NZCGE has a range of specialist staff working both in the national office, Lower Hutt, and around New Zealand. The management and administration team work towards meeting the overall goals of the charitable organisation as well as the programmes that are delivered to student, educators and families.
Deb Walker CEO
Anna MeuliConsultancy Manager
Sue Barriball Programme Manager (Auckland)
Madelaine Armstrong-Willcocks Assistance Programme Manager, Regional Lead TeacherAuckland
Michelle MartinOffice Administrator
Lisa Horan Assistant Administration
Adriane Bancroft AssistantAdministration
Sharon HillockFinance Officer
Joy Woollett Fundraising Coordinator
New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education staff are specialists in gifted education with a wealth and depth of experience and expertise. They come to us with a diverse range of backgrounds and specialisation and are united in their desire to provide quality and appropriate learning opportunities for young gifted New Zealanders.
Diana HaymanSpecialist Educator, MindPlusAuckland East
Anna McDonaldSpecialist Educator, MindPlusAuckland East
Susan Jackson Specialist Educator, MindPlusAuckland Central
Tracey WallerSpecialist Educator, MindPlusAuckland Central and West
Rhea AngleseySpecialist Educator, MindPlusNorth Shore, Gifted Online
Sue Bufton Regional Lead Teacher, MindPlusRotorua
Briar SpanbroekSpecialist Educator, MindPlusRotorua
Emma SweetmanSpecialist Educator, MindPlusHamilton
Vicki AdamRegional Lead Teacher, MindPlusHutt, Gifted Online
Lynley BallSpecialist Educator, MindPlusHutt
Sarah KirbyRegional Lead Teacher, MindPlusWellington
Cathryn BjarnesenSpecialist Educator, MindPlusWellington West
Sarah ShoreSpecialist Educator, MindPlusWellington West
Smruti PavlovRegional Lead Teacher, MindPlusChristchurch
Tamara DrewSpecialist Educator, MindPlusChristchurch
Sue LuusRegional Lead Teacher, MindPlusWakatipu
Sue Luus is the Regional Lead Teacher of MindPlus Wakatipu. She has worked exclusively gifted education for over 30 years and has two adult gifted children. Sue joined NZCGE in January 2018 after returning from Australia to live in Central Otago. She also worked for Gifted Kids, one of our founding organisations for several years. Her passion for working with gifted children was ignited by a young gifted child who was severely bullied at school. This inspired a determination to make a difference for gifted children in schools and sparked her continued studies in gifted education, culminating with a double Master of Education (Gifted Education) and a Diploma in Special Education.
As well as teaching gifted students, Sue is deeply aware of her role to support parents of gifted children, particularly in the social and emotional aspects of giftedness. In 2008, she was appointed the Australian liaison for SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of Gifted). Sue has delivered workshops for GERRIC’s school vacation programs (University of New South Wales) and Young Scholars (Brisbane, has presented nationally and internationally, has tutored in Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology and continues to work as a marker for post graduate teaching degrees in inclusion for Griffith University.
In returning the NZCGE team, Sue believes that she is “home”. She is inspired daily, not only by the children she teaches but by the passionate people who she works with, who share their expertise so generously and touch the lives of so many children and their parents.
Sue BreenLead Teacher, Small PoppiesChristchurch
Ashle ArmstrongSpecialist Educator, Small PoppiesAuckland
Ashle did her teacher training in America and began teaching in 2007. She has always worked under the umbrella of special education, so she is particularly adept at motivating and engaging "non-traditional" learners. Ashle’s initial teaching qualification was in secondary education, but she has a master's degree in Special Education, and Ed.D. in Deaf Education.
While Ashle lived in America her experience with teaching was at a high school level. Since moving to New Zealand she has had the opportunity to work with children from new entrants through to high school. Ashle has also been able to get a bit of experience with early childhood education by doing some reliving at her children’s day care.
Ashle has two boys of her own, the oldest of whom has been attending Small Poppies since the start of 2017. This is beneficial to Ashle as she can be especially compassionate and empathetic with parents as she is walking this whole gifted "journey" alongside them.
Ashle is particularly passionate about getting young learners to tap into their social and emotional intelligence, as well as just finding what interests them and running with it.New Zealand Centre for Gifted education is proud to have a great team of educators such as Ashle behind them to encourage our gifted children to reach their potential.
Nomi WaldConsultantSouth Island
Vanessa WhiteBlogger, Consultant North Island
MindPlus Centres operate under a localised community funding model and deliver the NZCGE curriculum for MindPlus in its entirety. Like NZCGE staff these educators are also highly experienced specialists with varied prior backgrounds in and outside of the education realm.
enrich@ILT - InvercargillMarlene Campbell, Paul Anderson-Kereti, Ginny Murray
Pakiki Kids - DunedinBrendan Christie
MindPlus TaranakiMichael Bucksmith and Kim Gillanders
Connected Minds - LincolnDeb Brown and Sue Gollan
MindPlus Mid-CanterburyMel Simons and Nicky Lewis