Our Staff

- Senior Staff

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General Manager - Toni Tinirau

He mihi nui ki a koutou! Ko Hikurangi te Maunga, ko Waiapu to awa, ko Ngāti Porou rāua Ngati Hāmoa te iwi, ko Toni Tinirau toku ingoa, ko Ōtautahi ahau.

I have worked in social services for over 20 years. My focus has been in hauora Māori and growing strong communities within the Mental Health and Addictions sector. I am very privileged to lead a team whose focus is supporting whānau and ensuring their tamariki leave our respite service with enhanced wellbeing.

My ‘why’ is my own whānau and all that encompasses their needs, having 8-year-old twins provides me with a daily insight into the minds of tamariki, their aspirations, what concerns them, and dreams for their futures.  


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Operations Manager - Katie McCullough

Kia ora,

I joined Cholmondeley Children’s Centre back in 2017 and have thoroughly enjoyed working here over the past four years. I have so far worked across both the Fundraising and Business space in my time here. In June 2021 I was promoted to Business Manager which allows me to use my experience in Human Resources, Payroll and Finances.  In my spare time, I enjoy getting outdoors and spending quality time with my partner and our two children.

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Practice Manager - Lisa

Kia ora,

I'm Lisa a Practice Manager here at Cholmondeley. I work directly with the tamariki,  supporting them to make the most of their stay and the opportunities presented. I'm passionate about making sure each child has the opportunity to "shine" in whatever form that may be. 

Before joining Cholmondeley I worked in an education setting for many years supporting tamariki in all areas of their education from reading writing and maths, through to cooking, gardening and wellbeing. I have a strong belief in children being able to follow their own passions and curiosities, through these allowing them to build self-confidence and pride.  

When I'm not at Cholmondeley I enjoy sharing time with my family and friends, walking my two dogs, being in my vegetable garden, drawing and reading.  

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Fundraising Manager - Regan Hines

I joined the Cholmondeley Children's Centre in 2022, fuelled by a desire to contribute to the impactful work we do within our community. With five years of non-profit experience under my belt and currently pursuing my MBA, I stepped into the role of Fundraising Manager.

My background in marketing spans several years, providing me with a comprehensive understanding of various strategies and their effective implementation. At Cholmondeley, I utilise these skills to connect businesses to the tangible change we create in the community. I believe in the power of these partnerships to bolster our mission and magnify our reach.

When not immersed in my work or studies, you'll often find me spending quality time with my greyhound who gets far too much attention at home.

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Learning Facilitator - Nat


My name is Nat and I have been a Learning Facilitator in Kura at Cholmondeley since 2019. I have been a teacher for over 20 years and have taught in New Zealand, the UK, and The Cook Islands. I moved to NZ from the UK in 2010 and live in Lyttelton/Ōketeupoko with my wife Julia, our 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 3 chickens!

When I’m not at Cholmondeley you will find me skateboarding, playing records on my radio show in Lyttelton, driving around in my old VW, making notebooks, or drawing on things. 


Evie Gard

Practice Team Leader - Evie

Kia ora koutou

My name is Evie and I’m a Child and Youth Care Practitioner here at Cholmondeley. I joined the team in 2020 and have the privilege of working with the incredible tamariki that come to Cholmondeley every day. I’m really passionate about the mahi we do here in helping tamariki to build resilience and achieve their own personal goals. When I’m not working, you’ll find me spending time outdoors, camping or practicing yoga.

Ngā Manaakitanga


Clare McElligatt

Practice Team Leader - Clare

Kia ora, my name is Clare. I moved to Christchurch from Colorado in 2018 and love it so much that I have been here ever since! I began my journey at Cholmondeley as a work placement while I was studying social work at Ara. After my placement ended, I didn’t want to part with the children or mahi so I decided to join the team full time as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner. I have worked in child care settings for years including a therapeutic horse riding centre for children with disabilities. I love getting to create meaningful relationships with tamariki and getting to see how much they grow! In my free time, I like to play music and explore this beautiful country! 

- Support Staff


Care Coordinator - Melanie

Kia ora,
My name is Melanie but most people call me Mel. I am the Care Coordinator here at Cholmondeley. My role mainly involves booking stays for tamariki and administration for new whānau.
Before Cholmondeley I worked for many years with children on the spectrum, supporting their whānau with respite.

I am from England originally but moved to New Zealand in January 2010. I live with my hubby Steve (who is the caretaker here at Cholmondeley) and our Son. Our Daughter is currently travelling around the world at the moment.In my spare time, I enjoy walking around the Port Hills, exploring the beautiful South Island, reading, and watching movies.

I absolutely love being part of the Cholmondeley whānau and all that it is doing. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.

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Caretaker - Steve Gresty


If you see anything that needs fixing, just let me know. I am from the UK but moved to New Zealand in January 2010. I am married to Mel, who also works at Cholmondeley and have a son & daughter. 

I am a very passionate Manchester City and England fan but I enjoy watching most sports. I also like tramping, exploring New Zealand with my family and secretly am a Star Wars geek. 

- Fundraising

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Fundraising and Communications Coordinator - Emma Turton

Kia ora, I came on board with the Cholmondeley Children’s Centre team in 2023 because I wanted to give back and make a difference in the Ōtautahi community.

As a former broadcast journalist I really enjoy promoting the meaningful mahi Cholmondeley is doing for Canterbury tamariki.

When I am not drumming up support for Cholmondeley I am usually off climbing mountains, surfing, or skateboarding around Christchurch.

