Our team


Jen Braithwaite (Research & Operations)

Jen 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 she believes in making Mindfulness and Yoga accessible to everyone, especially our rangatahi.


Robyn King (Social Media & Comms)

Robyn is a digital content creator, film nerd & mama. 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! Her passion is to see youth reach their potential. Lauren found the Mindfulness 4 week course at The Kindness Institute personally transformational. "To be able to help in any capacity for TKI is nothing but rewarding," she says.


Chelsea Bridges (Events, Administration & Merchandise)

Chelsea has significant experience in office management & organisational support. Her previous charity work has had a strong focus on youth development and personal enablement as these are extremely close to her heart. 
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, alternative music and helping people become better at helping themselves.


Therese Walley (Kids Yoga Teacher & Events Support)

Therese is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and dreams of bringing Yoga into the lives of many more  people who would normally not have access to the practice. Therese teaches our 5-11 year olds. During the day, Therese works as a project and events manager, so was the perfect person to help organise all our behind-the-scenes-logistics for ATAWHAI. From organising sponsors, liaising with our team, and helping to plan all the requirements, Therese made sure it 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 lives, and volunteers because she thinks its important to make them available to people who would not feel comfortable or be able to afford studio classes. Deb left her corporate IT role to teach Yoga full-time in 2017 and started volunteering with us in operations support and in teaching yoga at Wiri Womens Prison.


Katie Harrison (Youth Mentor)

Katie is a mama and works mentoring at-risk whanau. She supports The Kindness Institute because she thinks it's 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,’ she says.


Max Currie (Youth Mentor)

Max 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 and practices yoga and mindfulness.  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 stress.


Dominic Hoey (Youth Mentor)

Dominic Hoey has been a youth mentor and practicing yoag and meditation for over 5 years. Dominic is a poet, author, and musician. He 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.