START Staff

START Staff

The entire START team is committed to quality service provision for victims of sexual crime under the following guiding principles:

  • We believe that people have the right to be safe.
  • We believe that victims have the ability to heal from sexual abuse.
  • We believe that the abuser is always responsible for the abuse.
  • We recognize that non-abused family members can also suffer as a result of sexual abuse and often benefit from support.
  • We believe that the clinician’s task is to facilitate the healing process by showing clients unconditional positive regard, respect and empathy.
  • We believe that well developed professional skills are important.

Maggy Tai Rākena
Manager
Registered Social Worker
MANZASW
Grad. Dip. Not For Profit Mgnt,
Certs Certs SW, Early Childhood Care, Cmty Psych Care, Counselling

Maggy’s early work background & training was in early childhood education in the areas of daycare, crèche & kohanga reo for over 20 years. She has completed a Certificate in Social Work, a Certificate of Proficiency in NGO Leadership & other Management papers at Canterbury University, a Certificate in Community Psychiatric Care through the University of Otago, & a Graduate Diploma in Not For Profit Management through Unitec.

Maggy has been the Manager at START since 1994 and it is her role to oversee the effective day to day operations of the agency. Maggy is the immediate past chair of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, is on the Tauiwi Caucus of TOAH NNEST, was the chair of her local community centre and served on two school’s Board of Trustees from 1989 until 2004.

Catherine Gallagher
Clinical Practice Manager
NZCCP
ACC accredited

Catherine is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked extensively with adults and in the child and family area in both the public and private sectors.

Catherine’s role at START is primarily to support staff in their work with clients, and to work alongside the team to ensure that the children, adults and families we see, receive interventions that are effective, safe, and respectful. Catherine also completes the majority of ACC assessments that are required by our clients. Alongside other staff, she is also involved in providing community education around issues relating to sexual violence, and building and consolidating key relationships both locally and nationally. This includes representation on the Sensitive Claims Advisory Group for ACC.

Catherine joined START in February 2009.

Clinicians:

The Clinician's role at START is to provide information, counselling and support to both individuals and families.  They are able to give consultation sessions with people who find that they have concerns about their children, taking on an information and referral role.  This role also involves providing training in START Workshops.

Jo Bader
Social Worker
ANZASW
ACC accredited

Jo has worked for 14 years in the area of social work, working alongside young people, young parents and families, as well as coordinating and facilitating groupwork. Jo has undertaken training in Interactive Drawing Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Family Partnership, Child Advocacy, and Non-Government leadership. Jo’s values are those of social justice, a desire to protect and equip and to support others to grow in knowledge, understanding and skills for life.

Jo has been with START since March 2015 supporting clients and their whānau on their therapeutic journey.

Myriam Bejjani
Psychologist
B.A., M. Ed., PGDip ChFamPsych

“Myriam is an ACC accredited child and family psychologist and has been practicing for 15 years across New Zealand and Australia. She has worked within public sectors including early childhood intervention, education and welfare as well as within the private sector. She works holistically by supporting the child/young person via their family or school system. She enjoys supporting parents/caregivers along their parenting journey. She also enjoys supporting children and young people to find their way around problems that are interfering with living life more fully”.

Caroline Fulton

Tony Gallagher
Social Worker

Tony qualified as  a Social Worker 30 years ago. He spent over 15 years in the Probation Service in the UK supporting vulnerable adults and their families to make positive changes, alongside contributing to safety in the community. He has also worked in Care and Protection and been a strong advocate for caregivers parenting children who cannot live with birth parents- both in NZ and the UK. He has undertaken group work training and facilitated learning for a variety of client groups.

Tony has a certificate in counselling, and has trained in supervision and attachment theory, with a particular focus on working with caregivers living with children who have experienced trauma.. He leads with a solution focused approached, building safe trusting relationships with individuals and families, to enable them to take responsibility for the direction they want their lives to take.

Jan Jeans

Mike Jillings
Counsellor
MSW (Q)
BA (Hons)
MNZAC
ACC Accredited

Mike is an ACC Registered counsellor and Social worker. He commenced his role at START early in 2016 and works with older children, youth and adults of any gender. Mike has worked with children, young people and adults since 1994, in England, Australia and New Zealand. Within the last 10 years, in both Australia and New Zealand, he has worked with those affected by family violence, those who have displayed harmful sexual behaviours and those who are surviving the effects of sexual violence. He has also provided therapeutic and case management services to survivors and their families involved in the work of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mike has a particular passion for working alongside men, where they are better able to survive the complex relational trauma and shame that often stems from abuse and participate more fully within their lives and relationships.

He is committed to working with authenticity, demonstrating inclusivity, where those affected by trauma can experience the reparative nature of the therapeutic relationship.

Samantha MacGibbon
Child and Family Psychologist
Postgraduate Diploma Child and Family Psychology
MSc (Hons) Child and Family Psychology
Grad Dip Sc (Dist) Psychology; BA Japanese and Psychology
MNZPsS
ACC Accredited

Samantha is specifically trained to work with children, adolescents, and their families and has a special interest in complex trauma and children in care. She takes a holistic, ecological and systemic approach to working with children and believes that ‘kids do well if they can’. From a strengths-based perspective, she is passionate about empowering the systems surrounding the child and building greater understanding and empathy around the effects of trauma.
Samantha has worked in a variety of settings including specialist mental health services and schools, and also works part-time at Family Works. Her practice is informed by Trauma-Focused CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Synergetic Play Therapy. She is also trained in EMDR. Samantha joined START in October 2018.

