Members of the Board of Trustees
Hawksbury’s Board of Trustees is composed of eight members, including a Trustee representing the people supported by the Trust. Its Chairman is Richard Thomson.
The Board of Trustees have the crucial role of determining the strategies for Hawksbury’s funds and governance activities and overseeing their implementation
Richard Thomson - Chair
PGDip. Clin. Psych, MA, BA Hons (first class)
Richard is the Dunedin based Chair of Hawksbury, a position he has held now for over 20 years. He trained at Otago University as a Clinical Psychologist and after graduating was offered a position as a lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago Medical School. After several years Richard resigned his position to run the Dunedin Environment Centre as part of a major campaign to prevent an aluminium smelter being built at Aramoana on the Otago Harbour. During this period he set up, with his partner Anita, a small shop that helped to pay the rent on the campaign headquarters. As a result of this he discovered a love of retail that has resulted over the last thirty years in the building up of the Acquisitions retail chain which now number 19 stores from Auckland to Dunedin.
Richard has remained active in health however. As well as his long term involvement with Hawksbury he has spent time as a Board Member on the old Otago Area Health Board, and since 2000 has been a member of the Otago DHB and then the Southern DHB. This included seven years as Chair of the Board. When the SDHB Board was dismissed by the Minister of Health in 2015 he was appointed by the Minister as a deputy Commissioner to run the DHB – a position he still holds. In 2010 he was elected as top polling Councillor to the Dunedin City Council. He served two terms as a Councillor before work pressure meant he decided not to stand for election in 2016. In his second term he was the Chair of Finance for the Council. Richard is also a Trustee or Director of a number of other organisations including the Health Care Otago Charitable Trust and was a director and Chairman of Composite Retail Group before relinquishing that position in 2015. From 2010 to 2013 he was a Board member of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
Felicity Bond - Deputy Chair
MA Psychology (Dist) Otago
Felicity was delighted to join the Hawksbury Board in 2010 in the role of representative for people for whom Hawksbury is home. Her specific role on the Board is to filter all information and decisions through the lens of service users. This enables those who live daily with disability to effectively have a voice in shaping the direction and development of the support they receive.
For the past 21 years Felicity has been the Manager of Dunedin Friend-Link, a service for people with intellectual disabilities which focuses on the social and recreational aspects of life. She is involved with several disability groups and organisations including the self advocacy group, People First, the Disability Service Providers Network and the Enabling Good Lives working party.
Felicity is fortunate in that her work brings her into close contact with many people who are supported by a range of services, both residential and vocational. This enables a broad view of both what is most important to people themselves and the different way things are done across the sector. When providing services, obviously the voice of those most affected needs to be listened to and heard. Felicity is committed to her role of keeping this voice at the very heart of Hawksbury governance.
Spending as much time as possible at the family’s Central Otago farmhouse retreat is a major aim in life, along with vicarious travel through overseas based adult children.
Matthew Taylor - Treasurer
Matthew joined Hawksbury as a Trustee in May 2012, thanks to a referral from our previous and valued Treasurer. Matthew is well-known throughout the South Island as a Business Advisor, and he has found immense pleasure in using the skills he has gained in practice over 30 years for the benefit of the Trust. Matthew appreciates the invaluable support of staff and management working in the Canterbury and Otago residences, and can see the positive impact of their efforts on the lives of our clients and their families. As a result, he has found his time with Hawksbury to be a very rewarding experience.
In his day job, Matthew is the Managing Principal at Crowe Horwath for the Southern Region, which includes Otago and Canterbury and is responsible for the strategic direction and operational management of these firms. Across all areas of the business community, Matthew offers a complete range of business advisory and accounting services. He is known for providing quality, practical advice based on tried and tested experience, combined with a dedication to clients and their businesses.
Matthew grew up on the family Orchard in a farming community in Central Otago. He enjoys spending time with his wife and children, and when he is not travelling or enjoying his children’s’ pursuits, he is ride his bike, playing tennis, or in his garden.
W.D. (Bill) McElhinney - Board of Trustee member
Bill has had an association with intellectual disability for the past forty-three years. He was Chairperson of the Templeton Centre Parents Association throughout the period of de-institutionalisation and was awarded the Queen’s Service Order, in 1999, for his work and leadership during that process. He joined Hawksbury as a Trustee in 1998 and has served in that position for the past 18 years. Bill still enjoys working with the Trust and being involved with the changes that are taking place and the positive effect that it makes to the life of our people. He hopes to continue to be able to contribute to the on-going success of the Trust and further enhance the lives of the intellectually disabled folk we care for.
His involvement with intellectual disability has also includes working with the Templeton Centre Welfare Council and has held the position of Chairperson for the last eight years. He has also been a Trustee for Enrich Chaplaincy Trust since its inception in 2009.
Catherine Woods - Board of Trustee member
Catherine’s interest in the Hawksbury Trust started when her brother Dennis was looking for a new place to live after so many years at Templeton Hospital.
Born in Dunedin where Catherine also completed her schooling, she trained as a primary teacher, and moved around New Zealand teaching in quite a few places before settling in Christchurch in the 1990's. Back then she had a very strong interest in the Pony Club movement especially when her two boys were riding and was a firm believer in the philosophies expressed within this movement for young people.
Now retired from teaching, Catherine finds she has life so busy she wonders, just like so many retirees, how she ever had time to work. Two days a week Catherine does volunteer work. One is Riding for the Disabled which means she keeps the contact with horses, and also can work with children with special needs; she also does a shift at Nurse Maude Hospice which she finds rewarding and meaningful. Catherine belongs to a Walking Group and a Book Club as well. Along with those activities, there is her love for her garden and she has different craft work on the go.
Catherine enjoys being involved with the Hawksbury Family and is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees.
Graham Spence - Board of Trustee member
QSJM, PHF, B.Arch, NZCD(Arch), FNZIA (rtd), and past member of NZID
Graham trained as an architect and was involved in a number of high profile public buildings throughout New Zealand, the most notable as architect in charge of Parliament Buildings and as Project Architect for the construction of the Executive Building (the Beehive). He was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal for services to the Crown.
In the latter years of his career he managed the Buildings and Property offices of Works Consultancy in Napier and Dunedin offices and more recently as a member of the architectural team at Salmond Anderson Architects.
In his ‘retirement’ he is a director of Heaven Sent Pet Cremations (2006) Ltd and Graham Spence Architectural Consultancy, Dunedin.
Graham became involved in the Hawksbury Community Living Trust in 1988/89. He had been the member and secretary of the Access Subcommittee of the Disabled Persons Assembly in Dunedin and it seemed perfectly appropriate to become involved in the Trust’s work when asked by Heather Maxwell. He is currently the longest serving Trust member.
He, and his wife Jenny, as many parents do, was fully involved in the education of their daughters holding positions of President of the Upper Hutt Kindergarten Association through to the Wellington Education Board’s representative on the Heretaunga College Board of Governors. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Art Deco Trust in Napier in 1985 in which he was endowed with a Life Membership.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Dunedin Central and has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for his service to the community and his club. His wife, Jenny, has also been awarded a PHF for her service to the community and club.
With the broad range of his involvement in the welfare of those less advantaged in our community Graham has been, and is, extremely proud to be part of the Hawksbury Trust team.