SFNZ National Board

Dick Brown - Chairperson


Dick’s relevant experience for National Council is his experience in MAF and the committee of Supporting Families in Mental Illness (SF) Nelson.  He worked for 13 years in management in MAF Agricultural Advisory Services and MAF Fisheries, prior to this he was a farm advisor in MAF for 12 years.  In more recent years he has worked for NZ Hops Limited in; quality control, health & safety, quality and contingency planning.  He has also played a significant role in the formation of the SF Top of the South Alliance and is its current chair.
He has been involved with the committee of SF Nelson for a total of 19 years, 17 of these as president.  He also had a 2-year term on SFNZ National Council from 2010 to 2012 with his primary role being planning.
His relevant experience/skills for a role on National Council includes; financial management, governance, strategic planning, team-work, health & safety, consultation with a variety of community groups, communications in many forms and 2 family members with experience of a serious mental illness.
Dick has a passion for the work SFNZ member societies perform and if elected to National Council would work to have an effective council that is transparent and has good communications with member societies.  He sees advocacy/consultation (the voice for families/whanau with a member who experiences a mental illness) with Government as a high priority for SFNZ National Council.
For recreation Dick enjoys nothing better than going camping in Alison and his caravan with kayaks close by and taking numerous day walks.
Gary W Sturgess JP Life IMNZ
Gary has an extensive background in corporate management and governance with over 40 years’ experience as an organisational ambassador (CEO and General Manager), having successfully acted as chief executive for a variety of commercial businesses, local government, public sector and not for profit organisations. He moved to Palmerston North for family reasons in early 2014.
He has experience in local government, education, financial planning, small business development and his last position was as chief executive of Totara Hospice, providing end of life care within the south Auckland community
Since semi retiring in 2012, Gary has completed a major project for Venture Taranaki, the region’s development agency. Their economic development team works with individuals, businesses, clusters and industries to grow Taranaki.
Having previously been the Chairman of the Board, Gary was appointed the interim chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Management (NZIM) from 1 January to September 2014. He is a director of Lifeline New Zealand, the Lifeline NZ Charitable Trust and a National Council Member of Supporting Families in Mental Illness (SFNZ). He led the integration of the regional lifeline centres in New Zealand. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand in 1989 and is a Life Fellow of IMNZ.
Gary has a strong practical management background and his strengths are in strategic planning and implementation, organisational direction, leadership and people management.
Married to his late wife Val for 37 years, they have four adult daughters, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His interests include photography, wine and family.
Kate Yesberg
Kate Yesberg is a Senior Solicitor at Chapman Tripp, with a background in public law and advocacy. Prior to joining Chapman Tripp, Kate completed a Masters of Law at New York University as a Fulbright Scholar.
Kate was on the Board of Atareira from 2011-2013. She has volunteered with a number of other organisations in New Zealand and overseas, including human rights organisations in Cambodia, and the United Nations in Indonesia.
In addition to her work on the National Council, Kate is currently an advisor to Oxfam, and works as a volunteer lawyer in the Wellington Community Law Centre’s Refugee and Immigration Legal Advice Service.
Kate lives in Wellington with her husband.
Bruce McGarvey
I’m Bruce McGarvey, a semi-retired ex farmer, live in Feilding and am married to Mary with two adult children, one of whom is a consumer of mental health services. I have a strong belief in the importance of support for the family/whanau in their dealings with all areas of mental health. Since 2010 I have been the Chairperson of Manawatu SF and with this experience I feel privileged to be able to help in the governance structure of Supporting Families in Mental Illness New Zealand.
Richard Skeates
I have been involved in SFMI Waikato since 2002 serving on the committee since this time. I live in Raglan, work in Research and Development and as Project Manager for a Hamilton based company.
I have had previous experience on governance boards having served on the Raglan Area School Board of trustees and on the Board of Directors for a company I was a partner in. I feel I have a good understanding of the governance role necessary to be able to contribute to the National Council.
My involvement with SFMI came about through my son, Dylan, who developed schizophrenia in his late teens and has lived with this illness ever since – he is now 39. He lives with his partner and two children in Raglan.
Chris Lilly
Chris Lilly is currently on the Committee at Atareira (Wellington Branch). Over the last twelve months she has also been part of the National Council project team undertaking SFMINZ’s Structural Review, and contributed analysis to the Treasury paper on Appropriate Housing for Family Members with Mental Illness.
Chris Lilly’s background is in Education and Tertiary Education Funding. Qualifications include a B.A. Social Sciences, Graduate Diploma in Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Education (Technology) and Post-graduate Diploma in Education Management.
As a tertiary funding advisor / senior analyst Chris has written national guidelines on access to government funding and published them on MoE’s website, as well as supporting the Chair of the Tertiary Education as senior business analyst. In the 1990’s she was part of a core team developing IT infrastructure to support e-learning and support, and data transfers to key funders and stakeholders. She has also worked with the Lotteries Grant Commission to provide a series of regional profiles to support their Strategic Outcomes Framework.
Chris has supported Boards at a large national polytechnic and at the Tertiary Education Commission and served for four years as a government appointee to an Advisory Board allocating research funding to advance Teaching and Learning.
Growing up in a family with serious mental health issues, at a time when there was no family support available, she is hugely supportive of the contribution that Atareira, as part of SFMINZ, makes to family / whānau, and especially proud of the COPMIA services (Children of Parents with Mental Illness and Addiction) that Atareira provides.