Meet the Board – The governance team behind WALSH Trust
WALSH Trust is a charitable trust and leading provider of community mental health and employment support services in West Auckland. A vital part of the community for more than 30 years, the Trust’s commitment to its clients and their families, as well as the wider community, has been recognised by the awards achieved, attesting to how much value this group brings.
Suzanne Sinclair – ONZM
I have had the privilege to chair the WALSH Trust since 2003 and work with Board members committed to making a difference in the lives of people with mental health issues by providing excellent, value-based services in and for the community.
In the past, I have worked in and for Government, served the community as an MP, City Councillor and Community Board member. I came to WALSH Trust with an understanding of the impact of mental health on members of my whanau and that everyone needs and deserves to be heard and supported, particularly through tough times.
My governance experience at many levels has strengthened my belief and determination that the purpose NGOs exist is for the vital role they play in contributing to positive societal impact and the importance of good decision making, to make the choices that create the future for the community they serve.
My life experience as a mother and grandmother and now older member of society, has taught me resilience, the need to be flexible and more importantly to enjoy change and have fun.
I joined the WALSH Trust Board in December 2016 and identify as Tangata Tiriti.
I am a real people person who is passionate about community, mental health, literacy, communication skills and learning te reo Māori as part of my own decolonisation journey.
Over my career, I have worked in a wide range of roles, including workshop facilitator, workplace literacy and communication skills tutor, debt coach, family court registrar, and pastoral care. I am also currently an Independent Celebrant and Chair of Te Atatū Baptist Governance Board.
Finance Risk & Audit Committee Chairman
I have extensive experience in public service (Fiji and New Zealand) including finance, public housing and community development. I was invited to join the WALSH Trust Board in 1993 and am currently Chairman of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee.
I am involved with a number of other charitable and community organisations in addition to serving as a Director of Tamaki Redevelopment Company Limited and its associated companies. I am a proud resident of West Auckland.
MBS: Management; Dip. Social Sciences: Psychology, RN
I trained as a nurse in the Netherlands and since arriving in New Zealand in 1990, have worked in the disability and mental health sectors where I managed community, residential and vocational services. Roles have included positions as Funding and Planning Manager for Mental Health and Addiction at the Waitematā DHB, Sector Relationship Manager for the National Depression Initiative, Regional Manager aged residential care services and General Manager, Operations for Plunket NZ. I have also been actively involved in local, regional and national primary mental health development.
At present, I am General Manager for Early Childhood Education Kindergarten Associations in Auckland.
My association with WALSH Trust goes back to early 2000 and Funding and Planning Manager for WDHB, and later as a WALSH Trust Board member since about 2012.
I have worked in West Auckland Commercial Real Estate for 40 years, founding Commercial West Ltd in 1991. I have always had a passion for working in the West Auckland business environment and enjoy the reputation of being honest, hardworking and genuine. Those characteristics saw me being asked to become a member of the WALSH Trust Board in 1996 and I remained an active member of the Trust for ten years before stepping down. In 2018 I was asked if I would rejoin the Board to bring my commercial skill set and commitment to West Auckland back to the WALSH Trust.
I was born in Liverpool and emigrated to New Zealand in 1972 and have lived in Gisborne and Lower Hutt, and for the past 22 years, I have been fortunate to live in the beautiful Bethells valley.
My professional qualifications are a BA in Psychology and Sociology and an Honours degree in Organisational and Industrial Psychology. During the last 22 years, I have worked for a number of NGOs providing community mental health services in the Auckland region. I was a senior manager with WALSH Trust for 10 years which, along with my personal experience, has provided me with good knowledge and understanding of the needs required by individuals, their whanau and communities to support and improve health and wellbeing. I was proud to join the Trust Board in February 2022 enabling me to continue to make a contribution after retiring. I see it as vital that we work collaboratively within the community to break down inequalities and improve opportunities, by providing quality services that are relevant and responsive to what people and their whanau tell us they need to enable them to live well.
David Lui JP
I am a graduate of the University of Canterbury, starting my career in marketing before making a career change in 1995 to work in mental health. I am a believer in the marketing concept that the “customer is always right” and have advocated for consumer and community to be front and centre in the design and delivery of health services. I have been involved at all levels, from a frontline worker and practitioner to manager and governance level.
