Dr Geoff Bridgman - Chair
I have worked in the fields of mental health, disability and latterly in social practice as a lecturer and researcher based in Unitec’s Department of Social Practice. I have extensive Committee and Board experience as secretary, treasurer and most recently President of the Auckland Branch and the National body of Supporting Families in Mental illness. I am currently a member of three other Boards as well as VFC. I bring extensive research experience in fields as diverse as media violence, Maori and deaf mental health, men in early childhood education, and the evaluation of community services and projects.
Lucy Liang - Board Member
I have more than 20 years’ experience with the New Zealand government in immigration and ethnic affairs. I used to manage operations for the Office of Ethnic Communities, part of the NZ Department of Internal Affairs. I lead work with ethnic communities on business and trade opportunities; government responsiveness to ethnic people’s needs; and social harmony.
Born in Beijing, I migrated to New Zealand in 2000. The State Services Commission recognised me as a future leader and with their Ria McBride Public Management Award 2007, I completed my MBA at Auckland University. I believe that dreams and goals can be achieved with hard work and determination. My spare time interests include nurturing good leadership for young women and for community groups, being a Mentor at YWCA Future Leaders Programme and a donor for various charities; and making positive changes for New Zealand. Currently a mother of 2 young children, I would like to contribute my skills and expertise to the Violence Free Communities focusing on violence prevention, particularly for children.
Michael Baxter - Board Member
Michael grew up in Te Atatu and currently lives in Kumeu with his wife and two "children" aged 17 and 19. He has lived all his life in West Auckland along with his extended family. Michael has experience in a wide range of IT that began with his first role in a medical software company. The roles, travel and experiences were always evolving and provided the building blocks for furthering his software development and IT knowledge. After 15 years Michael resigned from this role and became fully self-employed. Along with his wife they began to grow their web development business - Utopia. Over the past 10 years Michael has had experience in a wide range of business management. This has included sales, marketing, reporting and finances. Practical work has continued along with web development, programming and the use of social media. Michael feels it is now time for him to help community focused organisations. It is for this reason that he is interested in becoming a member of the board and to help Violence Free Communities meet its objectives.
Sharon Davies - Board Member
Sharon is a staunch Westie. She is passionate about people and her local community. Sharon works full time as PA to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board based in Glen Eden. Prior to this she was EA to the then Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse at Waitakere City Council. In her community space Sharon is involved in a number of community organisations. These include co-ordinating and facilitating a small group of friends under the umbrella of Celebrating Swanson. She is a trustee on EcoMatters Trust, Secretary of the Ranui Community Centre, Chair of the Swanson Railway Station Trust, Secretary of the Safer West Community Trust, Secretary of the Whau Coastal Walkway Trust. She is also a member of the Tai Haruru sub-committee of the Waitakere Branch of Forest & Bird. Sharon was awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to her community in June 2013 and completed the Be Leadership Programme that same year.
Gary Stewart - Treasurer/Board Member
I retired last year from my role as Henderson Budgeting Service Manager. I am currently also on the board of the Waitemata Community Law Centre and the Henderson Community Men's Shed. I have a life long interest in community well-being and justice. I'm painfully aware that most domestic violence is perpetrated by members of my gender, and so I was somewhat reluctant to put my name forward for this board, however I also believe if I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem, so here I am.