Our People


Our counsellors are all members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.


Janet has been a counsellor in community agencies since 2008. She particularly enjoys working with older people, and the life experience they bring to the challenges they face.
She is a long-time Wellington resident, having brought up a family here.
She has travelled widely and is interested in tramping, gardening, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Marilyn Jeffery

Marilyn comes from a nursing background, having worked as a practice nurse in general practice. She has been a diabetes educator and has a particular interest in working with clients living with chronic illness.
Marilyn really enjoys counselling older people, respecting and honouring their life stories, acknowledging their contribution to community and assisting them to achieve positive health and well-being.

Marilyn Simkin


Marilyn is a mother of two and grandmother/adopted grandmother of 6. She enjoys playing outdoor bowls, music and reading.
Her experience includes specialist drug and alcohol and domestic violence counselling. She is passionate about educating and counselling people from a holistic perspective – emotionally, socially and spiritually.


Rosemary is a member of NZAC, a Wellingtonian and Kiwi by choice, and mother of two young adults.
She particularly enjoys leading WellElder groups and appreciates the strengths and resourcefulness older adults have in addressing late life issues. Before becoming a counsellor she worked as a manager, mainly in the public service.

WellElder Office



Tina has been involved in community organisations and services all her working life. She comes to this role from the role of Executive Director from Social Development Partners, where she developed a depth of skills and experience in community sector advocacy and working collaboratively.

She has two adult daughters, loves the outdoors, and takes every opportunity to walk the Wellington hills.

Board of Trustees

Board members volunteer their time to WellElder



Verna is a registered social worker with extensive experience in not-for-profit governance. Her special areas of interest over the years have been in ageing and dementia support. Verna has been a WellElder board member since 2011, and Chairperson since 2014.


Ann is Co-ordinator of Age Concern Wellington, providing support services to over 65s and liaising with other community groups.
She joined the WellElder board in 2010.
Her previous role (in the UK) was in recruitment, especially in the financial/banking sector.


Barbara has joined the Wellelder Board, having recently given up her full-on working life to assist in the care of her two grandsons. She has lived in Wellington since 1990 and has been active in community life as well as in government and ngo roles in nationally focussed agencies. She has strong beliefs in working for a more socially just and equal society and puts time and effort into supporting family and community wellbeing through a variety of endeavours. She is pleased to be part of an organisation that recognises and acts to alleviate the concerns of older people and supports the services available to them.


Bill worked as a trade union negotiator for eighteen years, followed by fifteen years in employment relations for various large organisations. He is retired and, like many in his position, does voluntary work for community groups. The provision of quality health support and service for older people is a vital need in our society and is a special interest for him. He joined the Board in 2015 and is committed to its aims and objectives.


Graham is a counsellor and trainer with experience in education and in church ministry.
His interest in the counselling needs of older persons led him to join with others to start WellElder.
He has been the chairperson since the establishment committee first met until 2014.


A counsellor for over 30 years, Jane is a Life Member of NZAC. She juggles her private practice with looking after her delightful grandson.
With a background in secondary and tertiary education, her passion is "helping people become the person they wish to be".
She joined the board in 2012.


Jennifer has worked in the financial services sector for over 30 years, the last 20 in management roles both in New Zealand and overseas. Recently returned to Wellington after 6 years in Scotland and Australia, she wants to leverage her business experience for a community service organisation and is delighted to be involved with WellElder. She joined the board in August 2013.


Nita is a policy consultant with 10 years' experience in a range of sectors including justice, environment, health, insurance/finance in both the UK and NZ. Nita has worked in both public and private sectors and specialises in helping organisations set their strategic direction. Nita is of Ngati Porou, Taranaki and Te Ati Awa descent and has worked for many years in policy areas that help improve outcomes for Maori.


A retired public servant, who worked mostly in policy and management roles in central government, tertiary education and in libraries. Chief interests are in organisational effectiveness and strategy, and how to build workplaces that are both humane and effective. He is supporting a 96 year old mother, and joined the board in 2015.

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