Our People

Our board

Guiding the direction of our organisation is our Pathways board. The experience and expertise of our board is wide ranging, representing people who use services, whānau and Māori perspectives, as well as extensive experience across a range of sectors from health services to strategic policy.

 

  • Jacqui Graham
  • Rei Mihaere
  • Kath Winn
  • Janet Peters
  • Gordon Boxall
  • Cassandra Laskey

Jacqui Graham

It is the sheer desire to really make a difference that drives the entire organisation at every level. Pathways people have something in common; they all share a drive to do things differently and to be innovative.

Rei Mihaere

First I would like to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication of the previous and current Trustees who have achieved a mountain of brilliant initiatives since the inception of Pathways. They have set a benchmark for us to follow in innovation and creativity to enhance and progress the great work they have already done. This is truly an inspirational, learning journey for me as a new Trustee of Pathways and it gives me great pride and pleasure to be with a dynamic team of people who breath the following credentials of enthusiasm, innovation, creativeness, exceptional skill, brilliant knowledge and the courage to make changes that will make a difference for future generations. I will continue with the vision and legacy of Wi Kuki Kingi to keep the waka afloat and heading in the right direction."

Kath Winn

As the mother of a family member with mental health issues I have more than an understanding of the problems surrounding the health and wellbeing of our people. We are working together to help them achieve their dreams and aspirations for a better quality of life. Sometimes this means thinking outside the square and providing innovative and inspirational solutions to constantly improve the services we deliver.

It is my ambition, through our combined efforts, to keep working towards making a difference to the lives of those in the Pathways family.

It is a real privilege to be on the Board working with people who have the courage, vision and inspiration to do "whatever it takes" to make changes to provide a better life and future.

Janet Peters

I feel privileged to be a member of the Pathways Board. I have been involved in many parts of mental health over 20 years and as time goes on I am more and more committed to believing that we need to do ‘whatever it takes’ for people to live their dreams."

Gordon Boxall

I have for many years admired Pathways from afar. It has stood out internationally as being at the leading edge of best practice; whether engaging peer workers, providing alternatives to hospital admission or designing community based recovery solutions. I am pleased to offer my experience gained in related public service roles and as a former CEO of a similarly ambitious support provider to the board and trust this will assist in ensuring Pathways continues to achieve success, one person at a time.

My direct experience includes co-designing and managing homeless hostel and hospital reprovision programmes, transforming residential and day services into personalised, community based alternatives and in the addiction sector, both hands on as a counsellor and hands off as a long term board member of a provider agency."

Cassandra Laskey

My experience with Pathways spans almost a decade, initially as someone needing the services they provided during a particularly difficult time and more recently in working together. It was a willingness to think ‘outside the box’ and relate some rather creative services to my individual needs that established the respect I have for Pathways as an organisation. Our paths crossed more recently when I had the pleasure of working collaboratively with Pathways in the Counties Manukau area to co-design a peer-led service that was at the forefront of mental health and addictions service delivery in New Zealand.

I am delighted to be joining the Pathways board in 2013. Pathways is an organisation that is well known for its innovative approach to pushing the boundaries and I very much look forward to contributing my experience and leadership to the challenge of enhancing outcomes for our diverse and inspiring community.

Executive leadership team

Our Pathways whānau is led by a team of professionals absolutely committed to fulfilling our dream of ‘creating mental health and wellbeing opportunities that enable people to live their dreams and flourish.’

Sally Pitts-Brown

Chief executive

Originally trained as an occupational therapist, I spent many years’ in leadership roles across the mental health and social services sectors in NZ and the UK. As service manager at Capital & Coast DHB, I led the design and build of the new Forensic and Rehabilitation services. I also spent six years in London as head occupational therapist and day care services manager for the Camberwell sector, Maudsley Hospital.

I fell in love with Pathways long before I joined as chief executive in 2014. Pathways represented all the values and aspirations I held for health and wellbeing services in NZ. I originally joined the Wise Group 12 years' ago to design and deliver their Executive Leadership Programme in partnership with Te Pou and Waikato University, then became chief executive of Blueprint. 
I am married and a proud mum of two intermediate aged children.

