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NZRDA Board Members

Sarah Haydon - Chair

Sarah has been on the board since October 2010, and was appointed Chair in September 2011. Her involvement with RDA started back in 1994 when she first volunteered at Auckland Eastern Suburbs Group RDA, where she is now Vice President.

She is the Chair of Cavalier Corporation Limited (NZX listed company), a Council Member for Unitec, an Executive Committee Member of Waste Disposal Services, a Director of the Co-Operative Bank Limited and GNS Science Limited and an associate of The Boardroom Practice Limited.

Prior to becoming a director and consultant, Sarah was Chief Financial Officer of OfficeMax New Zealand for ten years. Other companies where Sarah has worked include BP, both in the UK and on international project work, and with TVNZ following her emigration to NZ. Sarah qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London.

Sarah has an extensive background in strategic planning, finance, general management and organisational development. She has led very large teams of people and has strong HR and people skills and is passionate about bringing out the best in people.

Fiona Wilson (RDA Member)

Fiona has been a volunteer for nine years at Auckland Eastern Suburbs Group RDA. Fiona has been in charge of the Wednesday morning session for the last seven years, and was awarded the NZRDA Coach of the Year in 2014.  She recently joined the equine team at Ambury Park Centre, working there four days a week (having previously both volunteered and worked in their Therapy programme), has trained as an Operational Certificate Reviewer and is a Volunteer Training Facilitator.

She also continues with her 25 years in the modelling and TV presenting industries, having spent many years filming TV commercials for various brands and speaking/presenting roles as well as assisting voluntary organisations with hosting fashion parades as fundraisers.

In Fiona’s own words of introduction she says “I will offer the Board a grass roots approach to what Groups are discovering is required, and be able to communicate some of the challenges we face”.

Gavin Whiting (Co-opted Member)

Gavin joined the NZRDA board in 2011 as a co-opted member and holds a Human Resources portfolio. Since joining the board he has played an integral role in the enhancement of Operational Standards and H&S Compliance.

He is currently self-employed as a consultant fixing businesses primarily in the manufacturing sector. Gavin has held a variety of senior operational roles with Fletchers over the past 20 years except when he ran his own business coaching firm for 5 of those years.

Gavin and his wife Vivienne own a lifestyle block just north of Christchurch where they have 5 young horses. He is EAGALA trained and has completed Levels 1 & 2 of Kathy Pike's EFLC Apprenticeship programme. He also counts himself lucky to have learned horsemanship from some of the best including Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, and Ken Dromgool.

Sally Wenley (Co-opted Member)

Sally joined the Board of NZRDA in February 2014.  Amongst her many other skills she is able to provide a disability perspective to the Board.  Sally has over 20 years journalism experience covering radio television and print.  She is a four times winner of Qantas Media Awards.

Donna Kennedy (RDA Member)

Jane Neale (RDA Member)


National Office Staff

Chris Hooper - Chief Executive Officer

Rachelle Perkins - Finance and Administration

Dna Wells - National Training Manager

Jill Paterson - Training Coordinator

Louise Robinson - Communications Co-ordinator

Ingrid Kamstra - Fundraising

Kylie MacDonald - Qualifications Advisor



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