Our Team

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Stephen Opie - CEO

Stephen joined Age Concern Wellington in April 2020. He has extensive leadership experience in the charitable sector after spending 18 years working for various non-profit organisations. Stephen’s primary focus has been strategic leadership, project management, communications and fundraising.

Stephen is passionate about ensuring our region’s older people are connected into their communities and have access to the support and services they need. He believes Age Concern Wellington can make a difference in the lives of many people, but not without the support of dedicated volunteers and generous supporters.

Stephen has been married for 19 years and has two children, one at College and the other at Intermediate. He has lived all over the country, and even spent time living in Tonga as a child.

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Ann Dalziel

Ann is the Health Promotions & Community Support Coordinator based in our Wellington office. She manages our SAY Go classes and health promotion workshops and is the person most likely to answer your phone call. She has worked at Age Concern Wellington for the past 8 years and has acquired a wide spread of knowledge – she will always give helpful advice, and if outside her area of expertise, will direct you to the appropriate person.

In addition to working at Age Concern, Ann is on the Board of WellElder, a Counselling Service for older people, on Community Networks Wellington – a network of social services in Wellington, and is the Consumer Council Member for Capital and Coast DHB’s Primary Clinical Group.

Outside of work Ann keeps fit and healthy by exercising early every morning – swimming, gym or dancing. She is an avid reader and loves the cinema. Twice monthly she assists at Wellington Cathedral – at the early 8.00 a.m. service.

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Lynn Crossland

Lynn has joined Age Concern in a newly appointed role as the Companion Walking Service Coordinator. With a background in Nursing and working as a Coordinator for a Sports Trust for people with learning disabilities, she brings with her experience and a passion for helping others to improve their health and physical fitness.

Lynn is enjoying starting up this new service and taking it out to as many suburbs as possible to provide the support and assistance to our elderly members that have mobility issues and feel isolated at home.

Lynn loves meeting new people and looking forward to working with clients, volunteers and service providers to work towards making a positive difference to peoples lives.

Also from the UK she has recently moved to Wellington from Nelson after having spent 14 years there. She enjoys walking, keeping fit and being part of a re-cycle re-purpose community sewing group.

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Kirsten Blyde

Kia ora. It is a pleasure to have commenced the role of Social Connection Coordinator with Wellington Age Concern. I am a Kiwi who has lived all over New Zealand, but have made Porirua home for the past 10 years. We live close to Plimmerton beach and walking along the waterfront is one of my favourite pastimes.

I have had a varied career including, working in the health sector as a nurse and tertiary education as a tutor. This was in the NZ Health and Wellbeing Certificate at WelTec for 10 years. During my time as a tutor I was lucky enough to visit many older people while supporting students with their learning. I always enjoyed spending time listening to the clients stories and connecting with them in a positive way.

The role of Social Connection Coordinator is a great opportunity to hear from older people about how they would like support to have meaningful connection with their communities.

My motto will be to ‘listen first, then act’.

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Lorna Harvey

Lorna joined Age Concern Wellington in January 2020 to look after communications and marketing. She began working with Age Concern as a volunteer visitor and is a strong supporter of the work Age Concern does. Her wish is to see more seniors in our communities be valued and connected every day. 

Lorna comes from a writing and communications background. Until 2018, she was a municipal councillor in Switzerland in charge of, among other things, senior services. She also serves on the board of the Petone Community House, and is the author or editor of several books. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and a Master of Arts in Communication and Applied Linguistics. She loves reading, gardening, and hanging-out with her family and friends.

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Jessica Russell

Jess joined Age Concern Wellington Region in June 2021 as Administration Assistant. She has worked in Office and Operations Management, HR, Accounts and general Administration since graduating from Otago University in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Film, Media and Communication as well as English Literature. Since university, she has travelled the world but is happy to be back home in Wellington where she grew up.

