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                               For Auckland call us on 09 4183753 or outside Auckland  0800 472 637
TEXT your name to GRG  for Support: 027 3980388  We will call you back 

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Board of Trustees

The Board of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust New Zealand (“GRG”) is made up of up to eight committed professional volunteers who have a diverse range of life, parenting, cultural, legal, business, management and commercial skills and experience. They meet once a month and set the strategic direction of the Trust which is to promote a community of grandparents raising grandchildren as full-time caregivers in New Zealand where they are empowered to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home for their grandchildren and an environment that protects and promotes their long-term wellbeing and development.

Diane Vivian QSO | Founding Trustee

Diane Vivian founded GRG in 1999 after she received a life-changing knock on the door in 1997 and was presented with two traumatised grandchildren needing a home; the children of her fostered daughter.  As she grappled with the challenges their particular needs presented on a daily basis she looked for help.  There was none.  After placing a notice in the local paper to sound out others in her position she was inundated with calls from similarly stressed grandparent caregivers. A public meeting was held and the first support group formed in 1999 with the establishment of the Trust in 2001. 
Diane has steered the organisation from the start with drive, determination and a deep compassion and understanding of the needs of grandparent caregivers and their grandchildren.  She has spoken to thousands of people and hundreds of organisations over the years educating them from politicians and lawmakers to community groups and professionals, helping to bring about many positive changes in law and policy for the benefit of grandparent and kin caregivers.  In 2013 she was both a category finalist in the Women of Influence awards and appointed to the Ministry of Social Development’s Ministerial Reference Group set up to provide expert advice to the Minister on the $35M funding budgeted over four years to extended family members caring for children. Diane was honoured for her work with seniors and youth as a Companion of the Queen's Service Order in the 2017 New Year's Honours List.
She is married in 1967 and along with her husband raised three children, two foster children and two foster grandchildren. Today she has 8 grandchildren.


Jo-Anne Thomas | Chair and Trustee

Jo-Anne is a family law specialist and associate at Schnauer & Co with over eight years experience in family law litigation, relationship property and elder law. 

She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland and a Diploma in Occupational Therapy. 

Before joining Schnauer & Co in 2011 she worked for Minter Ellison Rudd Watts for three years.  In addition to her work as a Board member for the trust she is a Volunteer legal adviser to the North Shore Women’s Centre.

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Sharon Richardson | Trustee

Sharon has been a long time member of GRG and is thrilled to contribute her skills and experience to GRG.  Sharon’s experience includes fostering children for 30 years, running a day care for 40 years and she is also a respite carer for Child Youth and Family caregivers.  Sharon loves volunteer work and also visits local rest homes for Age Concern and the Salvation Army. Married to Gary since 1968, they are raising a grandchild together.  Sharon is also a fabulous cook and loves to share her baking with the elderly in care. 


David White | Trustee

David and his wife Pam became “grandparents raising grandchildren” one morning in 2009 when he collected them from their schools and told them their mother had died.  Like too many others, becoming the children's full-time care givers was an enormous hurdle, and for a time, felt like an impossible one. A stabilising influence was a call to Di Vivian and joining GRG. Knowing they weren't alone, and that there are others who were already walking down this path, gave them the confidence to continue raising a new generation.  Having accepted help from others, David got to the point of then being able to help others in turn.

Over the last five years, his main drive has been to campaign against the family violence that took his daughter’s life, which has included speaking to many groups and organisations from primary school children on showing respect to each other, to prison inmates on a better way to live. David also spends a lot of time helping others through the Court system, guiding them through depositions and writing Victim Impact Statements, or just holding their hand through the emotional turmoil. He has taken his experience to Parliament and made submissions to Select Committee Hearings on many aspects that have affected them and where improvements can be made, including the call for children in grandparent care to receive the same clothing allowance as available to children in foster care.
David and Pam were married in 1966 and have ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Sharon Richardson

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Judith McKay | Trustee

Judith McKay recently retired from her position as the General Manager Finance and Estates for AUT University where she had responsibility for the Finance and Property portfolios.  Prior to joining AUT, Judith was Finance and Administration Manager for the Union Shipping Group of companies, company accountant for a number of manufacturing companies, and an auditor at Price Waterhouse and a Cobol programmer.

