The Springboard Trust Team

Meet the people who keep Springboard Trust thriving.

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Dale Bailey

CEO (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Dale has worked in numerous role that influence his passion for the lives of young New Zealanders, holding responsibility for learners across the nation. He began his career as a teacher of geography and social studies in Palmerston North, before working as a Review Officer (and later Deputy Chief Review Office Northern) at the Education Review Office (ERO). 

He has since worked as Counties-Manukau Regional Manager and Northern Manager at Careers New Zealand, leading the redevelopment of careers education and support for schools. More recently, Dale joined the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa as Director of Collections Research and Learning. In the last year Dale has been undertaking work as a consultant for his own company. 

Dale is keenly interested in promoting high quality education and life long learning across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Andrew Bull

Head of Operations ((Waitaha)

Andrew joined Springboard Trust as Head of Operations in 2021, following more than 20 years in the commercial sector both overseas and in Aotearoa - most recently an eight-year journey through our dairy sector. In this time, he developed a wealth of experience in high-growth organisations, senior leadership and general operations across a multitude of sectors - including many years as a Springboard Trust facilitator in the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme. A long-standing school trustee and father of two, Andrew embodies the cross-sector magic that Springboard Trust delivers and is looking forward to maintaining a high-performing team and environment with us. 

Ellie Sutton

Head of Delivery (Waitaha)

Ellie leads our programme delivery. She brings more than 15 years of professional experience working in the not-for-profit sector with passion and drive to contribute her energy, skills and experience to make a difference in our communities. 

Before joining Springboard Trust, Ellie worked for the Ministry of Education and the Westland Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP). In this role, she led the development of the 10-year strategic plan for youth development in Westland.

In her spare time, Ellie volunteers for a Rangatahi Māori Youth Development Trust and sings with Christchurch City Chorus. 

Linnae Pohatu

Pae Arahi (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Linnae (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tāmanuhiri and Te Aitanga-ā-Mahaki) has 14 years experience as a senior executive in the state and museum sectors. This includes leading Māori and Pacific strategy and development at Career Services, representing them during the development of the Government’s Māori Education Strategy Ka Hikitia Managing for Success (2008-2012). She was also the Tumuaki Director Māori and Pacific Development at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. There, Linnae was responsible for strategic Iwi Māori and Pacific partnerships and relationships, Māori and Pacific strategy, and human remains repatriation. Linnae also has experience as Bicultural Policy Analyst at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Policy Analyst at the Office of Treaty Settlements which included a period as Private Secretary to the then, Minister Responsible for Treaty Settlements, Hon Margaret Wilson, and as an Associate Clerk to the Māori Affairs Select Committee in New Zealand’s Parliament, after completing a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) in Māori Studies at Te Pūtahi ā Toi, Massey University. Linnae’s voluntary life saw her working with her iwi, for over 20 years, as an oral history researcher, Trust Secretary and Trustee for the Ngā Taonga ā Ngā Tama Toa C Company, 28 Māori Battalion Trust. Linnae lives in Tāmaki Makaurau with her partner, Julian, and their 9-year old son Tamati who is a graduate of Te Kohanga Reo and current learner in one of Auckland’s oldest Māori Language Immersion units, Whanau Ata, at Freeman’s Bay Primary School.

Amanda Takiwa

Delivery Manager (Tāmaki Makaurau)

With a diverse background beginning in military leadership and moving into airline management, driving high performing teams has become a passion for Amanda. 

She brings with her, experience specialising in team management, human factors and facilitation, training cabin crew and pilots nationwide and internationally. 

Amanda is married and has two children immersed in Kōhanga reo, and has prior experience working for māori not for profit organisations. Amanda is incredibly passionate about bringing Te Ao Māori worldview into her life and work and to share this with her own, and all tamariki.

Chris Sullivan

Business Development Manager (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Chris brings a wide range of experiences to Springboard Trust as an experienced director, consultant, general manager and project manager and more than 15 years of experience working with public, private, and not-for-profit clients. His areas of expertise include learning design, change management, stakeholder and partner management in new and established teams and organisations. Chris has worked in a range of sectors including education, GLAM, publishing, B2B, youth and health. Chris has led significant local, regional, national, and international projects. His interest lies primarily in education and the interface of strategy and practice; the use of data and evidence to inform change; and relationship management in complex multi-sector and multi-agency environments. Chris has been a volunteer capacity partner and facilitator for Springboard and currently serves on the board of the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Trust. His interests include the outdoors, travel and playing the guitar and piano.

Dianne Smardon

Delivery Manager (Waikato)

Dianne brings skills in staff development, educational leadership and e-learning to her role with the Springboard Trust.  Over the past 20 years Dianne has worked as an adult educator in NZ where she has led several professional development projects. She has also fulfilled short term consultancy contracts in Hong Kong, working as a coach with school leaders and teachers. 

Most recently, Dianne has been contracted by the University of New England (NSW) in the capacity of In-Country Lecturer in a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded Teacher Education Project, in the Republic of Nauru. 

Eleanor McNellan

Delivery Partner (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Eleanor joins Springboard Trust with a background in consultancy. With KPMG in the UK she specialised in strategic planning and implementation, change management and transformation – both in business and the public sector. She has spent several years in the education sector working with schools and local authorities to implement Government policies aimed at improving outcomes for children and young people. She is passionate about education and the difference it makes in young people’s lives. 

Emma Robertson

Customer Relationship Manager (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Emma joins Springboard as a skilled service delivery and relationship manager with more than 10 years' experience leading teams. She has broad industry experience across private, public and not-for-profit sectors including 5 years in the business training sector supporting business growth. 

Bringing strengths in leadership, strategy and stakeholder management, Emma joins Springboard Trust with a passion for services which benefit the wider community and promote equity. 

