Jen Braithwaite (Research & Operations)
Jen Braithwaite is a lawyer specialising in Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi issues and a passionate advocate for children and young people's’ rights. She chairs the board of YouthLaw Aotearoa Inc and sits on the management committee of Child Poverty Action Group. She is also a long practising yogi and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2017. She works with The Kindness Institute because personal experience has shown her the benefits of yoga and mindfulness and she believes in making these tools accessible and available to everyone, especially our rangatahi.
Cheryl Bowie (Organisational & Social Enterprise Advisor)
Cheryl is a founding director of The Coaching Collective, a network of experienced coaches delivering executive coaching services to the corporate market. She is also a senior leader and consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the fields of operational, project and general management with a core competency in change and transformation.
As a passionate advocate for both young people and women in business, Cheryl actively mentors several young women starting out in their careers. Her interest in The Kindness Institute comes from a deep desire to support young people develop resilience in such a fast changing world and from her own personal journey with mindfulness and mediation over 20+ years.
Robyn King (Social Media & Comms)
Robyn is a digital content creator, film nerd & māmā. She has worked in social media for the past 6 years and is stoked to be able to help tell the story of an organisation working with young people to cultivate the tools they need to navigate stress, build resilience and realise their epicness.
Lauren Mclay (Administration)
Lauren McLay is an actress based in Auckland. She's an experienced administrator and amazing at making sure things run smoothly at TKI!
Her passion is to see youth reach their potential. Lauren found the Mindfulness 4 week course at The Kindness Institute personally transformational. "I learnt tools that faded my anxiety and stress levels. This was when I realized what TKI does for the youth and how powerful the tools are that TKI are teaching them. To be able to help in any capacity for TKI is nothing but rewarding."
Chelsea Bridges (Events, Administration & Merchandise)
Chelsea Bridges has significant experience in office management & organisational support within industries ranging from business consultancy/change management through to information technology, yet her true passion has always been making better people and systems.
Chelsea’s previous charity work has had a strong focus on youth development and personal enablement as these are extremely close to her heart. Throughout Chelsea’s life she has seen adversity and poverty which has strengthened her resolve to make the world a better place.
With added years of experience in music events and personal management she brings a unique ability to relate to people from any age or background. She is passionate about Te Reo Māori, holistic healing and alternative music.
Her work within The Kindness Institute encompasses all her previous experience while adding her love for helping people help become better themselves.
Therese Walley (Kids Yoga Teacher & Events Support)
Therese is 200 hour certified yoga teacher and dreams of bringing yoga into the lives of many more rangatahi and people who would normally not have access to the practice. Therese teaches our 5-11 year olds and is running a course at Yoga Ground, Grey Lynn.
During the day Therese works as a project and events manager, so was the perfect person to organise all our behind-the-scenes-logistics for our 2017 ATAWHAI youth programme.. From organising sponsors, liasing with our team of volunteers and rangatahi, and helping to plan all the requirements for the event - Therese made sure everything happened.
Deb Fong (Womens Prison Yoga Teacher & Events Support)
Having taught yoga for over 10 years Deb has witnessed first hand the changes yoga and mindfulness can make to peoples life. Deb volunteers because, she thinks its important to have yoga and mindfulness training available to people who would not feel comfortable or be able to afford studio classes.
Deb was drawn to the Kindness Institute having seen the stresses the teenagers around her were facing without really been taught many skills to deal with things. She left her corporate IT role to teach yoga full-time in 2017 and started volunteering with us in operations support and teaching yoga at Wiri Womens Prison
Nikki Rhodes (Youth Mentor, High School & youth Justice Teacher)
Nikki has worked as a university lecturer, dance teacher, currently works with teen mothers and is the Lead Teacher for The Kindness Institute. Nikki completed qualifications in secondary school teaching, psychology, classical studies, Latin and childbirth education. Nikki maintains a strong yoga and meditation practice which has proved invaluable as tools to share when teaching, and for herself as a young mother of three daughters. Nikki is exceptionally passionate about bringing these practices to the wider community; in particular, to youth who have been educationally excluded, teen mothers and women in prison. Through her work with these groups at The Kindness Institute, she has seen tremendous growth in their stress management, emotional regulation and resilience.
Katie Harrison (Youth Mentor)
Katie is a māmā and works mentoring at risk whanau as an Incredible Years Parenting Program facilitator.
Katie supports The Kindness Institute because she supports the wellbeing of Rangatahi in Aotearoa. She think its absolutely vital to pass these tools on to youth so that they can ride the waves of what is a pretty complex and emotional time in their development. ‘Building kind and resilient rangatahi should be a priority in this country and I feel very privileged to be a part of this mahi that aims to do this.’
Max Currie (Youth Mentor)
Max Currie is a writer and director of TV drama and feature films, including Shortland Street, Step Dave, and his debut feature film, Everything We Loved. He plays rugby for NZ’s gay-and-inclusive team, the NZ Falcons. After mentoring youth as part of the Kindness Institute’s Atawhai pilot program, Max saw first-hand how teaching mindfulness and meditation techniques to our teenagers helps them deal with one of the biggest problems in their lives - stress.
Dominic Hoey (Youth Mentor)
Dominic Hoey is a poet, author, and musician based in Auckland, New Zealand. Dominic has released five critically acclaimed studio albums, two books of poetry, four short films, a one man show and a best-selling novel. In a former life, he was an MC battle- and slam-poetry champion. He’s performed his spoken-word poetry in Australia, Europe, England, Japan, and America. Meditation and yoga are important in Dominic’s life and he is passionate about sharing these tools to support positive mental health and loves supporting our young people as a youth mentor.