Our People

 *** This page is a work-in-progress and is actively being worked on - more details to follow ***

Light on paid staff but heavy on volunteer commitment and resources, we strive to find the right balance to maximise the support to families and their precious babies.
As we're all about people (helping and supporting people), we felt it was the right thing to give you an insight into the team - read the details provided by the people themselves.

In addition to the below, you can read about some of our great volunteers on this page.

Clare Fuller

Development Playgroup Co-ordinator (Part-time) 
Clare Fuller is the Developmental Playgroup Co-ordinator for the Auckland branch. The Playgroup meets fortnightly to provide support to neonatal parents.  Clare is a part-time primary school teacher.  She is married to Tony and they have two teen-aged daughters, Lucy and Hannah.  Clare got involved with The Neonatal Trust after volunteering for Bellyful when she lived in Wellington and delivered meals to the NICU unit.  In her spare time Clare likes to spend time with her family, watching one daughter's sport and cooking with her other daughter.


Justine Brooker

Operations Executive (Part-time)
Justine is a born and bred Wellingtonian, married to Richard with four boisterous boys.  The Neonatal Unit became like family to Justine with all of her sons being born early.   This has fed Justine’s motivation to help others in similar situations.   Her passion for The Neonatal Trust truly developed after the early arrival of her youngest son Harlow, who was born at 24 weeks.    Being able to support families during what can often be a daunting and stressful time is why Justine is now devoted to raising awareness for The Trust and supporting neonatal families.
In her spare time when she isn't busy with her family, you can usually find her exercising at boot camp, running or enjoying a coffee with friends.  

Prior to joining The Neonatal Trust, Justine shared the story of son Harlows arrival as part of the 2014 World Prematurity Day awareness activity. You can read the article here.

Kelly Thompson

Executive Manager (Part-time)
Kelly and her partner became immersed in the NICU environment in 2008 after the early arrival of their eldest child at 24 weeks gestation.  This journey, plus two subsequent high risk pregnancies (also resulting in early deliveries) compelled her to support other families who find themselves in similar situations by providing practical advice and emotional support to help them through their own neonatal journeys.  The Neonatal Trust Auckland allows us to provide families with a platform to receive this support.

When the opportunity arises she loves to follow her other passion…….travel!

Neil O'Styke

Executive Director (Part-time)
Neil is the father of two children, both who spent time in the NICU due to arriving early. This, along with the experiences of multiple friends, gave an insight into the disruption, stress and anxiety of neonatal journeys. 
Spare time is taken up with family activities from coaching and supporting kids sport to creating unique items in a small workshop in the corner of the garage.  
Prior to The Neonatal Trust, the background was wide and varied, from work in banking and telecommunications, mixed with volunteering with organisations like the Soup Kitchen and other charities. 
“It’s an absolute privilege to work in the Social profit space, knowing your efforts help others going through a tough time”.


Rachel Friend

Executive Co-ordinator (Part-time)
Rachel works part-time at the Auckland Office/Shop of The Neonatal Trust, is married to Phil, Mum to Reuben and Step-Mum to Marlow and Henley.  

Rachel was introduced to the neonatal world thanks to her son, Reuben who was born at 24 weeks gestation in January 2013, weighing-in at 665g, who despite an initial rocky start is the life and soul of their house.  Since then Rachel has been a dedicated supporter of The Neonatal Trust, baking goodies for the Mother’s Morning Tea, raising money through running “Round The Bays” and now works for the Trust in order to pay it forward by helping to support those families that are travelling the NICU road. 

When she’s not at work or chasing around after her boys and their pets, Rachel likes to exercise when she gets the opportunity as well as indulge her love of coffee, chocolate and red wine!


Rachel Gemmell

Executive Co-ordinator (Part-time)
Rachel is a Mum of two and works part time in The Neonatal Trust Auckland office. 
Rachel's admiration for the Trust began when her son spent time in NICU, after he was born prematurely in 2014.  Rachel loves being a part of The Neonatal Trust team and showing other families the same love and support she received during her families’ time in NICU.

Any spare time Rachel has is always spent having fun with family and friends. 


Sarah and Dave Blaney

Volunteer - Newsletter + general support
In 2013 Sarah and Dave Blaney had a daughter Holly Blaney who was born at 23 weeks and spent 14 weeks in the Wellington NICU and 10 Weeks in Lower Hutt SCBU. You can read Hollys story here.  
After completing the NICU journey they wished to help The Neonatal Trust to further support families.  In 2013 & 2014 they helped organise the Wellington Neonatal Ball to raise funds for the Trust.  They have moved to Auckland and continue to help raise awareness and support neonatal families.  In their spare time they enjoy spending time as a family and visiting new places.

Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners