Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is a group of people who are deeply concerned about child neglect and abuse, and are utterly committed to stopping it. They have strong backgrounds in governance, business, research, finances, and child protection. They understand the barriers and are determined to overcome them to make New Zealand a better place for all children.

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Brendon Silcock – Chair

Brendon’s governance experience covers both not for profit and commercial organisations. His 30 year career is predominately in infrastructure, construction and maintenance. Brendon has been a team leader on volunteer builds in Nepal and Cambodia with Habitat for Humanity as well as a previous Board Chair for the Nelson/Tasman Affiliate.

It is a privilege to serve on the board for Safeguarding Children, with a dedicated team of staff and board who are committed to making a difference for our tamariki.

Chris Meade

Chris is a business person who runs her own consultancy. She is involved in a new business start-up and devotes one-third of her time to the not-for-profit world. She has had over 25 years of experience in business, working as an HR professional and whilst at Downer, as Executive General Manager of Human Resources, she volunteered through VSA for an assignment in Timor Leste. This experience changed her life. Her passion for people in the world of work has extended to a passion for how people in the face of adversity can best live their lives.

She is delighted to be part of the Safeguarding Children Team and be part of a group of professionals who so wholeheartedly believe in keeping tamariki safe and focus their efforts so effectively.

Detective Neil Kitchen

Neil is a Detective who joined the Police in the United Kingdom in 1985, specialising in Intelligence and Organised Crime detection. He transferred to the New Zealand Police in 2008, working for two years in Auckland before transferring to Nelson. He has chosen to work in the area of child protection over the past few years. His work has included dealing with victims and offenders both adult and children and their families, coordinating a multi-agency approach, which engages health professionals, Oranga Tamariki, victim support groups, the legal profession and the Police.

Whilst accepting child protection work is difficult and challenging, Neil says the work is, without doubt, the most rewarding of his career.

Lisa Jennings

Lisa is the acting site manager for Oranga Tamariki in Nelson. She grew up in England and qualified as a social worker there in 2001. Lisa developed a passion for child protection whilst studying and immediately sought a job in that field after qualifying. She worked as a statutory child protection social worker for 6 years in an old mining town before deciding that she needed some sun and a beach which resulted in her and her family moving to Nelson in 2008. Since this time Lisa has worked for what was then Child, Youth and Family and is now Oranga Tamariki initially as a social worker for the first 9 years and then as a social work supervisor for 4 years before stepping into the acting site manager role in 2020. 

Lisa joined the Board because she wanted to be involved with an organisation who actively and successfully work to prevent harm to children.

Timothy Houston

Tim is the Manager of the Digital Child Exploitation Team at the Department of Internal Affairs. This is a specialised unit responsible for the detection, investigation, prosecution, and prevention relating to online child sexual exploitation imagery. He has been with the Department of Internal Affairs since 2014, and prior to this was an Investigator with the New Zealand Customs Service for 11 years. While at Customs, Tim was a founding member of the Child Exploitation Operations Team.

Tim is a staunch child protection advocate and is proud to be part of the Safeguarding Children Team.

Graeme Thomas

Graeme is a retired accountant with vast knowledge of management and governance and 50 years of business experience.  He was a Nelson City Councillor and has been involved in 26 community organisations.  He has also been the Chair of school committees for over 20 years. Graeme is also a Justice of the Peace.