBA graduate from the University of Auckland and has over ten years’ experience in Supply Chain, Finance, and Marketing. She has worked at start-ups, socially-driven organisations and manufacturing plants, and brings in the commercial acumen along with an inherent empathy and aroha. She has a strategic and action-driven approach that promotes a collaborative environment for growth. She enjoys looking at challenges and has a knack for coming up with innovative solutions that are conducive to productivity and building efficiency.

Dhara is passionate about the betterment of women, tamariki and their experiences together. Being a mum of two, she has experienced many challenges and now, wants to find ways to support others in navigating the challenges of motherhood.

She is a strong believer that everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed, but often, not everybody gets the same opportunities. She has a unique set of skills, strong sense of integrity, and passion to make a difference in the society that we live in. She works hard and is incredibly grateful for the blessings in her life and now, she wants to give back to the community and do whatever she can to build a better society for our future generations.

Mums4Mums Coordinators & Admin Team / 
Ngā Kairuruku/Kaiwhakahaere o ‘Mā Māmā, Mō Māmā’

Paige Saxby

Operations Manager

Paige, her husband and their baby girl moved to the Bay of Plenty in early 2022, to be closer to her husband’s parents. They wanted their little girl to grow up with her grandparents around, and to have them as support.

Paige is very passionate about the work that Mums4Mums is doing in our community, supporting mums and their whānau. When she became a first-time mum, she learned how hard it was to navigate the new world that you suddenly find yourself in.

Her career prior to becoming a mum was in big-box retail management, focusing on HR and people management. Paige also worked with a startup business as a customer service and HR manager. She enjoys challenges and variety within roles to keep her on my toes.

In her free time, she loves to read, watch movies, go for walks, and spend time in her garden. Paige's husband likes to say that she has far too many houseplants!

Bobby-Lea Cassidy

Regional Coordinator - Tauranga

Bobby-Lea and her husband and their two children live in Mount Maunganui. Her children are now school age and she now has a little more time and energy to volunteer. When the opportunity arose to help with the Mums4Mums collective, she knew this would be a very fulfilling role.

Bobby-Lea also has a part-time role as the front of house for Baycourt Community Theatre and enjoys volunteering for the PTA of her children's primary school.

She looks forward to helping Mums4Mums grow, and helping those mums that need a little more help than what the system can provide.

Ma te pa te tamaiti e whakatipu – it takes a village to raise a child.

Rachael Wheeler

Regional Coordinator, Accounting

Rachael is a mother of two school-aged children and three fur babies (2x cats, 1x puppy). She remembers now how overwhelmed, sleep deprived and unsupported she was with her second child and became a version of herself she did not recognise. 

​This is why she is so passionate about helping other mums who are doing their best but need a little extra TLC. Rachael has a background in Nannying and In-Home Care as well as working in various admin roles, including the Health and Safety Sector. 

She has a love of dance, photography and gardening/indoor plants. Rachael is looking forward to growing with Mums4Mums and meetings new families and their new bundles of love. 

Shelley Nikora

Regional Coordinator Whakatāne 

Shelley and her husband have 2 young children and live just out of Whakatane in a rural area named Ruatoki. She has a background in careers and employment and more recently childcare.

Shelley knows personally what it is like to feel isolated and unsupported as a new Mama and how challenging those first few months can be. She is passionate about supporting other Mamas who just need an extra hand or someone to confide in.

She loves music particularly singing and playing the keyboard. Weekends are all about whanau time and exploring the outdoors – fishing, gardening, bushwalks, swimming in the awa (in the summer) with her Tamariki.

Sarah McAlpine

Regional Coordinator - Rotorua

Sarah and her husband and their three children have lived in Rotorua since returning from some time overseas at the end of 2015.  Sarah has worked in Early Childhood Education for over 20 years and has held various positions from Nanny to Centre Director.  Sarah is a registered ECE Teacher and is currently relieving in centers throughout Rotorua.  She also runs her own art business.

When not busy with her other joys in life, she tries to find time to go to the gym, on walks, grab a coffee and catch up with friends and family.

Sarah welcomes this initiative in Rotorua and is looking forward to spreading the word about our wonderful organisation to her friends, family and community.

Sukhwant Kaur Malhi

Volunteer Coordinator

With more than 10-years’ experience in hospitality management after completing her studies in Business Management specializing in Hospitality Level 7, Sukhwant is changing gears and bringing her expertise, knowledge and customer service skill set to Mums4Mums as our Volunteer Coordinator. Sukhwant and her husband originally arrived in New Zealand in 2014 from India via Singapore and have called New Zealand home since then. Their twin boys were born in November 2020 and were our very first Mums4Mums family and the reason our charity started. This is a full circle experience for Sukhwant going from receiving the TLC and support from our volunteers to now being able to work as our Volunteer Coordinator and providing support to them.

Want to become part of the Mums4Mums team? / Kei te hiahia piri mai koe ki a ‘Mā Māmā, Mō Māmā’?    

If you have a particular expertise you wish to bring to us as a Consultant, Patron or Trustee, click the button below to find out more.