Lynda Millington – Chief Executive
Lynda has been with Interactionz since January 1999. One of the reasons she is passionate about the organisation is because of the rewards she gets from seeing the lives of people transform from being dependant on services, to being self-determining. She has also loved the challenge of leading the transformation from being a traditional sheltered workshop to an innovative organisation that is leading the way in its work. Lynda feels very fortunate to work with an inspiring board, leadership team and loyal staff and volunteers.
Lynda’s background is in customer services, and prior to coming to Interactionz, she managed the Nawton Community Centre. She has also served on a number of community boards over the years. Lynda holds a Bachelor of Applied Management, majoring in Strategy, and a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management. She has also completed numerous courses during her career. Read more…
Janelle Fisher – Quality Practice Leader
Having always had a love of people, a strong sense of social justice, and a belief in the responsibility to make a difference in her sphere of influence (instilled by her parents’ values), Janelle’s work at Interactionz is where she feels these things come together. She is passionate about the vision of Interactionz and how it aligns with her personal values of social justice, diversity and inclusion (see Janelle’s digital story).
Janelle is a registered community psychologist who has studied and worked in the disability field since 1990 and held roles in case management in the public sector and research and service leadership in the community sector. She began working with Interactionz in 2008 and her current role as Quality Practice Leader involves leading the Community Team and embedding person driven practice across the organisation. Read more…
Jennifer Calley – Operations Leader
Jennifer joined the Interactionz team in 2010, bringing with her knowledge in accounting and a passion for systems and guidelines. She loves being part of a bigger picture in an organisation that takes pride in making a difference. The values and vision of Interactionz has been a close alignment to Jennifer’s personal life and her own experience with a brother who had Cystic Fibrosis. Jennifer credits her parents in helping her realise life is what you make it, and Interactionz for offering her the ability to discover more self-awareness and understanding about her own life and share her own gifts.
Jennifer has a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management, and is looking to get back into studying for her degree which has been on hold. She is the proud mother of two beautiful children and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Her passions outside of work include horse riding, motocross and being outdoors!
Lisa Clausen – Business Development Leader
Lisa is delighted to be part of Interactionz, an organisation which truly values being of service to others. Growing the organisation’s opportunities to create more value in the community by supporting people to live their best life, is what drives her and gets her up in the morning. Lisa feels fortunate to be in a role which brings together her passion for people and building relationships, while aligning with her personal values.
Lisa brings Interactionz a vast amount of experience from varied roles, since she began her working life in the UK. Since migrating to New Zealand in 2002, she has established start-ups, developed businesses and worked as a consultant and contractor on various projects – mainly learning and development, change management and business improvement. Lisa has a passion for personal development and until recently worked regularly in her own coaching practice in the Waikato. Read more…
Danae Cooney – Business Development Assistant
At 16, Danae had a transformative experience while on a humanitarian trip to Fiji with Rotary. Working in a very remote village to help refurbish a preschool, she saw what it means to live day-to-day in poverty. Danae came back from her time in Fiji convinced that she, in her abundance, has the responsibility to use any position of privilege that she holds to better enhance the lives of those who are in need – no matter whether this is in foreign communities or those in her backyard. Danae knew then that she wanted her career to be a path where her resources, skills and knowledge could be used to transform the lives of others.
Danae is passionate about seeing people reach their potential; seeing the marginalised persons in her community receive the support & guidance they require; seeing every person living a full and happy life. She is ultimately motivated by her faith, believing that every person has innate value and worth, and each person is deserving of love and support. Read more…
Sharda Devi – Mentor
Sharda feels that her role as a Mentor is interesting and rewarding, as well as backing up her personal values perfectly. As an illustration of this, before she came to Interactionz, she volunteered to raise funds for visually impaired children with intellectual disabilities in Fiji.
Originally from a teaching background, Sharda holds diplomas in Teaching, Training and Development, a National Certificate in Intellectual Disability, as well as a Bachelor in Education.
Sharda’s other passions include travelling, gardening, music, cooking, sewing, walking and watching sports of all kinds (rugby, soccer, basketball, netball, and singing – to name a few!)
Bernie Kerr – Mentor
Bernie says that Interactionz’ values align with those she lives her life by. She believes strongly in our vision and what it stands for. Bernie was driven to work for Interactionz as her passion is working with people, especially in the mental health and disability sector. She graduated from the University of Waikato with a Social Sciences degree, double majoring in Psychology and Human Development. Therefore, working for Interactionz was a great opportunity for her as she sees her passion as helping people.
What Bernie likes about her role is that she is able to work alongside people to help them achieve their goals and dreams. She finds the enthusiasm and pride people share when they achieve their goals very rewarding. Being a part of this change, and exerting social justice and equal opportunity for individuals we work with, and their families holds special importance to Bernie.
Out of work time, Bernie loves travelling and spending with family and friends. Family in particular is very important to Bernie, so family time is cherished. She also likes keeping herself active and healthy and runs quarter marathons.
Lou Paul – Mentor
Lou Paul’s personal experience with a disability led her to apply for a volunteer position at Interactionz. She feels that she had been judged by this disability in the past, and believes that this experience enables her to help others, because she has walked in their shoes and knows what it feels like to be dependent on paid support.
She has 2 more years of study left before she completes her Bachelor of Social Work degree, majoring in Biculturalism Practices.
When she is not working for Interactionz, she enjoys boxing, attending church, playing guitar and writing raps in relation to scriptures in the Bible. Lou loves to laugh, talk and catch up with friends.
Andrew Rea – Mentor
Andrew loves his role as a Mentor for Interactionz as it enables him to work directly with people, seeing goals and dreams happen. Helping facilitate positive changes in people’s lives drives him, and he enjoys working in a team who are all equally passionate about their roles and driven towards our vision. He originally came to Interactionz as a volunteer, working with people who had disabilities and loved it so much that he wanted to do it full time.
His past roles have included supporting a young man to do correspondence school work for 5 years, and many years of dealing with the public in the post office and toll exchange. Andrew is currently working towards a Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management.
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys the outdoors; walking and biking being a great way to explore. He also enjoys watching sport and travelling to new places.
Laurel Stephens – Mentor/Graphic Facilitator
Laurel joined the organisation more than 15 years ago. What keeps her here at Interactionz is her love of working with people and making a positive difference in their lives, the world, the universe… She also says Interactionz is a great values match for her, and that she enjoys working with her “AWESOME” colleagues (her words).
Laurel has a National Certificate in Human Services (L4) and a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management. Her family includes a husband, three adult sons and a cat called Piper. She loves her to bits, but everyone thinks this is a big joke because for years she ‘wasn’t into pets’.
In her spare time Laurel enjoys reading novels to relax. She and her husband were thrilled to become grandparents in early June 2016. She is also on a journey to greater health and well-being, losing 25kg in the first 12 months…
Clare Bailey – Volunteer Co-ordinator/Administration Assistant
Clare loves the variety of her role, the chance to meet new people, and the fact that she gets to make a difference. The organisation’s vision is one that she practices in all of her interactions, so it is certainly one she believes in.
Having a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Criminology and Sociology, and a Diploma in Social Sciences, she also has various IT qualifications. Additionally, Clare has attended numerous training courses including; safeguarding, mental health, and the impact of drug and alcohol.
Clare’s biggest joy is her whanau, and believes that every minute with them is valuable. She has four children, and is very excited that grandchildren are on the horizon. Clare and her husband love nothing more than when they have a house full of family, which could also include her Mum, older sister, or her twin and her family. When she is not hosting her large family, she enjoys eating out, and exploring the countryside and awesome beaches.