Our Board

Members of the Governance Collective provide AWC with guidance, governance, accountability, and support within a collective framework. Members are involved in all aspects of the Centre and provide invaluable knowledge, skills and ideas. The Governance Collective is elected at our AGM which is open to all AWC members and held in December every year.



Katherine is currently an assistant teacher and researcher at AUT University in both the social sciences and management departments. Her academic areas of interest include gender quotas, targets and reporting.  She has worked in arts, corporate and not-for-profit environments. Katherine is the 2017 co-coordinator of Auckland Feminist Action alongside Caryn Tasker.

  Katherine new photo


In the nearly 20 years I’ve lived in Auckland, I have ‘dipped’ in and out of a few groups looking for a place to commit to, a place to participate in, to learn from and be inspired by – and the Auckland Womens Centre feels like just that place.  I am privileged to walk alongside other women, and excited to be part of the kaupapa of the Centre. I am the proud parent of young adult twins, and I teach pharmacology and health economics at AUT.  



Tenisha is a first generation New Zealand born Indian with her ancestral roots in Fiji and India. With an academic background in counselling psychology and human rights, she is passionate about feminism, social justice, adequate access to mental health services and the experiences and challenges faced by immigrant women. Tenisha has worked in government, the not for profit sector in New Zealand and abroad and has experience in community development. Tenisha works as a family therapist and also coordinates a dining initiative, serving community meals made from rescued food. 



Margo spent most of her life feeling that something wasn't quite right and finally realised that this feeling was actually feminism. She brings experience in community development, business management, drumming and cycling along with an urge to make up for lost time! She is particularly passionate about pay equity and is interested in womens history.



Ko Aotea te waka, Ko Taranaki te maunga, Ko Ngāruahine me Ngāti Ruanui me te Rangitāne oku iwi, Ko Nicola Kāwana ahau.

Born and raised in Hawera, South Taranaki, I am a graduate of Toi Whakaari/NZ Drama school and a certified horticulturist. At the age of 13 with the support of my parents, I met with the principal of Hawera High School to insist I be allowed to study woodwork instead of sewing. Along with one other, we became the first females to take woodwork in the history of the school. At 19 I opted to homebirth my first child and subsequently my second. In my  20’s took on the producers of my first Television job over the issue of equal pay. I’m interested in why women and indigenous peoples who stand their ground and exert their own Tino rangatiratanga are often called “Trouble makers. I acknowledge those women that have come before to create and continue this space that upholds the mana of all women.




Ko Panguru te Maunga
Ko Tamatea te Hiwi
Ko Waipapa te awa
Ko Motuti te marae
Ko Ngāti Te Maara
Ko Ngāti Manawa ngā̄ hapū
Ko Te Rarawa te iwi

Desire’e is an accomplished Educator, Advisor, Speaker, Company Director, Advocate of Kaupapa Māori Strategic Planning Policy and Author. Growing the potential of people is a lifelong investment that Desire’e aspires to advance. Desire’e is motivated to progressing opportunities that open Kaupapa Māori well-being pathways of growth for whānau, hapū and iwi. Leadership and Mana go hand in hand, it is about accountability and integrity, a mindset that Desire’e implements within her work ethic. With an extensive experience portfolio that includes Education, Business and Governance, Desire’e has collaborated to develop a Hapū socio-cultural, socio-economic Education framework called Ngā Pou Toko Maanawa. This platform provides an exceptional opportunity to contribute back to Hapū Marae communities. With this visionary opportunity opens a pathway to contribute to hapū development and engagement. The fire that burn’s in her belly is about who she is, where she comes from and who she represents. 



JO ELVIDGE, Secretary

Jo Elvidge is the Principal Advisor, Sexual and Reproductive Health at the Ministry of Health. Her professional background and qualifications are in public health. Jo established and managed the Ministry’s clinical intervention and family violence prevention programmes, working with DHBs, clinicians, NGOs and Maori and Pacific organisations throughout New Zealand. She set up a NZ Public Health Leadership Programme and a new university qualification in public health. She has a wide range of experience across the health sector including working for a sexual health NGO and managing relationships with sexual health providers for the Ministry.

In this role her focus has been on developing a national Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan focussing on health service quality improvement, service access, building health equity and promoting inclusiveness for diverse communities.  She describes herself as a pragmatic idealist, having a passion for human rights and a drive to get things done. 

  Jo Elvidge 



It is a privilege to serve on the AWC Board. I am a feminist, a mother, an activist and a life-long learner. As a UK migrant I feel fortunate to call New Zealand my home. I have grown two proud first-generation New Zealanders and, together with my partner, we embrace all this beautiful country has to offer. Governance enables me to shape constructive and sustainable systems-change specifically in terms of education, equity and human rights. I bring education sector experience to the table, including mainstream, the early years, adult and higher as well as community and industry learning.