Meet the Staff
Volunteer Nelson currently has four part-time staff and a wonderful variety of amazing volunteers that help us both in the office and behind the scenes, to deliver our services.
Gordon is originally from South Africa and has lived in Nelson with his wife and two children since 2007. Previously a pharmacist, sight loss compelled him to find a new direction. His professional and academic interest is now in health and disability services management. He has a particular interest in the role of volunteers in community organisations. He can often be spotted walking in Nelson with his guide dog, Ernie.
Guide Dog/Office Dog
Ernie is Gordon’s trusty Guide Dog. He loves to meet and greet staff and office volunteers each day – often bringing them one of his soft toys to throw for him. In his role as Office Dog he brings us laughter, positivity, and great morale as well as reducing stress levels.
Holly looks after the delivery of Volunteer Nelson’s Youth Programmes, our low cost training events and is the prime contact for Volunteer Managers. She started out as a volunteer with us back in 2013. Holly volunteers outside of work at a number of events as well as being a Street Ambassador.
Ellie Young arrived in Nelson on Christmas Day 2018 and loves the strong sense of community. Ellie sees volunteering as a great way of connecting people to organisations who can benefit from their wealth of knowledge, skills and passions. Her professional background is in community services, with particular focuses on volunteering, advocacy and coordination. Her passion is people, and connecting their knowledge and skills to enhance communities. She is also a keen researcher, with a thirst for knowledge and critical thinking. Ellie holds Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy, alongside post-graduate studies in Integrated Human Studies.
She also works voluntarily with the Nelson Environment Centre and Kai Rescue and with Lindsay Wood at Resilienz.
Jane joined Volunteer Nelson in 2013 and works primarily on finance and administration. She is passionate about volunteering and currently hosts the monthly Coffee & Connections for Nelson Newcomers Network, monitors for pests at the Brook Sanctuary, and enjoys the ease of family friendly one-off volunteering opportunities such as beach clean-ups and tree planting. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, walking, tramping, gardening, kayaking and crochet.
Meet the Board
We are led by a governance board of committed volunteers who share a passion for giving back to their community.
David moved from the UK to Nelson in 2014. He is a semi-retired technical consultant and project manager, with experience in assurance and risk management. He has volunteered at Volunteer Nelson, Restore and Neighbourhood Support and helped at Nelson Tasman Housing Trust.
In 2016 he started helping Volunteer Nelson with their IT, and is heavily involved with the business, including the monthly Community & Whānau meetings. He joined the Board at the end of 2016, and took on the Secretary position for three years. He was elected to Chair the Board in 2019.
After 5 years working with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Marie came to NZ in 1990 to settle; and has since worked with the public and private sectors – Department of Internal Affairs, ACC, Nelson City Council where I professionally learned governance matters, being the Mayor’s PA for 15 years.
In 1992 whilst with Internal Affairs, she organised the first meeting of Nelson Multi-Ethnic Council, which has now evolved to Multicultural Nelson Tasman, 27 years on. In between work and life is her community volunteering which grounds her to grass root community issues and allows her to build relations with and help individuals and groups of diverse culture, age and gender. She joined the then Nelson Volunteer Centre in 2009 and she is proud to return on the Board after 2 years hiatus.
Anju is originally from India and came to Nelson in 2019 to study Master of Applied Management at NMIT. During her studies, she got involved with Volunteer Nelson. She recruited volunteers and completed a research project to find challenges for volunteer recruitment for Volunteer Involving Organisations in Nelson. These opportunities helped her to learn more about the community and the voluntary sector in Nelson.
Anju is a pharmacist and have many years of experience in healthcare administration and operations management, and picked up a position as a research supervisor at NMIT to enhance the research skills. As a board member, she wishes to use her skills for the betterment of Volunteer Nelson.
Belinda Harte was born in Nelson, her family arrived in Nelson 5 generations ago, and they were one of the early settlers in the Nelson province.
Belinda would typically be described as a people-person, with an inclusive approach to others. She has a passion for empowering others which she gets to do on a daily basis in her daytime job. She also prides herself on her networking ability within the community.
Dave has recently joined the Board as Treasurer – bio to follow.
Nicola Zielinski, originally born in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK has been working within the Nelson community for just over 4 years and absolutely loves helping people find work via Workbridge. Her role at Workbridge involves consulting jobseekers and employers with their recruitment needs. In 2019 she featured on TV show “Living with Tourettes” and most recently created a local radio show called “Beyond the Bridge” on FreshFM.
Nicola worked in a similar line of work in the UK supporting people that had a health condition or a disability into the workforce. Her interests outside of work include singing, swimming and angelic reiki therapies.