Glen Simblett

Clinical Director (National)

I came from a background as a community psychiatrist in adult mental health for a DHB and as a part-time child and adolescent psychiatrist for over 25 years. I had always admired what Pathways did and what they stood for, and I’d been waiting for the time when they would recruit a psychiatrist!

I love that the people of Pathways really do try to practice “whatever it takes” and they always involve both their heads and their hearts in their work.

I am a specialist psychiatrist and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists My role includes the governance of clinical processes, clinical support to the registered health professionals’ practice, and clinical and service delivery leadership. I’m trained in physical treatments, psychodynamic psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy and narrative therapy.

Ross Phillips

Business Improvement Manager (National)

Long before joining Pathways myself, I had great respect for Pathways’ leadership. In my fifteen years’ plus working in the development and delivery of mental health and addiction services, I had enjoyed working with many Pathways leaders. Their values, recovery focus and people centred approach, aligned perfectly with my philosophies.

I lead a team of analysts and portfolio leads responsible for continuous process, practice and outcome improvements within Pathways. I hold a Master’s degree in Social Policy.

Nick Swain

General manager - Northern region

My background includes more than ten years' in leadership and governance roles within both funder and primary care organisations.

When I was a funder I often heard about the negative aspects of providers. However my colleagues often talked of being inspired by the aspiration Pathways support workers held for people they supported. When the opportunity arose to join the organisation, I did some research and began to understand Pathways’ capability to influence the socio-economic determinants of health.

Our purpose is to hold hope, to support people to be who they can be – to help them realise their potential. I’m fortunate to be a leader within this amazing organisation The greatest aspect of the role is hearing about the positive influence we have from people’s own letters and feedback.

I hold commerce and health science degrees, along with a Master of Public Health (Hons).

Denise Aylward

General Manager Midland (Hamilton, Hauraki, Lakes and Taranaki)

Originally trained as an occupational therapist, I held a variety of roles in the health sector. When Pathways impressed with its ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to helping vulnerable people, I joined the team. I’ve had a number of management and leadership roles ever since.

After more than 16 years with Pathways, the same values that drew me in remain at our core, which keeps me optimistic and passionate about the work we do. Knowing we’re making a difference every day inspires me to continue doing whatever it takes. It’s been really exciting to see Pathways moving more into working with young people in recent years, helping them gain skills of resiliency and wellbeing, so hopefully they never need to enter adult mental health and addiction services.

Fiona Ironside

General Manager Central (Whanganui, Wairarapa & Wellington)

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work across a broad span of the health sector in my 20 years in sector leadership roles, across both NGOs and DHB. I’ve also experienced things from the other side, living closely with family members affected by mental ill health. 

When I interviewed with Pathways, its values and ‘whatever it takes’ approach were so prominent throughout the job description and at my interview, that I knew I simply had to work here! Now I do and I love my job.

People really are at the heart of Pathways, I love our coaching model and the family-sized groupings our structure is based on. And last but not least, I truly appreciate the permission to have fun in the workplace.

Jackie Moore

General Manager Southern (South Island)

I joined Pathways in 2013 following many years’ experience in youth, mental health and employment service roles. The mental health environment had been changing and I had been watching Pathways with interest as they adapted to, and indeed led, many changes. I was excited about being in an organisation that embraced change.

I’m driven by a desire to make lives better for everyone in our communities. Every day I’m lucky enough to experience commitment from staff and success for the people we support, beyond what I ever expected.

I originally trained in social work, which has given me insight into the recovery journeys of individuals and families. I have also completed an MBA.

Jayne Collins

Executive assistant
(National)

I love supporting our exceptional exec team at Pathways. They lead by example, have a fantastic work ethic and approach everything with positivity and caring.

I enjoy the variety my role brings - Sally is the fifth chief executive I’ve supported as an executive assistant. My experience ranges from Heads of Bench Judges at the Chief Judges Chambers, to government departments, a large commercial company and not for profit organisations.   

 

Northern leadership team

Nick Swain

General manager - Northern region

My background includes more than ten years' in leadership and governance roles within both funder and primary care organisations.