Get in touch if you would like to find out more about what is happening at Cholmondeley.

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Child & Youth Care Practitioner - Claudia

Kia ora,

My name is Claudia and I’m so grateful to be a child and youth care practitioner at Cholmondeley! It feels great to work for a child-centred organisation that makes a positive difference in so many lives.

As a night shift kaimahi I make sure that Tamariki are safe and secure during their nights at Cholmondeley, and communicate with my coworkers so we can effectively meet the needs of each child.

When I’m not working, I am studying towards my masters degree in child and family psychology and spending time with loved ones

Olivia Meek

Child & Youth Care Practitioner - Olivia

I joined Cholmondeley in September 2021 working within the care team as a night staff. I enjoy this role as I’ve found tamariki need a different level of compassionate care so that they feel safe, happy, and comfortable in having a full night's sleep, ready for what fun activities await them in the day.

Prior to this I graduated from the University of Canterbury as a qualified primary teacher in 2020 and volunteered at RDA (Riding for the disabled Christchurch) for a period of time. Both of these pursuits have given me a toolbox that I continue to use in this job today. I have always found joy in working with children and find it such a privilege to be working with such an amazing organization, although I work nights my job is never boring and I always look forward to seeing our wonderful tamariki in the morning.

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Child & Youth Care Practitioner - Alice

Kia ora

I Joined the Cholmondeley whanau at the beginning of 2022 as a part of the care team. Prior to Cholmondeley I worked as a residential youth worker at Barnardos and continue to volunteer for Te Mapua Child and Youth Trust. I have always had a passion for working with children and youth and love the opportunity to meet and work with so many amazing kids at CCC. 

Dion McCormick

Child & Youth Care Practitioner - Dion

Kia Ora, ko Dion ahau.

I am truly blessed to be working with the tamariki at Cholmondeley sharing many a hug, laugh, story and adventure with these gorgeous little treasures. Playing games, giving encouragement, teaching new skills and being part of this nurturing and enriched environment here at Cholmondeley and watching positive growth flourish within our young ones is such an honour.

I enjoy people, nature, music, motorbikes, driving, learning, arts and crafts and fashion. 

Nga manaakitanga

Carole Rodden

Child & Youth Care Practitioner - Carole

Originating from “ Bonnie Scotland “ I came out to New Zealand in 1992 with another sister to surprise our older sister who was getting married !!!!!

Needless to say, I fell in love with beautiful Aotearoa and emigrated in 1993.

Prior to coming out to New Zealand I spent seven years working in the first home/school for Autistic and Non-Communicating Children. I then trained and qualified as a Social Worker and worked one year in Scotland before joining Child Youth and Family service here in New Zealand as a Care and Protection Senior Social Work Practitioner.

I then trained and qualified as a Counsellor and Secondary Teacher here in New Zealand spending seventeen years working in schools both here and in Singapore.

My passion has always been the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people and with the provision of this, comes their ability to reach their full potential.

It is a pleasure and privilege to be a member of the fabulous team here at Cholmomdeley who all share the same aspirations and hopes for our tamariki and their whānau.

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Outdoor Educator - MJ

Kia ora koutou! He uri ahau nō tawhiti, kei Ōtautahi ahau e noho ana, I tipu ake ahau ki Rānana. E mihi ana ki ngā tohu o nehe, o te waipounamu e noho nei au, nō reirā, tēnā koutou katoa. He Pākehā ahau, ko Mj tōku ingoa.

I am the Outdoor Educator/Kaikao Awhi here at Cholmondeley. I live in Lyttelton with my guinea pig Trousers, however I spend much of my spare time either in the backcountry or the ocean. I love to be around the mountains tramping and snowboarding, in rivers or oceans kayaking, scaling crags climbing, and trying to master my steeze on my longboard surfing.

I am passionate about nurturing the adventurous spirit of tamariki to explore, learn, and grow in many ways through the outdoors.

- Awhi Team


Refocus Social Worker - Chelsea

Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa!

Ko Chelsea toku ingoa and I am a whanau kaimahi / social worker with our wonderful Refocus Team. I love working alongside rangitahi, tamariki and whānau to help support and navigate through life’s challenges. I grew up in Timaru and moved up to Ōtautahi to study social work and loved the place so much I stayed! I worked as a child protection social worker before joining the Refocus team at the beginning of 2023.

Outside of mahi, you’ll find me dancing, with my own whānau or at church.

Dejay Davidson

Refocus Youth Worker - Dejay

My name is Dejay and I am proud to be a part of Cholmondeley's Community Outreach (Awhi) team as a Youth Worker. I have been working alongside the youth of Ōtautahi for almost a decade now and started my journey as a Rock Climbing Instructor before being trained as a Personal Trainer, and then moving into Youth Work. I am strong believer in utilising both movement and art (in all their forms!) to strengthen our Mana, and I do my best to apply this to my mahi. We live in a world that is ever-changing, and my role is keep up with these changes so I can help Rangatahi navigate those complexities by identifying and building up their unique strengths through one to one support and guidance.

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Refocus Youth Worker - Jess

Kia ora, my name is Jess. I am one of the CYCP's at Cholmondeley. I come from a construction background, and I am now fulfilling my dream of working with tamariki! Providing support and care for our tamariki in a fun and safe environment is amazing. I love my job every single day as each day is a different experience. 

I feel blessed to be part of this organisation, in a team of such caring people.