Meet our Senior Leadership Team
WALSHtrust has been supporting Waitakere communities for over 30 years. Our mental health support team provides services and information to help individuals and whānau maintain their mental health and live well.
The team behind our mental health support team at the forefront of WALSHtrust meets on a regular basis. We are privileged to have such a wide range of knowledge and expertise in the field of community mental health services available to us.
I started working in the mental health sector in 1993. Prior to this, I had worked for 10 years as a dairy farmer, farming 360 acres near Waitoki, north Auckland.
My first role was a part-time job, 20 hours per week. I worked to establish an employment service for people who experience poor mental health. It was a tough ask and a period that offered a very rich stream of learning.
My first lesson was discovering that one of the principal barriers standing in the way of people looking to recover from poor mental health (and get a job) was the mental health system itself. The first “crisis meeting” I attended was the outcome of a person getting a job for 32 hours per week. She wasn’t able to meet her Community Nurse until the evenings. Unfortunately, her nurse finished work at 5.00 pm.
In 2003, I was offered the role of Chief Executive of WALSH Trust. My first priority was recruiting a highly skilled, dedicated, creative management team. They then successfully disrupted WALSH Trust’s developmental pathway, purpose and vision.
- Shifting the organisational culture from “not for profit” charity to a vibrant, charitable business.
- Introducing a professional, intentional, future-focused approach to management and leadership. One that utilised stakeholder engagement, consensus building and teaming.
- Introducing a strategic agenda to guide planning, development, and accountability and led by a clear vision.
- Establishing and growing an equity base to ensure a solid financial foundation and sustainability.
While ensuring an effective business structure to deliver services I am adamant in my conviction.
“….recovery focused, peer-led, trauma-informed service responses that are based upon social determinants of health and well-being, and that are delivered in partnership with engaged communities, have the greatest potential to make a positive difference to people struggling to live their lives through mental distress.”
HR, Quality & Organisational Development Manager
In 2001, I arrived in New Zealand from Argentina where I had trained as a psychologist. For the past 18 years, I have worked in mental health within community organisations. I also completed a Master’s in Applied Social Work from Massey University during this time. As a registered Social Worker and Addiction Practitioner with the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association (DAPAANZ), I work in organisational development and quality improvement.
I am proud to be able to support the teams at WALSH Trust and witness their great work supporting the well-being of people in our West Auckland communities.
Service Manager Housing & Recovery Services
Service Manager Integrated Practice Team Te Moana
Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, I moved to Aotearoa to complete my Social Work Degree. After completing my degree, I decided to stay. Aotearoa has been my home now for nearly 10 years. I have held professional roles within the mental health sector for 7 years and I joined WALSH Trust in 2017.
Being one of the Service Managers of our Integrated Practice Team is a privilege, and I’m passionate about improving the well-being of our community.
Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family and going for long walks on the beach.
Service Manager Integrated Practice Team Te Rangi
Fakaalofa lahi atu, my name is April. I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Auckland and am now a registered social worker. In 2017, I started working at WALSH Trust as a mental health community support worker. I now sit on the Senior Leadership Team as a Service Manager.
Our core focus is supporting Tangata whai ora using the Te Whare Tapa whā model.
It is an ongoing learning and rewarding experience to work in the mental health sector.
Service Manager Integrated Practice Team Te Whenua
Kia ora my name is Jayne Gray and I am the Service Manager for one of our three Integrated Practice Teams here at WALSH Trust.
Having started my journey with WALSH as a Peer Support Worker, I now lead our Wellbeing Facilitator (Lived Experience) team. My recovery from my own lived experience of mental health and addiction issues has enabled huge empathy for the community that we support. Through my role as a Service Manager, I lead my team to treat others as they would like to be treated. All people have the right to be heard and understood within our mental health sector. I am focussed on support outcomes that show we are making a difference within our community.
A graduate of an Addictions degree, I am also a Registered Health Professional through DAPAANZ (Drug and Alcohol Practitioner Association, Aotearoa, NZ). With this knowledge, I am able to guide and review support for people who have co-existing issues of mental health and addiction.
Service Manager Maternal Services
I’m a Mexican woman and I spent the first 32 years of my life in Mexico, where I completed a medical degree and later psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry training.
In 2016, I relocated to New Zealand. Since then, Auckland has been my home.
I have worked for WALSH Trust’s Maternal Mental Health Services in different positions. Since April 2020, I have had the privilege to work as the Service Manager for He Kākano Ora.