Judith is a Chartered Accountant and is a member of the Institute of Directors. She has been married to Ross for 43 years, has two adult daughters and three young grand-daughters

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Des Brennan | Trustee

Des Brennan has enjoyed a wide-ranging business career in leadership and strategic roles. These have been with prominent New Zealand organisations including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Yachting New Zealand, Montana Wines, Fletcher Building, Television New Zealand, and Anchor Foods (New Zealand Dairy Company).

He has served on the boards of South Pacific Pictures, Netball New Zealand, The New Zealand Way, the New Zealand Recreation Association, Snow Sports New Zealand as well as several trade organisations.

He is currently a council member of the Waikato Institute of Technology, a director of Basketball New Zealand and a trustee of The Graduate Choir NZ Trust.

He has a BSc in Chemistry from Victoria, and an MBA (with distinction) from Massey University. He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.


Jocelyn Bray | Trustee

Jocelyn is the founder of Inspiration Point, a boutique marketing agency that works with SMEs, start-up and not-for-profit organisations. She has extensive experience and expertise in the fields of marketing strategy, branding and customer engagement.
Jocelyn was previously a partner at Y & R, an international advertising agency based in Wellington, where she was a member of the New Zealand and Australian boards. Jocelyn has lectured part-time in marketing strategy and management at the University of Auckland Business School and is an occasional conference speaker.

Pru Etcheverry  ONZM| Trustee

Pru is committed to adding value to Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) bringing experience both from governance roles and from her CEO position in the NGO sector. She currently sits on several advisory boards and another not for profit board, and chairs two of these - an international not for profit headquartered in Canada, and a University of Auckland Governance Advisory Board. Pru comes from a wide-ranging career focused mainly in healthcare.

She is a member of Institute of Directors and has undertaken significant director training including recently completing the Institute’s Company Directors Course.
Advocacy is particularly dear to her heart and she is committed to working collaboratively having held leadership roles across the healthcare sector.

She was honoured in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) – acknowledging the national and international impact of her work in the health and NGO sectors.
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Consultant to the GRG Board

Jill Worrall, MNZM

Jill Worrall is the mother of three sons and grandmother to six grandchildren. With her late husband John, the family cared for several foster children over a period of twenty years. Jill was raised by extended family for the first half of her childhood. She has been a nurse, a social worker and a senior lecturer in social work at Massey University. She has had the privilege of writing the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Handbook and undertaking the GRG research on Grandparent and other kin caregivers 2005 and 2009.

Life Members: Debbie Gillies, Jill Neherny, Miriama Paraone-Davies, Samina Corbett

RSM Hayes Audit, Auckland
Secretariat: Rosemarie Dawson. Business Professional Services Ltd Ph 09 419 0042

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About us 

GRG is a registered Charitable Trust operating throughout New Zealand providing support services to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren on a full-time basis. Our vision is for a community where grandparents raising grandchildren are empowered to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home for their grandchildren.

Charities Commission Registration CC20205

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Te tautoko i nga tupuna, mokopuna me te whanau.
Te awhina ia ratou ki te whakatutuki i nga putanga
pai i roto i to raatau oranga.
Supporting grandparents, grandchildren and whanau
to achieve positive outcomes in their lives.  



Contact us

Member Support 
Outside Auckland Freephone
0800 472 637      

TEXT your name to GRG  for Support:
027 3980388 
We will call you back

Auckland Landline or Mobile Phone Callers
(09) 418 3753 
(09) 480 6530

Trust Head Office
9:00am - 2:00pm
09 418 3753

PO Box 34-892
Auckland 0742
New Zealand

Email GRG Office

Mitre 10 Community of the Year 2013

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