Meet our Board - Board members come from a wide range of backgrounds including medical professionals, business practitioners, community workers and amputees.
George, from Ngati Porou, has a background in business, Non-Government Organisations and the public sector. A Chartered Accountant (with an MBA) by profession, his main roles concentrated on strategy and business development especially in on-line digital environments.
He has recently been focusing on owning and operating businesses in the Telco and IT sectors from start-ups to large enterprises. He is also a coach and mentor for SMEs and NGOs. He has a keen interest in supporting Māori economic development initiatives. George was appointed Chair of the NZALS Board early February 2013.
Professor Alan Thurston
After graduating in 1972, Professor Alan Thurston trained in orthopaedic surgery in New Zealand and in hand surgery in the UK and Canada. He is primarily employed at the Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Wellington Hospital as Associate Professor of Orthopædic Surgery and Consultant Hand Surgeon. Prof. Thurston has been a limb-fitting surgeon at the Wellington Artificial Limb Centre for over 30 years.
Prof. Thurston was awarded a Research Fellowship in Oxford where he graduated with an MSc in bioengineering. He won the Broadfoot Memorial Essay Prize in 1985, the A.B.C. Traveling Fellowship in 1986 and the Douglas Iverach Postgraduate Fellowship in Medicine in 1991. He was awarded the Kenneth Russell Memorial Medal by the RACS, 2002 and was Honorary Surgeon to four Governors General of New Zealand over 15 years. Promoted to Associate Professor 1996, Prof. Thurston served in the RNZAMC, New Zealand Army for over 35 years, reaching the rank of Colonel.
His principal clinical interests are in hand and elbow surgery including amputation and limb fitting. His research interests include clinical aspects of hand and wrist surgery, biomaterials and the biomechanical aspects of amputee stumps and prosthetics.
Kevin has an extensive background in Local Government spanning over 30 years with the Whanganui District Council. Initially employed as a Regional Planner he progressed through the organisation, ultimately serving as the Chief Executive for 7 years, before retiring at the end of 2015. In his various roles within the Council he has had considerable experience dealing with most sectors of the community and in later years has focussed on developing genuine and committed partnerships with local Iwi. Kevin currently chairs the Tararua District Council Audit and Risk Committee.
He is also a member of the Whanganui Bushy Park Sanctuary Board and was a member of the 2017 World Masters Games Company that recently bought 25,000 athletes to Auckland, participating in some 24 sports.
While he represented New Zealand in Badminton a number of years ago, Kevin’s son Christopher represented New Zealand in Cycling at the London Paralympics.
Cynthia is Medical Doctor having gained specialist training from Mayo Clinic in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the US. She practices Rehabilitation Medicine as a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM)/RACP here in New Zealand.
Cynthia is the Clinical Head of Rehabilitation and the Clinical Head of the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit (ASRU) which is part of Counties Manukau Health.
In addition Cynthia holds the position of the NZ Branch Chair of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) and is member of the AFRM PAC.
Kate has a real-world perspective on the services needed by New Zealanders living with limb loss. At the age of 5, Kate had her leg amputated due to fibulae hemimelia and has not let the loss of her leg define or limit her. She has gone on to be a dual Paralympian in athletics and cycling, winning Silver in the 200m at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and has her sights on para cycling at the 2020 Paralympic Games which would her fourth Paralympic Games. Kate is also a proud mum to 3 boys and a grandma to a beautiful granddaughter.
She has a wonderful appreciation for the importance of activity for people living with disability. In her role with ParaFed Wellington, Kate has developed and implemented activity initiative that have empowered many people leading to improved self-esteem and general wellbeing. Notably, at ParaFed Wellington, Kate and the team have developed an amazing youth activity program that supports 100 families which will have life-long social and health benefits for those involved.
Kate brings valuable experiences on what is required to deliver a patient centred service and the role of that technology can play in removing the barriers to participation. She looks forward to supporting her fellow amputees to achieve their full potential.
Stuart has a Chartered Accountancy background which has seen him involved with a variety of National and International accountancy practices. He became involved with the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust in 1994 serving as Secretary/Manager and then Chief Executive until 2015.
He has been a Board Member and Audit & Risk Chair of both NZX listed and private companies. A former member of the Lakes District Health Board, he is currently the independent Chair of their Finance and Audit Committee along with involvement in other aspects of the Board’s work.
Within the Rotorua community, Stuart is actively involved with Community Mental Health and also accessibility issues for people with disabilities. He has been an active member in Rotary for a number of years,
Stuart’s interest in the activities of Peke Waihanga were fostered following his wife’s Below Knee Amputation, which resulted from a treatment infection following an injury.