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Yellow Brick Road Board

Embracing diversity and working together are at the heart of what we do and the Yellow Brick Road board reflects that.

Our board brings together a range of people whose skills and experience help shape our charity.

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Dick Brown

Chairperson

Our current Chair, Dick has been involved with Yellow Brick Road for 19 years; serving as president of our Nelson committee for 17 years and as part of our National Council for 3 years.

With two family members having experienced serious mental illness, Dick is passionate about the benefits of family support for mental health and wellbeing. As such, he sees advocacy and consultation with Government as high priorities for Yellow Brick Road.

Dick’s career has been spent working within the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Advisory Services Division and as a regional manager in Fisheries. He has also worked briefly with Dunedin YMCA and finally NZ Hops Limited.

Because of his broad experience, Dick brings a range of skills and experience that help Yellow Brick Road thrive.

In his spare time, Dick likes nothing more than going camping, kayaking and exploring New Zealand’s numerous walking trails.

Gary Sturgess

JP Life Fellow IMNZ

Gary has been involved with Yellow Brick Road since 2014 and has over 40 years’ experience as an organisational ambassador.

He is an experienced leader and has acted as a chief executive for commercial businesses, local government, not for profit organisations and the public sector.

Now retired, his last position was as chief executive of Totara Hospice, which provides end of life care within the south Auckland community.

As a director of Lifeline New Zealand, Gary led the integration of New Zealand’s regional Lifeline centres. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand in 1989 and is a Life Fellow of IMNZ.

His interests include cycling, wine, family and touring around Aotearoa in his camper van.

Kate Yesberg

Our current Deputy Chair, Kate joined the board in 2014 and lead the process of establishing Yellow Brick Road as a national organisation.

Before that, Kate served on the Board of Atareira for 3 years and so helped to provide mental health support for whānau in the Wellington region.

A Fulbright Scholar, Kate completed a Master of Law degree at New York University and practised as a public lawyer. She now works in international policy at the Treasury and is a practising artist.

Kate is a keen volunteer and has given her time to numerous organisations, including Oxfam New Zealand, community law centres and human rights organisations in South East Asia.

Kate lives in Wellington with her husband.

Richard Skeates

Richard has served on the committee of Yellow Brick Road for 13 years. He has a great understanding of governance, having also served on the Raglan Area School Board and a board of directors at a company he was partnered in. 

Richard’s involvement with Yellow Brick Road began when his son, Dylan, developed schizophrenia in his late teens. Dylan has lived with this mental health illness since then and lives in Raglan with his partner and two children.

Living in Hamilton, Richard works in research and development and project management.

 

Ruth Morgan

As a member of a family experiencing mental health challenges, Ruth has really valued the support provided by Yellow Brick Road.

This experience, in addition to meeting with families who share very similar situations, is why she serves on the Yellow Brick Road board, and why she is committed to the future of Yellow Brick Road.

Ruth’s extensive work history has been gained in New Zealand and overseas; working as a speech and language therapist, a teacher for deaf children, in operations management and organisational development.

Since 2000, Ruth has managed her own company facilitating, consulting, coaching and training workforces in a wide range of organisations.

Sakthy Wijeyesinghe

Sakthy became a member of our Charitable Trust Board in March 2019.

Her involvement with Yellow Brick Road began during a challenging time supporting a family member with mental health issues. She received our support at that time and, in her words, she found our service to be a beacon of hope and strength.

Sakthy wanted to give back to an organisation that she feels is a hidden gem for families struggling to cope with the demands of a family member experiencing mental health challenges.

A qualified accountant, Sakthy works full time at Auckland District Health Board. Prior to moving to the Public Health Sector, Sakthy worked in the banking industry in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Sakthy lives in Tamaki Makaurau with her husband and two children.

Vicki Lee

Vicki is CEO of Yellow Brick Road and is a member of the Institute of Directors. She is passionate about using her skills and experience to grow Yellow Brick Road’s services nationally; to better support families throughout New Zealand.

Over the course of her career, Vicki has held CEO positions on both sides of the Tasman and internationally; working in health research and communications, advertising, marketing, publishing, not-for-profit, hospitality and tourism sectors. 

Vicki has spent many years in advocacy roles engaging with central and local government. Her current board positions include NZ Government, NZ Standards Approval Board, Spectrum Care Trust Board (disabilities sector) and she is the Deputy Chair of the Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union.

Vicki continually gives back to the community in which she lives and was a NZ Women of Influence finalist for her work in the Social Enterprise Sector during her tenure as CEO of Cure Kids NZ, Fiji, USA and Australia. 

How we are making a difference

Our purpose is to inspire and equip whānau to restore themselves, by supporting their journeys from a place of distress to one of mental wellbeing. 

We’re not just in the business of building resilience. We actively walk alongside the people we support, through all their challenges till the wellbeing of their whānau is restored. 

Yellow Brick Road makes a difference by providing support, information, education and advocacy services, including:

 

  • 1-on-1 and group support sessions
  • Innovative mental health and wellbeing programmes for adults, tamariki and rangatahi.
  • Advocacy, for when whānau find it difficult to access the services they need.
  • Family peer support groups
  • Suicidal distress & postvention support
Family mental health support nz

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