Cass Hendry

Cass works as our Community Arts Programme Manager to provide open studio services and workshops. Cass has a background as an arts therapist and has been working in the Health and Disability sector for over 20 years. As a practicing artist and therapist, Cass is currently exploring contemporary ideas and materials from a therapeutic view point.

Lynda Preest

Lynda is the Arts for Health Funding and Trust Administrator and is responsible for the day to day running of the office, funding applications and all the 101 jobs that a successful organisation needs to operate. Lynda practices a wide range of contemporary craft skills which she shares with her family, friends and community. 

Marianne Schreven (Art Tutor)

Marianne was a member of the Arts for Health Board for nearly two years before becoming an Arts Tutor for our organisation. Marianne's lifelong background is creativity in all its forms, and is a practising contemporary jeweller outside of her tutoring position.
While enjoying being on the Board, Marianne felt that she could be more effective as an Art Tutor working directly with our artists to develop their creative potential.

Ian Johnston (Art Tutor)

Ian holds a Trade qualification in the printing industry which lead to an interest in graphic design, computers and photography.
Through his own creative development, Ian has learnt to appreciate the qualities of patience and respect for the artistic process and hopes to share these skills with the wider community.


Kate Strahan (Chairperson)

Kate runs her own Human Resource Consultancy service supporting small to medium size companies with their HR requirements. This includes developing leader competencies, performance management, cultural change initiatives, recruitment and organisational design. She has worked in the HR profession for over 25 years across 8 industries. When not supporting clients, Kate is actively involved in raising her two daughters, fishing on the Thames Firth, or in the garden. Kate joined the Board in late 2016 and is committed to supporting the Arts for Health programme to enhance the health and wellbeing of all its clients

Melanie Odey (Vice Chairperson)

Melanie joined the Board of Trustees for Arts for Health in August 2008. She has a depth of work experience in the disability sector supporting people in both residential and vocational settings. She has also spent ten years developing educational programmes for human and social services at Wintec. Melanie has a Masters in Social Sciences majoring in Psychology, an MBA and a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching. Melanie enjoys recreational art and writing for enjoyment.

Jay Spencer

Jay joined the Board of Trustees for Arts for Health in February 2015. Jay has worked in community organisations for a number of years and brings to the Board skills in policy making and marketing to develop strong community profiles.   As an avid contemporary paper artist, Jay uses life experiences to tell her creative stories. 

Glenys Steele

Glenys has worked in her own employment law practice, About Best Practice, for the past ten years, dispensing employment law advice to employers and employees alike, inspiring confidence in them to deal with the everyday issues of employment. She also coaches and judges at the University of Waikato Law School, encouraging students to be the best they can be. When she is not working, you might find her surf kayaking or launching into a new painting, currently acrylic on canvas.  Glenys has been involved on the Board of Trustees of Arts for Health for over 10 years now, calling it Hamilton's best kept secret!

Tyron Pini

Tyron Pini (BA Hons Social Work, DipSW, PGCMS, ACE) hails from the United Kingdom where he begun his career in the NGO / disability sector after training as a Community Social Worker. Currently he is the Service Development Manager for Workwise, a specialist service focused on supporting people with personal and health challenges return to work. Tyron is involved in a variety of sector activities. He was Deputy Chair of the Huntly Community Link Executive Group and a former board member and chair of the Association of Supported Employment New Zealand (ASENZ). He has also represented the supported employment sector at a number of national forums and groups. Tyron spend his spare time going to concerts and music events.With a strong interest in street art and graphic novels his like of art may be a little off the beaten track. 

Abby Parsons

Abby joined the Board of Trustees for Arts for Health in July 2017. Abby has worked in Communications, PR and Marketing for 12 years, specialising in digital marketing and online engagement. Abby currently works as a Business Solutions Manager, with a focus on technology solutions used in the Education sector. Some of Abby's great loves are art, books and writing.

Sharon Garrick

Sharon joined the Board in 2016

Kirsty Carrruthers

Kirsty joined the Board in 2017 with experience as a Chief Financial Officer.  Kirsty's background includes working for New Zealand and overseas companies in a range of senior financial and management positions.  When not working Kirsty is actively engaged at the gym and maintaining her fitness.

Ellen Warren

Ellen joined the board in 2017. Ellen has worked for over ten years in the community services sector in Australia. A large part of that work involved supporting clients who were in temporary housing, along with sourcing government funding to run workshops for those who were dealing with mental health issues. When Ellen isn’t working at the WDHB, she enjoys spending time out and about finding adventures with her Labrador.