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Meet the Team

 

Cam Calkoen

Ambassador

Cam Calkoen – Ambassador for YES – has cerebral palsy.  An inspirational public speaker, he has been a key driving force in the creation of YES and its services. 

Cam is also a noted athlete and narrowly missed representing New Zealand at the2008 Paralympics.   

 

 

Sonia Thursby

CEO

CEO of the YES Disability Resource Centre Sonia has worked in the disability and youth sectors in New Zealand for 25 years and prior to that in the UK.  Sonia has participated on many boards including PHO, Health Boards and Council advisory groups.

She has a passion to support people with disabilities and their families to be the designers and deliverers of services and projects that meet their needs.

 

 

Meena Patel

Receptionist

Meena has been with YES since the very beginning and couples her wealth of knowledge and experience with a warm, caring nature in her role as Receptionist - your first point of contact when you call or visit us.

Previously, Meena operated a retirement home and is passionate about helping the aged community.

 

 

Maxwell Cowden

Marketing Coordinator

Hi!  I'm Maxwell and I'm the Marketing Coordinator here at YES.  My role involves producing and publishing the bimonthly in-house newlsetter.  I have been a part of the team here for the past three years. 

I have a BA (Japanese) from Unitec and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies from Massey University.

 

 

Jamie Masters

Youth Facilitator

Jamie is the Youth Facilitator here at YES.  As a qualified youth worker and youth work assessor working in the sector for over 8 years, Jamie has been involved in many successful projects including breaking a world record, Icebreaker (an anti-bullying workshop), and YES I CAN (a leadership programme).

Jamie is a strong advocate for youth lead co creation, co-development and co delivery, believing that through collaboration a more inclusive community is possible.

 

 

Franciska Neuhauser

Community Facilitator

As the Community Facilitator, Franciska's role is to liaise with parents and cergivers of children and young people living with disabilities - supporting them to access information and services that will enable them to make informed choices.  In addition, Franciska will be facilitating information swaps, workshops, and support network.

Franciska is a trained counsellor and also holds a degree in business.  She is passionate about supporting and empowering people to live fulfilling lives; and has first-hand experience of the challenges, fears, grief, anxieties, and isolation experienced by many parents of a child with a chronic illness and/or disability.

 

 

Vanessa Kneebone

Auckland Carabiner Co-ordinator

My name is Vanessa, I have a BSC Hons degree in Health and Social Care.  I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be the co-ordinator for Carabiner and I am looking forward to bringing some youthfulness excitement to this programme.

With my enthusiastic personality I am here to make dreams, goals and aspirations happen for those young people with disabilities and enhance individuals on their journeys.

 

 

Kerri Bonner

Christchurch Carabiner Coordinator

I am a proud Canterbrian and disabled person.  I have a background in both the your and disability sectors.  Most recently, alongside my role as Christchurch Carabiner Coordinator, I have been working for Enabling Good Lives and SAMS. 

I staunchly believe that disabled people can and do live great lives, and am privileged to be in roles where I can support people along their journey.

 

 

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