People

Cheryll Martin

General Manager: Cheryll Martin

Cheryll Martin has been with Volunteering Auckland since 1995. She has been in a leadership role at Volunteering Auckland since 1998. She is the past Chair of the Birkdale Beach Haven Community Project, former Trustee for Takapuna North Trust, and former Trustee for Love to Live NZ. She was also a member of the Auckland Social Policy Forum, Ministerial Reference Group for the International Year of Volunteers, 2001; and was a community representative on the Ministry of Social Policy Volunteers & Volunteering Policy Project. Cheryll completed the Graduate Diploma in Not For Profit Management in 2011.

Cheryll’s role at VA includes HR Staff Management; Funding – Applications, Accountability Reporting & Relationships; Stakeholder Relationships – Local/Central Govt, & Others; Training – Management, Planning, Delivery; Events/Projects – management, planning, delivery; D/Base – Management; IT – Management; Accounts – Management; WWW/Social Media – Planning, Delivery; Media/Marketing – Planning, Delivery; Volunteer Centre Network Relationship & Responsibilities as well as Reporting, Planning, Monitoring of VA Services.

Cheryll is also a mother of one, grandmother of 3 and is an avid crafter and Stockcars racing fanatic!


Marja van Straaten

Services Coordinator: Marja van Straaten

Marja has been with Volunteering Auckland since January 1999 – she has a background in administration. Her role with VA involves ensuring that the VA office runs smoothly with adequate staffing levels for the front desk and administrative support, and our Recruitment and Referral Programme. This includes supervision and training of in-house volunteer staff involved in these areas. Ensuring the accuracy of information held on our in-house database, which enables staff and volunteers to do their work, is high on her list of priorities.

Marja also looks after NfP Membership Services and administration around Professional Development opportunities offered by Volunteering Auckland.

In her work Marja feels inspired by the generosity of volunteers with their time and skills; the people that go out of their way to make a difference not only to our organisation but to the wider community. She feels fortunate to work in a role in the voluntary sector that sees the very best of the community – people looking outwards: “how can I help?”


Caroline Wearn

Employee Volunteering Programme Coordinator: Caroline Wearn

Caroline joined Volunteering Auckland in June 2015. She has a legal background and worked as a solicitor in commercial law firms in the UK for 10 years before moving to NZ in 2001. Since then, she has been involved in not-for-profit volunteering roles in governance and management, being a board member of a mental health trust and closely involved with ‘mainly music’ at a local and national board level. Her passion for the non-profit sector led to tertiary study and she completed the Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management at Unitec in 2013.

Caroline works with VA's community group members to set up one day corporate volunteering opportunities and match these with corporate staff teams. She enjoys supporting companies in running their EV programmes and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which brings together her experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors to benefit the community as a whole.


Nick Scott

Chairperson: Nick Scott

Since October 2012 (Trustee since March 2012)

Currently works as a Commercial Relationship Manager with BNZ. Previously Nick worked for an international bank in NZ before a posting to their head office in London to work in their Corporate and Investment Banking division. Nick moved back to Auckland with his wife and has one son. Nick is passionate about Auckland’s community and sees opportunities for volunteering to connect people to communities and build opportunities at the same time.


Rich Easton

Vice Chairperson: Rich Easton

Since July 2015

Works as a Leadership, Management & Technology Consultant, currently contracted to IAG and is involved in leading their Digital transformation. Previously Rich worked for Spark NZ in a variety of roles and there was an Ambassador for the Spark Foundation.

Outside of work Rich volunteers his time with Springboard Trust, the First Foundation 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.


Frazer Orr

Trustee: Frazer Orr

Since April 2012

Frazer has been Web Content Coordinator at the University of Auckland since moving to New Zealand in November 2009. Prior to that he was Web Manager at the Institute of Fundraising in London, UK. The Institute is the professional membership body for UK fundraising, whose mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards-setting and education.


Guy Alexander

Trustee: Guy Alexander

Since July 2015

Hi, I'm Guy Alexander. I am a tech enthusiast, and sales leader currently working for Xero. I'm passionate about finding ways to mix business with community. I got involved with Volunteering Auckland after having a year off NFP governance. I believe that every opportunity to volunteer helps create stronger and safer communities. In today's connected age we have tended to become further disconnected from our local roots - so i saw Volunteering Auckland as a vehicle for further fostering a "sense of community" in Auckland and after seeing their amazing work - wanted to get involved! I hope that as a board and organisation we can ensure volunteering is relevant to the community and is further weaved into daily life for Aucklander's.


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.


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.


Robert Blucher

Trustee: Robert Blucher

Since March 2013

Robert has worked in the education sector for over 35 years. His career as a secondary school Mathematics teacher, middle manager and senior manager in different schools throughout New Zealand culminated in being Principal of Forest View High School in Tokoroa for 11½ years. He has also worked for the Education Review Office, and his current position is as Northern Regional Manager of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (the New Zealand Correspondence School). Robert has been involved in a range of voluntary community, cultural and sporting organizations over the years, and has a passion for facilitating others to contribute to the Auckland community.


Volunteer Stories

Beyond Expectations

Beyond Expectations

As an international student just arriving in New Zealand I wanted to find a way to familiarise myself with the new environment. Completely by chance I heard about Volunteering Auckland from a friend.