Jess is excited to work at Age Concern Wellington Region as she believes seniors need to feel connected to their community. She enjoys spending time with seniors and has had fun visiting various Retirement Villages with her children for ‘Baby Bounce and Rhyme’. When she is not at work, she is busy racing around after her one and four year olds, doing yoga, and spending time with her extended family.

Our Board

Michael Knight - Board Chair

Michael has a background in export and management of national and international companies. Michael is Managing Director of Strategic Management Services Ltd specializing in SME business development. Ten years was spent domiciled in Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom before returning to New Zealand. Following which, 25 years was spent in export marketing and logistics management.

As an expatriate and business consultant, countries of work experience include: New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Denmark and Tonga. He is past Chairperson of the Institute of Accredited Business Consultants, a Board member of the Lower Hutt Chamber of Commerce and Business Hutt Valley, and member of Mount Victoria Rotary.

 

For the past five years Michael has been Chairperson of a medium sized manufacturing business where he has been responsible for business planning and the development of human resource, quality and health and safety systems. He is a certified Institute Accredited Business Adviser and Facilitator, an accredited APEC Training Assessor, a registered NZTE partnership consultant and is an internationally certified Quality Management Systems Auditor and Lead Auditor. Michael has been an Age Concern Wellington Region Board Member for two years, and looks forward to continuing to contribute to the development and repositioning of the organisation.

 

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Elizabeth Steer - Vice-Chair

Elizabeth currently works at Careerforce (Industry Training Organisation) where she manages the qualifications for Health Care Assistants in Aged Care and Home Support. She has previously been a Business Development Advisor at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise supporting new and current exporters, a Business Mentor for Business Mentors New Zealand, CEO of Manawatu Business Development Board and small business owner. Elizabeth has a strong background in community participation, coordinating initiatives such as Community Fruit Wellington.

 

Susan Iversen - Board Member

Susan has been a Board Member of Age Concern Wellington Region since 2013, and was President (Chair) from 2017 to 2020. She is the Director at Karo Data Management. Susan has 25 years of experience working on database design, development and implementation, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering and university papers in computer science. She was a practice manager at Newtown Union Health Service, and has an interest in primary and community health providers.

 

Lucy Knowles - Board Member

Lucy is currently on maternity leave from Hutt City Council after having her first baby, William. She has been in the role of Community Facilitator at Hutt City Council for 5 years and holds the Seniors portfolio. Lucy got involved with Age Concern as she wants to see positive change in social isolation and loneliness that is growing amongst the senior community. Her personal interests include playing and coaching netball, walking her two dogs and now William too, reading and cooking. 

 

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Paul Green - Board Member

Paul is a retired Massey University Lecturer and founding member of the Manawatu Society for Alcohol and Drug Use, and the Manawatu Community Justice Trust. His work has included Ethics Committee memberships. Paul believes voluntary organisations such as Age Concern contribute to the common good of our community, and he’s committed to continuing to help this organisation.

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Jill Tanner-Lloyd - Board Member

Jill works as National Communications and Marketing Manager for Ako Aotearoa, has worked in the tertiary education sector in Communications and Marketing for the past 13 years, and has a degree and postgrad diploma in Communications from Massey University. Jill’s family has enjoyed Age Concern Wellington Region’s services and support over the last two years, and is keen to get involved in supporting the organisation’s growth and future potential.
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Sharn Riggs - Board Member

Sharn recently retired from 10 years as CEO of the Tertiary Education Union. She has extensive experience in NGO management and governance processes, policy development and implementation, and people management. Sharn believes Age Concern’s work is critical in a rapidly changing environment for seniors, and is looking forward to helping the organisation develop as the population of seniors across the region grows.

 

Aaron Scott - Board Member

Aaron is the CEO/Founder of Somar where he and his team have successfully delivered hundreds of projects across the business, government, and NGO sectors including large-scale data integrations. He believes that digital inclusion is an important topic for Kiwis, especially for the elderly. He would like to take his 15+ years’ experience in the digital field and help positively shape Age Concern’s digital customer experience.