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Youth representation New Zealand Youth representation New Zealand

Everyone has heard of the YMCA but not many know all the things we do. Perhaps it is because we do so much! What we do know is that most people are really surprised when they learn the extent of the work done by the Y in New Zealand.


The first thing we at the YMCA would like everyone to understand is that we are first and foremost a national community organisation. We work for every New Zealander and we want to engage with every New Zealander in a way that is positive. Sure, at heart we are youth centred but we work with people of all ages. It’s summed up in our by-line:

We Build Strong Kids, Strong Families, Strong Communities.


It's not just a slogan – we really believe that by helping children and young people to thrive, they will make great adults and parents. By working together with families, we strengthen that most important relationship of all – family/whanau.


Building on that, we believe that connected communities are strong communities and strong communities make a great New Zealand society.

Management
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Chris Knol

NCEO/General Secretary

Chris has recently joined YMCA as National Chief Executive Officer (NCEO). His commitment to be a strong voice for and community builder is well known in sport, recreation and education. Chris' past employment includes the Hillary Commission, New Zealand Mountain Safety Council and Outdoors New Zealand. He has worked extensively throughout his career toward developing and providing recreation opportunities for the people and communities he has served. Chris' role as NCEO is to continue to build a vibrant YMCA community throughout New Zealand with the organisation’s 10 regional associations. Chris is focused on enabling, supporting and strengthening YMCAs so they can continue to provide opportunities for all to belong to an inclusive, healthy and active community.

Chris has recently joined YMCA as National Chief Executive Officer (NCEO). His commitment to be a strong voice for and community builder is well knownin sport, recreation and education. Chris' past employment includes the Hillary Commission, New Zealand Mountain Safety Council and Outdoors New Zealand. He has worked extensively throughout his career toward developing and providing recreation opportunities for the people and communities he has served. Chris' role as NCEO is to continue to build a vibrant YMCA community throughout New Zealand with the organisation’s 10 regional associations. Chris is focused on enabling, supporting and strengthening YMCAs so they can continue to provide opportunities for all to belong to an inclusive, healthy and active community.

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Barbara Duley-Foote

Operations Manager

Barbara has worked for YMCA National for an impressive 20 years. Barbara joined YMCA National headquarters in 1999 and she’s been hooked ever since. Her favourite part of the role is communicating with all the local associations with whom she has built strong relationships. Barbara has become a part of the YMCA, or as she puts it, the YMCA has become part of her.

Barbara has worked for YMCA National for an impressive 20 years. Barbara joined YMCA National headquarters in 1999 and she’s been hooked ever since. Her favourite part of the role is communicating with all the local associations with whom she has built strong relationships. Barbara has become a part of the YMCA, or as she puts it, the YMCA has become part of her.

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Leona van der Heyden

General Manager Education

Leona joined the YMCA team in September 2020 as General Manager Education. Leona has an extensive background working in the Industry Training sector, leading the development, delivery and quality assurance of programmes. She views education as a key enabler for all, but particularly for our youth who may be struggling to find their direction and purpose. Leona specialises in leading the delivery of education outcomes with a focus on ensuring that the flexible needs of our learners are at the heart of everything the YMCA Education team provides.

Leona joined the YMCA team in September 2020 as General Manager Education. Leona has an extensive background working in the Industry Training sector, leading the development, delivery and quality assurance of programmes. She views education as a key enabler for all, but particularly for our youth who may be struggling to find their direction and purpose. Leona specialises in leading the delivery of education outcomes with a focus on ensuring that the flexible needs of our learners are at the heart of everything the YMCA Education team provides.

Board Directors
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Steve Clarke

President

Born and raised in Christchurch, Steve’s work history includes teaching, PR and marketing, sales and sales management, general management, HR consulting, finance and capital raising, consulting in professional services firm environment and civil service. In addition to his role with the Christchurch YMCA, Steve is involved in the sport of fencing as a coach; administrator; former NZ representative; International Referee (having officiated at Olympic and World Cup events); and manager of NZ teams at international events. He was the Oceanic Zone member of the World Youth Games Board, the entity that led to the establishment of the Youth Olympics.

