Elizabeth Chesterman (Chairperson) Elizabeth is the Chief Executive of the Cancer Society Canterbury West Coast Division. She is a qualified Social Worker with work experience in Family Health Counselling, Adult Education, Cancer Support Services and Alzheimer's New Zealand.
Therese Arseneau(Deputy Chairperson) Joined the FHT board in 2012. Senior Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Canterbury. Chairperson Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Previously TV1 Q and A panel member.
Jane Tappenden Jane is a partner at local law firm, Cuningham Taylor, where she specialises in property law. She brings a legal perspective to Board matters. She believes that providing assistance at the earliest possible opportunity results in the best outcomes, particularly for children. These days her greatest teacher is her young daughter.
Judge Noel Walsh Noel works as a District Court Judge in the Christchurch Family, Youth & Criminal courts. He practised Law in Christchurch and New Plymouth, worked as a Relationships Services counsellor in New Plymouth, and in 1999 was appointed as a District Court Judge.
Beatrice Cheer Beatrice has a background in media and communications with experience in New Zealand and New York City. Most recently she has specialised in event marketing. Beatrice is married with a young son. She is also the Chairperson of the FHT Funding Committee
Charles Knibb (treasurer) Charles is a Chartered Accountant of some 28 years, currently a sole practitioner. He has a particular interest in achieving something better in life for children, than what we constantly are reading in the media.
Iwi affiliations Ngai Tahu, Waitaha, Kati Mamoe, Kati Ruahikihiki te Hapu, Te Rau Aroha te Marae. Senior Adjunct Fellow and Kaumatua of Social Work University of Canterbury, Kaumatua Te Awatea Violence Research Centre. Jim has a particular research interest in the supervisory processes for Maori social workers and contemporary social attitudes within a cross-cultural context.
Rae Ewing Rae is a psychologist and former school principal. She has worked extensively with children with severely challenging behaviours and their families. Much of her work has focused on modifying learning environments.
Janetta Skiba Janetta is a registered nurse with a background in acute care nursing including Intensive Care and Paediatrics. Janetta has held both senior health management and advisory roles, and brings the skills of a health professional, an administrator, and a background of volunteer work in NGOs to the Trust.
Yvonne Chrichton-Hill (PhD candidated) Yvonne is Samoan and joined the FHT board in 2013. She has a wealth of experience in the family violence sector, particularly with the PI population. A long standing expert in social work practice and a previous Chairperson of the Pacific Trust, Canterbury.
Superintendant Andy McGregor Andy has been a police officer since 1980 and is currently commander for the Christchurch metro area. After February 2011 he was officer in charge of the police response to the Canterbury earthquakes. As an active sponsor of youth development programmes he sees the benefit of these in keeping people and communities safe, just as FHT’s service does.
The following people are previous Chairpersons of the Family Help Trust:
Dr Annabel Taylor 2006 - 2013 Dr Taylor has been a major influence on the research direction that Family Help Trust has taken for over ten years. At the time of her resignation as Chairperson she was a senior lecturer in the Social Work Department at Canterbury Uni, and with background in community and prison social work, she teaches social policy and social work practice, is on the Benefit Review Committee in Christchurch, and is Director of the Awatea Violence Research Centre.
Sally Thompson QSM, 2000 - 2006 Sally is an Early Childhood educator with wide interests, particularly in out-of-school care, parenting and the disability sector. Sally has a strong interest in local government and represented Shirly Papanui Community Board for a number of years as well as completing a term as a City Councillor. She was a member of the Canterbury Community Trust (2007-2011) and is currently a trustee of the Marrolomeda Trust, a board member of the Styx Living Laboratory and a member of Victim Support local committee. A nana of four wonderful grandchildren.
Paul Fitzharris, 1996 - 2000 During the early 1990s as the District Commander of Police for Christchurch, Paul looked for programmes outside the Government sector that promised most to the community in reducing crime. "I saw that the Family Help Trust offered this - not from a gut feeling, but because it was supported through reputable research and offered then the best programmes to not only achieve this, but also provide broader positive outcomes for families and the community."
Karen Guilliland MNZM, 1993 - 1996 Karen has been a long time leader of midwifery in New Zealand, and as such was a most appropropiate Chairperson for Family Help Trust given her absolute commitment to the health and welfare of infants and children. Since those early days Karen has gained significant experience in board directorships, advisory groups and policy development for maternity services. (2012) She is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand College of Midwives.
George Walker 1991 - 1993
Geoge was on the original steering committee that developed what was then called the Christchurch Theraputic Trust, changing its name to Family Help Trust in 1994. He has several directorates with successful local compaanies and for over 40 years, until his retirement, was Senior Director of Walker Davey a well known firm of accountants with a history that can be traced back to 1923.
Harry Eyre-Cohen, 1990 - 1991 Harry was the first Chairperson of the Family Help Trust and was an original core group member of the steering committee during the establishment phase. Harry's primary interest, as a retired Clinical Psychologist of the Justice Department South Island region, was the synergy between the importance of infant/mother bonding and assisting chronic offenders take responsibility for their behaviours and to make lasting changes. "I saw Family Help Trust as having the potential to make a serious impact on breaking the cycle for intergenerational criminal offending with their service." Harry died in 2011, much beloved and much missed..