People

Portrait of Cheryll Martin

General Manager: Cheryll Martin

Cheryll Martin is the General Manager of Volunteering Auckland – an NGO dedicated to leadership, support and promotion of volunteering. She is an early graduate of the Grad. Dip Not for Profit Management at Unitec,

Cheryll considers herself to be a passionate supporter of volunteering with the ability to motivate and inspire people to believe in the power of helping others. She is a trainer, presenter and consultant regarding volunteerism in particular in the review and development of volunteer involving programmes. She has facilitated professional development workshops across Aotearoa as well as in Papua New Guinea.

Cheryll was a member of the Auckland Social Policy Forum, Ministerial Reference Group for the International Year of Volunteers, and was a community representative on the Ministry of Social Policy Volunteers & Volunteering Policy Project.

Cheryll is a life time volunteer, currently teaching handcrafts at her local Community House. She is currently learning Te Reo with Te Wananga o Aotearoa.


Portrait of Komal Bhatia

Administration I Accounts: Komal Bhatia

Komal joined our staff team in April 2021. Prior to that she volunteered at Volunteering Auckland and Heart Foundation for two years and also has international volunteering experience. She has always been an ardent supporter of social and environmental causes.

Professionally, Komal is a highly experienced business administrator with over 20 years working as an Executive Secretary and Office Administrator in Dubai. Her attention to detail and excellent time management skills means that every task is completed efficiently and to the highest possible standard.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends. She is an avid traveller and likes to see new places.


Portrait of Rachel Falwasser

Stakeholder Engagement I Marketing: Rachel Falwasser

Rachel Falwasser is responsible for Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing, commencing in May 2021. She has been involved with Volunteering Auckland since she was a teenager as a volunteer receptionist and at one day events for various community organisations.

Prior to joining the VA team, Rachel worked as a youth counsellor and family breakdown assessor for Barnardos whilst completing her BA in Psychology and Marketing. She is currently completing her cert 1 and 2 in Te reo Māori at Te Wānanga O Aotearoa.

Rachel is passionate about the community sector and in particular how volunteering can increase positive outcomes for individuals and promote community engagement and connection. Rachel’s experience in marketing, customer service management and working with not for profit organisations will help her create meaningful stakeholder relationships.


Portrait of Rich Easton

Chairperson: Rich Easton

Since July 2015

Rich works as the CEO of the Neurological Foundation of NZ, having moved into this NGO role after 30+ years leading IT, technology & digital teams in the Telco & Insurance sectors. During his Corporate roles he was an active participant in promoting volunteer programmes, and an Ambassador for the Spark Foundation.

Outside of work Rich is a Trustee on the Board of the First Foundation, plus volunteers his time with Springboard Trust, and through the Chamber of Commerce with the Business Mentor’s programme. Rich loves seeing people in the community coming together as volunteers and helping their communities develop. He lives in Papakura and has an enduring passion for motorcycles & rides most days.


Portrait of Abigail Milnes

Trustee: Abigail Milnes

Since April 2017

Abi has worked in a variety of policy and project management roles within local and central government and has a keen interest in public health. Currently Abi works in child mental health service improvement and workforce development at the University of Auckland. Abi is passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives and enjoys finding ways to contribute to the community.


Portrait of Derek Rennie

Trustee: Derek Rennie

Since April 2017

Derek works as a Manager within Management Consulting at PwC New Zealand, specialising in process transformation, analytics, and data governance. He's previously held roles at BNZ working in finance transformation and data governance, and with ASB.

Outside of work, Derek also sits on the Auckland Young Professionals (AYP) committee as Vice President, helping achieve their vision of professionally and personally developing young professionals. He enjoys cycling, cooking, and travelling.


Portrait of Mary Dawson

Trustee: Mary Dawson

Since April 2013

Mary has held a number of governance, advisory and management roles at both international and national levels, professionally and as a volunteer.

Professionally, Mary has a doctorate in clinical child psychology from Nottingham University UK, and worked in senior clinical and research roles in the UK and NZ, including as Regional Clinical Manager of the Auckland Specialist Services, NZ Child Youth and Family Services. She was heavily involved in setting up the first multi-agency child protection investigation centre in Australasia, and was also a founding trustee of the Wellington HELP Centre.

In 2005 Mary became Chief Executive for Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS), an NGO responsible for information, advisory, coordination, and advocacy services for Auckland’s migrants and refugees.


Portrait of Natalie Burrett

Trustee: Natalie Burrett

Since March 2013

Natalie’s background is as a Banking and Finance Professional. Having returned from a 4-year stint working in Sydney, currently she is employed by KordaMentha, specialising in business advisory, corporate recovery and restructuring. Her involvement ranges from advisory services such as restructuring and turnaround management, to formal receivership engagements.

Natalie’s memberships include the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with family and friends, cooking, travelling and boating.


Portrait of Eric Yeo

Trustee: Eric Yeo

Eric graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biological Sciences and currently works as an HR Adviser for the University of Auckland.

Outside of his 9-5, he volunteers for the two causes close to his heart - education and youth. He was the Funding Manager for Empower Youth Trust and volunteered for Radio Lollipop at the Auckland Starship Hospital.

He believes that education is core to changing the world for the better. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading, yoga, and having meaningful conversations with people.


Portrait of Sue Plowman

Trustee: Sue Plowman

Sue’s background is working in the community sector and union movement. Currently Sue works for Auckland Disability Law (ADL) as General Manager. ADL is a community law centre which provides disability related legal service and activities for disabled people and within the community.

Sue has a strong commitment to disabled people having access to justice and is a human rights advocate. She believes voluntary work can be a key driver for people to gain skills and experience, plus to participate in and contribute to their community.

Sue has held governance roles over the years in the disability and community sectors. She also worked in the union movement and community sector in management, campaigner and educator roles. Sue holds a Masters of Social Science degree from Waikato University.


Volunteer Stories

The people are all sweet

The people are all sweet

When I first came to New Zealand I received a lot help from others and for the first time I got a feeling of being encouraged and blessed.