When I was a funder I often heard about the negative aspects of providers. However my colleagues often talked of being inspired by the aspiration Pathways support workers held for people they supported. When the opportunity arose to join the organisation, I did some research and began to understand Pathways’ capability to influence the socio-economic determinants of health.

Our purpose is to hold hope, to support people to be who they can be – to help them realise their potential. I’m fortunate to be a leader within this amazing organisation The greatest aspect of the role is hearing about the positive influence we have from people’s own letters and feedback.

I hold commerce and health science degrees, along with a Master of Public Health (Hons).

Clare Lennox

Service and Relationship Manager - Auckland

I have worked in mental health for over 16 years, working my way up through NGO and DHB positions, into leadership roles. It is an absolute privilege to work with people and make a difference in their lives.

Before I joined the team, I had had great feedback about Pathways from people I had worked with previously. I could see Pathways’ values fit with both my personal values and my social work values of social justice and equality.

I love the variety and challenge that working in a dynamic organisation like Pathways brings and the potential to influence our practice and the broader sector,

I have a BA degree in psychology and education and Masters in Applied Social Work

Dan Crozier

Service and Relationship Manager – Auckland

Despite coming from a background in hospitality leadership and tour manager roles for the NZ Comedy community, coming into the mental health sector with Pathways in 2008 just ‘clicked’ with me. I knew this was where I could really help people improve their quality of life.

Starting my journey with Pathways as a support worker has allowed me to better understand my team’s pressures, successes, limitations and possibilities as I have progressed into leadership roles.

I enjoy the common goal I share with my teams, to provide excellent quality support of a world class standard. I have learnt so much over the years from the people we support, and consider it a real privilege to have met so many diverse and interesting people.

Ines Bruins

Service and Relationship Manager - Auckland

After 25 years as a mental health nurse, both working in DHBs and also lecturing at AUT and University of Auckland, I wanted to experience working in an NGO. I connected with the values of Pathways and already looked up to Sally as an inspirational leader, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to join Pathways.

I always work from the perspective of the person using service in anything I do. And with my amazing team around me, the opportunities to make a difference in my role are huge.

I hold a Bachelor’s of Comprehensive Nursing and a Masters in Sociology. I also completed the Blueprint Leadership Programme through which I was awarded a scholarship.

Richard Sissingh

Service and Relationship Manager - Auckland

I came to Pathways with a background in health and fitness, having worked in gyms as both a personal trainer and manager. I loved the health sector and wanted to make an even bigger difference in the wellbeing of people.

I am passionate that each one of us should have the access and support to live the lives that we choose. And I’m committed to addressing the health inequalities with people who experience mental illness. Pathways offers this to people in the work that we all do, every day. I love both the challenge and rewards of supporting people.

I hold a Bachelor of Science majoring in anatomy, a Bachelor of Physical Education, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Midlands leadership team

Denise Aylward

General Manager Midland

Originally trained as an occupational therapist, I held a variety of roles in the health sector. When Pathways impressed with its ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to helping vulnerable people, I joined the team. I’ve had a number of management and leadership roles ever since.

After more than 16 years with Pathways, the same values that drew me in remain at our core, which keeps me optimistic and passionate about the work we do. Knowing we’re making a difference every day inspires me to continue doing whatever it takes. It’s been really exciting to see Pathways moving more into working with young people in recent years, helping them gain skills of resiliency and wellbeing, so hopefully they never need to enter adult mental health and addiction services.

Jodi Fata

Service and Relationship Manager – Hamilton

I came to Pathways following over 15 years working as a psychologist and manager in mental health and primary health services for community NGOs. It’s great to be an integral part of an organisation continually striving to make things better for their staff, people supported and their communities, and promoting and driving positive change and development in the mental health sector. 

I have a passion for supporting people to grow personally and professionally so they can be the director of their own life story. Supporting youth is also an area of passion for me, so I’m really enjoying providing leadership to our Real youth services. 
  
I hold a Masters in Psychology, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration. 

Sharlene Southey

Service and Relationship Manager - Hamilton

After 16 years leadership and coaching experience, I was looking for a role with purpose and I wanted to work for an organisation that aligned with my values.  As soon as I read the advert and the Pathways values I knew I wanted to work here.