Janice D'Costa

People and Capability Advisor (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Janice supports the People & Partnerships teams at Springboard Trust. Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for the last four years, Janice has deep appreciation for how not-for-profits seek to improve the quality of life of the people in it’s region and is very excited to join an organisation in the education sector focused on improving outcomes for young people. 

Janice feels the workplace plays an instrumental role in our lives and as a HR professional she is always aiming to create a work environment that has high morale, fits the needs of its employees and values wellness.

Being a newbie in New Zealand, Janice is totally fascinated by the country’s natural beauty and loves to spend time exploring new places and spaces with her family.

Jennifer Wright

Delivery Manager (Tāmaki Makaurau)

Jennifer joins Springboard Trust with extensive experience in the education sector with a career that started by supporting charities teaching in developing countries. She is skilled at leading programmes that make a meaningful difference in the lives of students and strengthening education frameworks. Passionate about making a difference in peoples' lives and giving back to the community, Jennifer has a proven ability to create environments of open communication, innovation and learning, working with key stakeholders and communities, listening to their needs and fostering channels of openness to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Jenny Grace

Learning and Development Lead (Te Matau-a-Māui)
  • Waka: Tainui 

  • Iwi: Raukawa 

  • Hapu: Ngati Huri 

Jenny brings to the Springboard Trust whanau a rich background in people, systems and general management.  Values-driven, Jenny is passionate about supporting people and the organisations they are part of to thrive.  Jenny holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, and Labour Studies, and a post graduate diploma in Leadership Communication from the University of Waikato.  

In her spare time, Jenny enjoys exploring the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region on her motorcycle, and spending time with family, friends, and her two dogs. 

John Eyles

Innovation and Integration Consultant

John comes to the Springboard trust from a 30 year career of adult learning across a number of sectors.  He is passionate about enabling others to succeed. He has been Director of Wheelhouse Education where he delivered leadership development programmes in the Health System.  John has been an academic leader at Unitec in the Bachelor of Creative Enterprise programme, worked as a manager of research and alliances in the futures group at Spark, and as a senior lecturer in postgraduate studies at AUT.

John has also worked internationally for Governments, NGOs and start-ups focusing on the use of online learning tools and teacher development, particularly in the English language training space.

Mark Elliott

Balanced Scorecard Project Manager (Waikato)

Mark brings a background from private business, high-performance sport and government agency experience. With over 20 years in the High-Performance sport sector Mark’s passions are in the areas of collaboration, accelerated learning and personal development to optimise team potential. Mark was on the HP Sport New Zealand Advisory Board for the development of High-Performance Elite Coach capability and leadership.

Before his immersion in High-performance sport he completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Postgraduate in Sports Medicine, operating as a Director in a large multidisciplinary clinic in Christchurch. Mark has just completed a contract as Regional Manager for the Electoral Commission leading the delivery of the 2020 General Election for the Upper North Island.

Originally from Central Otago, Mark is now based in Cambridge with his wife Jude and children Hamish and Manaia. As a family, they love tramping and exploring the great outdoors. Mark is a volunteer running and triathlon coach working with Intermediate and High School pupils in the Waipa region. During quiet times he is an avid cyclist tackling the multiple trails and roads around the Waikato.

Merryn Statham

Delivery Partner (Te Tai Tokerau)

Merryn joined Springboard Trust in April 2021, bringing a diverse range of skills and sector experience to her new role as Relationship and Programme Manager for Northland. She brings experience across primary, secondary and tertiary education settings, public health leadership, community organisations, local government, and stakeholder and relationship management. Merryn is keen to use this experience to work alongside school leadership teams to support their development. Originally from Hawkes Bay, 25 years in Auckland, now loving living in beautiful Whangarei, with beautiful beaches and wonderful people.

Nicholas Williams

Delivery Partner (Waitaha)

Nicholas has 20 years experience working in primary, secondary, and adult education in both teaching and senior management roles.

Nicholas holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership, a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling, and a Bachelor of Commerce. He has a particular interest in leadership within cross-cultural contexts and has studied te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and advanced wānanga in Māori health and education practices.

Prior to joining Springboard Trust, he worked for AIHE consultants and Kakakura Health Services providing cultural direction and Māori educational programmes for individuals and organisations.

Nicola McCartney

Delivery Partner (Tairāwhiti)

Nicola joins Springboard Trust with 35 years’ experience in adult education, including 15 years in workplace education and training and 13 years in operating her own English Language School. 

She was Associate Director of the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults at the University of Waikato from 2010 to 2018. Her practice is informed by her work in adult literacy, language and numeracy in New Zealand; grassroots education for women in Mumbai; international education development at Columbia University; and her background as a school owner of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in New Zealand.

Rebecca Brown

Volunteer Relationship Manager (Te Tai Tokerau)

Rebecca joined Springboard Trust in October 2017. She has an extensive background in education, based in Wellington for the past 15 years. She holds an honours degree in education and has worked as a teacher, assistant Principal, Deputy Principal and Acting Principal. 

Rebecca has also worked for Te Toi Tupu in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Cognition, supporting principals and their schools in curriculum areas. Rebecca has three daughters and loves spending time with her whānau relaxing in the outdoors. 

Shahin Sultana

Business Support Officer (Tāmaki Makaurau)

I am really excited to be a part of Springboard Trust as I always had a keen intertest to be a part of an education sector and a non-profit organisation so I could give back to the community and contribute to the better future of our students. I hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering from India along with data analysis certification from Otago Polytechnic. I have a diverse IT background specifically in data analysis/management and project coordination with experience working in shipping, space, and finance industries. A few of my hobbies include baking, gardening, travelling, and building Legos with my two primary school going boys.

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