In recent years I have been involved with consumer issues. I have served as Chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee for Pharmac (2014 -2020) and was the inaugural Chair of the WDHB Consumer Council (2019-2021).
I have experience at governance level, having served on the Board of Mental Health Foundation for 12 years, HealthWest PHO (3 years), school BOT (32years) and am a current member of the WDHB Board. When not spending time with my family of seven children and 14 grandchildren, I serve as an active volunteer for church and community organisations.
Born in Christchurch, I spent a lot of my young life on a friend’s farm in the south and have lived most of my life in West Auckland.
I am a proud father of four older children, two girls and two boys.
I learned a lot at a young age by assisting my father, who was a motor mechanic. I began work as a drainlayer. I joined the NZ Post Office, training originally as a skilled linesman and have seen the industry go through many changes from the NZPO, to Telecom, then Spark Ltd.
I got involved early on in my career with international subsea telecommunications cables, where my engineering knowledge has served well. I am still working in the same field for NEC NZ Ltd, working mostly on the Southern Cross Cable network as a field engineer.
I’ve been on the WALSH Trust Board for over 30 years, from near the Trust’s beginning. I very much enjoy being able to contribute back to the community through the WALSH Trust.
Tena koutou kua huihui mai nei
E mihi ana ki nga mana whenua
Ko Te Toiokawharu te maunga te ru nei taku ngakau
Ko whau te awa e mahea nei aku maharahara
Kei te noho au kei New Lynn, Tamaki Makaurau.
My passion has been the development of sustainable hubs of Hauora and well-being within local communities, with a social justice focus. Maternal mental health, employment, and social housing have been my keen focus for the past two decades and I readily support WALSH Trust in this. I am on the Board of Trustees of various initiatives related to these endeavours. As a trained Rakau Raroa (Tall Tree), I share my Lived Experience through social media and storytelling.
I have a background as a Registered Nurse, having held both staff and Charge Nurse positions on the Plastic Surgery Unit, Middlemore Hospital and Acute Adult Inpatient Unit, Auckland. I was Charge Nurse in In-service Education before the closure of large psychiatric hospitals in Auckland and was one of a team to develop and work on Mental Health Training Services based at Greenlane Hospital Auckland. The team’s main focus was the upskilling, reskilling and embedding of the mental health workforce for the new mental health services in and around Auckland in the 1990s. Amongst other training, the team was mandated to develop and train people for a ‘new role’ of health worker in Aotearoa New Zealand – that of mental health support worker.
Following this period, I was the preferred provider for ADHB for a number of years.
I have held positions as Co-ordinator and Discipline Lead on Level 4 programmes at Unitec Institute of Technology, with a focus on the support work programme.
Currently, I work as a lecturer on the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Programme at Unitec Institute of Technology.
I have had past experience of community development, being the Chair of the Ranui Action Project. This project was directly funded by government through MSD with local council support. The project was a grassroots community development initiative and has a life in Ranui to this day.
I have had a long-standing relationship with WALSH Trust, training the first staff of the service, being at the opening of Te Whare Rata and having the privilege to work alongside Elaine Underwood.
A saying I hold near is:
“People don’t know how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Outside of work I enjoy singing in choirs, handcrafts and gardening.
I am of Croatian, Pakeha and Ngāpuhi descent and live in Tamaki Makaurau with my whānau.
As an experienced leader in mental health and wellbeing, I have broad experience across the health and community sector. I have worked in a range of roles, from Principal Advisor and Programme Director for the Ministry of Health, to Senior Planner and Funder with Counties Manukau DHB, through to National Operations Manager for a large community care provider.
My professional qualifications include a BSc in Psychology & Biology, PGCertHS Community Development, PGDipSc in Psychology and am currently completing my MSc in Psychology.
I have an in-depth understanding of the New Zealand health system and a strong commitment to strength-based approaches that enable people to enhance their health and wellbeing and thrive. I am passionate about addressing inequity and understand the importance of working collaboratively to ensure the best health outcomes for our communities.