I love ‘doing what matters’ for the people we support, their families/whānau, the wider community and our staff, and having the mandate from the organisation to do that.

My life experiences have given me a strong concern for people, and a drive to ensure equity for everyone, so that we all get what we need to be successful.

I am currently completing a psychology and management degree.

Marg Boland

Service and Relationship Manager - Hauraki

After a 25 year career as a general nurse, joining Pathways as a team leader in 1995 was my first introduction to mental health.

One of the things I really value about Pathways is the solution-focused approach that permeates the culture. People are encouraged to present solutions, rather than just problems, which is totally in line with my own leadership style.

Pathways has provided me a huge number of opportunities for development. Since joining Pathways I have completed a Diploma in Counselling and an Advanced Certificate in Clinical Supervision, updated my nursing qualification to a degree, and completed Blueprint for Learning’s Executive Leadership and Management Programme and the Advanced Leadership Programme.

Shane Smith

Service and Relationship Manager – Taranaki

I started out as a support worker with Pathways more than 20 years ago following my OE in the UK, where I had worked in many health and wellbeing related roles. Since joining Pathways I have worked in nearly every region we operate, become a registered social worker and developed my leadership skills and experience.

I have a strong sense of social justice, and believe that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and have access to good health care, jobs and a home. I love that I am part of making this a reality for the people we support, and that I do this alongside a likeminded and capable team.

Central leadership team

Fiona Ironside

General Manager Central (Whanganui, Wairarapa & Wellington)

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work across a broad span of the health sector in my 20 years in sector leadership roles, across both NGOs and DHB. I’ve also experienced things from the other side, living closely with family members affected by mental ill health. 

When I interviewed with Pathways, its values and ‘whatever it takes’ approach were so prominent throughout the job description and at my interview, that I knew I simply had to work here! Now I do and I love my job.

Bronwyn Poad

Service and Relationship Manager – Wellington

After 16 years working in the mental health sector as a registered social worker and in leadership roles, I joined Pathways in 2004 as its values were consistent with mine.

Over ten years in, and there’s still so much I value about working here - I am cared for and given a mandate to care for everyone in my team while supporting them to perform to their best, we constantly focus on learning, and despite our size, we do our best to act like a family.

As a leadership team we all strive to be a leading light for recovery in our sector, so we draw on each other’s strengths, experience and talents to support our communities.

Sandie Finnigan

Service and Relationship Manager - Wellington

Coming from an education, counselling and addiction background, I was drawn to Pathways because of the genuine care that I had seen shown within the organisation. I love that at Pathways we collectively make a real difference to people’s lives. I feel valued and appreciated, and that draws out from me the very best I can give.

Coming from a place of my own lived experience of mental unwellness helps me keep the people we support at the forefront of my mind. As a manager I work to create an environment of ‘co-authoring the story’ of the work we do together.

I am a Registered Addictions Practitioner with DAPAANZ, and a Narrative Therapist and Counsellor. I have a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Masters of Counselling.

Chrystal Hamlin

Service and Relationship Manager - Whanganui

I first joined Pathways as a casual support worker when I was 18. I soon became very interested in mental health which inspired me to do a nursing degree. After this I continued in nursing roles with Pathways and the DHB for a number of years.

I love the people of Pathways – both the staff and the people we support. And I love the values that we all hold and the unique ways we work. I have watched the organisation grow and evolve and being part of this has shaped me and continued to deepen my understanding of how we can help people to live the lives they deserve.

Matthew Fribbens

Service and Relationship Manager – Wairarapa

As a registered nurse, I have worked across a wide range of services within the mental health and addictions sector in the UK and NZ for almost 22 years. I completed my UK specialist practitioner degree in 2001, then emigrated to NZ with my family. Initially I worked in clinical services and senior roles in Auckland Central and Waitemata MH&A services. We’ve recently moved to a lifestyle block in the Wairarapa, which we think is one of the most beautiful areas in the North Island.

This is my first role within an NGO. I’m excited to be making this change with   Pathways who have a reputation across the sector for their investment in local populations and their workforce. I look forward to working proactively with the local community to support people to have the strength and resilience to live the lives they want to.