Born and raised in Christchurch, Steve’s work history includes teaching, PR and marketing, sales and sales management, general management, HR consulting, finance and capital raising, consulting in professional services firm environment and civil service. In addition to his role with the Christchurch YMCA, Steve is involved in the sport of fencing as a coach; administrator; former NZ representative; International Referee (having officiated at Olympic and World Cup events); and manager of NZ teams at international events. He was the Oceanic Zone member of the World Youth Games Board, the entity that led to the establishment of the Youth Olympics.

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member

Eileen became involved with the YMCA as a Board member for Greater Wellington in 2018. She is sure that being part of several Y leadership programs as a teenager helped form her leadership skills today. She is keen to try and ensure that these programs deliver to today’s youth. Eileen has strong governance experience through her senior management roles. She is currently General Manager, Evidence and Insights at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) where she leads a branch to deliver evidence and insights to base policy decisions on and to monitor the current situation in various sectors.

Eileen became involved with the YMCA as a Board member for Greater Wellington Region in 2018. She is sure that being part of several Y leadership programs as a teenager helped form her leadership skills today. She is keen to try and ensure that these programs deliver to today’s youth. Eileen has strong governance experience through her senior management roles. She is currently General Manager, Evidence and Insights at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) where she leads a branch to deliver evidence and insights to base policy decisions on and to monitor the current situation in various sectors.

Eileen Basher

Vice President

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Matt Roberts

Board Director

Matt Roberts has been on the YMCA Board since 2013. He has a proven track record in leadership, business transformation, enhancing service levels, managing business and information systems risk, improving workflow processes and managing profitable relationships. He has a strong belief and commitment to community building through social enterprise and youth empowerment through values-based action. He has a long history within community service roles and has sat on the boards of a number of not-for-profit, charitable institutions, including YMCA North, as Vice President and Diabetes Auckland where he is Immediate Past Chair. He is also a trustee of the John Nesfield Trust and a mentor at the Massey University incubator which provides an innovative ecosystem for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

Matt Roberts has been on the YMCA Board since 2013. He has a proven track record in leadership, business transformation, enhancing service levels, managing business and information systems risk, improving workflow processes and managing profitable relationships. He has a strong belief and commitment to community building through social enterprise and youth empowerment through values-based action. He has a long history within community service roles and has sat on the boards of a number of not-for-profit, charitable institutions, including YMCA North, as Vice President and Diabetes Auckland where he is Immediate Past Chair. He is also a trustee of the John Nesfield Trust and a mentor at the Massey University incubator which provides an innovative ecosystem for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member

Hannah has worked in the youth sector as a youth worker, facilitator and researcher for over a decade. Hannah has a BA in Geography and Sociology from Canterbury University. Her experience with young people started with faith-based youth-work in various church youth groups, and evolved into an interest in measuring if work on the ground had any long-lasting effect. This inspired Hannah to do a post graduate degree in Public Health and setting up her own business: Grassroots Research. Hannah is particularly interested in assisting the YMCA movement explore fresh ways to ensure youth participation and engagement.

Hannah has worked in the youth sector as a youth worker, facilitator and researcher for over a decade. Hannah has a BA in Geography and Sociology from Canterbury University. Her experience with young people started with faith-based youth-work in various church youth groups, and evolved into an interest in measuring if work on the ground had any long-lasting effect. This inspired Hannah to do a post graduate degree in Public Health and setting up her own business: Grassroots Research. Hannah is particularly interested in assisting the YMCA movement explore fresh ways to ensure youth participation and engagement.

Hannah Dunlop

Board Director

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Helen McEwan

Board Director

Helen has been involved with the YMCA for about 20 years. She describes the journey as enlightening, fascinating and exasperating. She has been on the Nelson Board as treasurer and president for 20 years, mostly treasurer, on the National Board for 10 years as member and treasurer and on the World Alliance Executive Committee as member and treasurer for 12 years. During her time on the National Board Helen also attended the Asia Pacific annual meetings and chaired a number of their committees. She has played a vital role in growing the Nelson YMCA to become a strong and stable community provider.

