Parkinson’s New Zealand Board
Peter Garelja (Interim Chairperson)
Peter was diagnosed with Parkinson's 10 years ago. After retiring five years ago he joined the Parkinson's Northland Action Group and has served as Chairperson for the last two. Since joining Parkinson's Northland he has focused on raising community engagement in local activities, as well as establishing strong relationships with leading brain researchers in New Zealand. He has continued to use this network to keep members better informed on the latest research findings, encouraging proactivity in individuals with Parkinson's.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007, Judy says, her life took on a complete change. She was a self-employed podiatrist with her own practice in addition to working part time at the diabetes centre at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. Judy was a member of the Podiatry Special Interest Group, and part of the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes. She is now retired. Having served on several Board of Trustees for the local primary and intermediate school for nine years, including two as Chairperson, gave Judy an insight on boards and governance. Judy is currently an active member in the Hawke's Bay Parkinson’s Action Group. Judy recently lost her husband of 35 years, to cancer – which has meant a huge adjustment for her and her two children.
Andrew has been involved with Parkinson's since his father's diagnosis in 1980. He is one of the founding fathers of the organisation that is now Parkinson’s New Zealand. He has been actively involved in four divisions during the Society's thirty years - Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Otago. He has also served on the National Board on and off for most of this time, most recently as Chair 2008-2015. He was made a Life Member of the Society in 1996.
Jan Grigg who served on the Parkinson’s New Zealand Charitable Trust Board prior to this election has been re-elected. Having served on the board while the organisation transitioned to a Trust, Jan is no stranger to what the position entails. Jan has been a member of the Central Plateau Action Group for the past six years, holding the position of Treasurer and Chairperson during this time.
Jan got involved with her local Parkinson's community after being asked by a close friend who has Parkinson's for assistance. Since then she has taken it upon herself to do her part to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson's.
Robyn Cotton was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's in 2017. This has motivated her to have an input into the provision of education and support for families affected by Parkinson's. She has recently moved to Auckland from the Bay of Plenty and has begun building relationships and connecting with the Auckland Parkinson's community.
Robyn is particularly interested in helping establish the newly restructured organisation and to see it evolve into an organisation that meets the needs of its members effectively. She has experience with the restructuring of a charitable trust and saw the international partnership of IN through a similar process.
Roger's main motivation to become a member of the board is his father, Peter, who has Parkinson's. Roger believes his skillset can help the Parkinson's New Zealand Charitable Trust and thereby help his father and other people with Parkinson's. He is currently the Managing Director of Coulson McDowall Limited Partnership (CMLP) where he provides clients with strategic property and financial advice.
Stephen’s late mother and more recently he himself have Parkinson’s. He has been on the Auckland Parkinson's Action Group since 2014.
Stephen’s recent retirement allows more time to dedicate to helping the Parkinson's community. He is both a qualified Accountant and Engineer with a wide range of high level business experience. Stephen has over ten years Senior Management experience in Finance, Management and Information Technology. Before retiring Stephen was the Director/Consultant for Goodman Enterprises Limited.