Kathryn MacKenzie
Reg. Psychotherapist
MNZAP
BACP DAPAANZ
ACC Accredited

Kathryn worked from 1992 as a counsellor then psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice in Christchurch, including providing psychotherapy to inmates at Christchurch Women’s Prison as an ACC Sensitive Claims Treatment provider. In 2007 she closed her practice and went walkabout, spending time in many places including her native UK, before returning to Aotearoa in 2014 to work in North Canterbury as a Family Counsellor. She especially values creativity and the unique nature of every individual and healing path.

Kathryn joined the START team in 2016 and has a part-time practice in Christchurch.

Lucy Matthews
Psychotherapist
Cert Somatic Psychotherapy
BA Fine Arts, BSc Psychology
AANZPA
NZAP
PBANZ
ACC accredited

Lucy has a Psychology and Fine Arts degree, a 3 year certificate of Somatic Psychotherapy and she is currently in her 5th year of training in Psychodrama. Lucy has worked with children and adolescents for 20 years as a carer, leader, social worker and therapist, both overseas and in New Zealand.

Lucy’s Psychodrama and Art training brings a creative and action methodology to her work. From her Somatic Psychotherapy she has a sound understanding of the effects of trauma and ways that we can heal from trauma. With this in mind Mindfulness and Embodiment are corner stones of her practice. She is passionate about being alongside clients during their healing journey. Providing an open, nonjudgmental space for children, adolescents and adults of all gender and identities to thrive.

Lily Nabi
Counsellor
BA (Hons) Psychology

Lily has a BA Honours in Psychology and is currently working towards her Masters in Counselling. She is trained as a Solution Focused counsellor. Lily has four years’ experience in counselling and has worked with survivors of family violence and in a high school. Lily commenced working at START in 2018 and sees children, youth and adults of all genders.

Lily values individual experiences believing there are no “one size fits all” approaches to life and aims to empower clients to overcome personal challenges and heal at their own pace. Lily provides a non-judgemental and genuine space for clients to explore their needs. .

Lisa Phelan
Counsellor
M (Ed) Certificate in Counselling,
BSc (Hons) Psychology
MNZAC,
ACC Accredited

Lisa joined the START team early in 2016 as one of the therapists and works in a part- time capacity with adolescents and adults of all genders. Her experience has been in a number of settings with adolescents, adults and couples. Lisa also works as a Sex Therapist which is one of her passions and areas of speciality. Prior to this she worked at Relationship Aotearoa for a number of years.

Lisa is passionate about the healing process and being with people as they journey to recovery and living a full life. Her approach is a strengths based one informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Attachment theory.

Anna Smit
Child and Family Psychologist
Masters of Science (1st class Hons)
PgDip Child and Family Psychology
NZPsS
ACC accredited

Anna joined the START team in 2019, having worked with children, adolescents, adults, and their families in positions of care, advocacy, mentoring, and for the past three years as a psychologist. Anna works primarily with children and adolescents; however, has a specific background working with adolescents and also those with a disability. She has trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and uses a Person-Centred Approach to therapy. Anna also often completes the assessment element of ACC claims for her clients.

Anna likes to create a space that is first and foremost safe, and works as a team with those that she sees and their whānau. Overall, she aims to help people feel safe and engaged in their own body and their environment, and feels honoured that she is able to be part of this process.

Mareile Stoppel
Counsellor
MNZAC
SEP
ACC Accredited

Mareile has been a contractor for START since 2011 and loves being part of this team. Mareile has been living in New Zealand since 1986 and originally came from Germany. Her educational background is varied: starting with a Masters in Biology and a Diploma of Teaching and leading to a second Masters in Education and Counselling.
Mareile graduated in Solution Focused Therapy and later also trained in Narrative Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy and Art Therapy. She is presently adding to this 3 year’s of training in Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy.
Mareile is ACC registered and a full member of NZAC.

Mareile worked as a counsellor at the Home and Family Society in Christchurch and as a private practitioner with the Christchurch Women’s Centre and the Monarch Centre. She is also a supervisor and has supported many counsellors over the years. Mareile has a long background as a high school teacher and school counsellor at the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School, where she still works part time.

She takes an eclectic and very creative approach to counselling and has a rich experience in working with people of all ages and walks of life, supporting them to overcome challenges.

Wendy Anderson
Administrator
First Aid Certificate
Certificate in Not-for-Profit Administration And Management

Wendy joined START in September 2010. Her role includes all administration duties for START including payroll, financial administration, annual fundraising, some policy development and full administrative support for management and clinical staff. Additionally Wendy undertakes the administration tasks necessary to facilitate referral to START’s services.

Wendy previously worked as a residential social worker and foster parent and worked for a number of years in administration. She also worked for five years in the area of providing equipment for rehabilitation, hospital and rest homes. Wendy has been actively working on several Trusts in the area of finance.