Helen has been involved with the YMCA for about 20 years. She describes the journey as enlightening, fascinating and exasperating. She has been on the Nelson Board as treasurer and president for 20 years, mostly treasurer, on the National Board for 10 years as member and treasurer and on the World Alliance Executive Committee as member and treasurer for 12 years. During her time on the National Board Helen also attended the Asia Pacific annual meetings and chaired a number of their committees. She has played a vital role in growing the Nelson YMCA to become a strong and stable community provider.

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member

Callum Clark has a background in specialising in non-formal educational methods and youth development, and has led the design and development of a new national youth programme for SCOUTS New Zealand. His experience for the World Organisation of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) has been as a young person in the development of tools and processes for member organisations to design, renew and implement educational proposals and national youth programmes and attendance as a delegate at world conferences and events. This also includes the development of resources to align youth programmes with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and methods to implement education for sustainable development. Most recently, now co-leading the Educational Methods Workstream for the WOSM strategy responding to the current pandemic crisis facing many countries. He is passionate about what young people can do and achieve in this ever-changing world and how organisations such as the YMCA can support and grow thriving communities. We are currently living in unprecedented times, however there are still many opportunities for us to make a positive impact in our communities.

Callum Clark has a background in specialising in non-formal educational methods and youth development, and has led the design and development of a new national youth programme for SCOUTS New Zealand. His experience for the World Organisation of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) has been as a young person in the development of tools and processes for member organisations to design, renew and implement educational proposals and national youth programmes and attendance as a delegate at world conferences and events. This also includes the development of resources to align youth programmes with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and methods to implement education for sustainable development. Most recently, now co-leading the Educational Methods Workstream for the WOSM strategy responding to the current pandemic crisis facing many countries. He is passionate about what young people can do and achieve in this ever-changing world and how organisations such as the YMCA can support and grow thriving communities. We are currently living in unprecedented times, however there are still many opportunities for us to make a positive impact in our communities.

Callum Clark

Board Director

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
Paul Yallop

Board Director

Paul Yallop is a Chartered Accountant (self-employed), with a business background in the commercial environment encompassing the financial aspects of these businesses as well as their commercial operations and as a Board of Director’s advisor (legal compliance and financial governance being significant parts of all these appointments). He was previously a Committee member for St John Auckland, is currently a Director of Asthma New Zealand and sits on the YMCA North Board (and Treasurer).

Paul Yallop is a Chartered Accountant (self-employed), with a business background in the commercial environment encompassing the financial aspects of these businesses as well as their commercial operations and as a Board of Director’s advisor (legal compliance and financial governance being significant parts of all these appointments). He was previously a Committee member for St John Auckland, is currently a Director of Asthma New Zealand and sits on the YMCA North Board (and Treasurer).

YMCA National Member YMCA National Member
YMCA National Member YMCA National Member

Richard Handley is based in New Plymouth where he semi-retired, is currently a District Councillor, involved in several charitable organisations and previously the Minister's appointee to the TDHB. His career has included 20 years banking in NZ and internationally and being a CEO of a DHB, the Human Rights Commission and WITT the Taranaki polytechnic. Richard and his family have lived in Solomon Islands and Nepal and he travelled extensively in his roles. He has a long history of involvement in youth development activities and organisations and is delighted to be involved in supporting our YMCA mission, it's students, our youth activities and our marvellous staff.

Richard Handley is based in New Plymouth where he semi-retired, is currently a District Councillor, involved in several charitable organisations and previously the Minister's appointee to the TDHB. His career has included 20 years banking in NZ and internationally and being a CEO of a DHB, the Human Rights Commission and WITT the Taranaki polytechnic. Richard and his family have lived in Solomon Islands and Nepal and he travelled extensively in his roles. He has a long history of involvement in youth development activities and organisations and is delighted to be involved in supporting our YMCA mission, it's students, our youth activities and our marvellous staff.

Richard Handley

Board Director