Meet our designers & facilitators
I’m Isla, and I’ve been involved in the process of bringing Reframe Wānanga to life – you might also see me facilitating courses further down the track as well. My passion for mental health and wellbeing stems from both my own lived experiences, and the experience of working in the sector as well. When I’m not at Reframe, I’m at mahi working as a Learning Assistant, studying towards my degree in Māori Language and Indigenous Studies, or getting involved in the creative arts community here in Ōtautahi.
“Kia tau te rāngimarie, ki runga i a koutou”: Let peace settle upon you all.
Kia ora, ko Rachel toku ingoa; I have been part of the Reframe Wānanga service design team since the beginning, I’m currently coordinating the service.
I am a registered social worker and am also doing some post-graduate study at the moment, I am passionate about young people developing strong identity and finding their unique perspective.
I was born and raised here in Ōtautahi, I grew up on a small farm raising calves by hand. Outside of work I love to ice-skate, sew, sing and bake delicious treats! I feel the most joy when I am dancing and singing in my kitchen while I cook.
I’m a born again creative, having lost my way for a decade or so, first in academia and then working in the mental health system. Following several break downs and burn outs, I found my way to Wellington art school The Learning Connexion. And thanks to a scholarship I’m becoming happily creative again as I complete (by distance) a Diploma in Creativity and Art.
Alongside my journey learning the creative process and exploring drawing and making jewellery (among other things) I’ve been sharing my enthusiasm for finding wellness through art with participants at Stepping Stone Trust’s Recovery College. I’ve discovered there is something extremely peaceful, connecting and satisfying spending a couple of hours learning and ‘making’ in the company of others doing the same thing.
Kia ora, ko Aland ahau
I’m Aland and I started Reframe Wānanga after seeing how people using a Recovery College in London talked about how life changing it was for them. At Reframe Wānanga I am involved a lot in setting up the service and helping it to run smoothly.
Alongside lots of people that I know, I have experienced lots of distress and struggles in my life and out of this comes my passion for working in mental health. I trained as a Social Worker and have worked in mental health services, alcohol and drug, as well as in alternative health. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family, going for walks, cooking, and playing the guitar.
‘The world doesn’t belong to leaders. The world belongs to all humanity’ – The Dalai Lama
Hi everyone, my name is Renee.
I have been fortunate enough to be a part of Reframe Wananga design team from the very beginning and had the privilege to be part of two Wellbeing courses.
My desire to be a part of Reframe Wananga stems from 15 years working in community youth mental health.
I grew up in the Marlborough/Nelson region and love spending as much of my time as possible in that part of the world with friends and family. My sneaky wee passion is the speedway and go to Woodford Glen as often as possible during the race session.
Go on sign up to a course….. you won’t regret giving it a go!
Ko Annie toku ingoa. I’m Annie and I’m part of the service design group that set Reframe Wananga up. You might also see me at Reframe Wananga’s sister service: the adult recovery college at Barnett House Recovery Centre which is also part of Stepping Stone Trust.
My passion for mental health and emotional wellbeing comes from my own journey as someone who has experienced trauma, and, also, as someone diagnosed post-childhood as autistic.
I’ve been involved in peer work for over 30 years. I have also worked for the government on health projects including the setting up of the Like Minds, Like Mine anti-discrimination project. I am the Peer Practice Manager at Stepping Stone Trust and Co-ordinator of Barnett House Recovery Centre.
When I’m not at Stepping Stone Trust, I am usually to be found hanging out with my friends who are on the same wellbeing journey as me or searching for my favourite bird – the kea.
‘In life, it’s not where you go; it’s who you travel with.’
Kia Ora! Ko Amy āhau
I’m a youth peer mentor at Reframe Wānanga, I will be working alongside with schools to promote our awesome workshops. I have done both teacher aiding and support work; I enjoyed both these as I could connect with new people and build new relationships, I’m looking forward to doing the same here at Reframe.
I’m originally from Ōtepoti- Dunedin, however I have claimed Ōtautahi- Christchurch as my home. I come from a large whānau, I am one of five siblings. When I’m not at Reframe I will most likely be buying new plants to add to my house plant collection or at the beach collecting shells and rocks I find on my adventures.
“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds, or a thousand wishes.”
Kia Ora Koutou, my name is Michael.
I’m a new member of the team where I will be co-facilitating courses at Reframe Wānanga. I too have lived experiences with mental health throughout my life.
I’m on the spectrum with Aspergers’ syndrome which I learned about when I was thirteen years old. My biggest passion in my life is film-making, where since 2015 I have made short films (and continuing), with a large number of them having a mental health related theme.
I’m interested in using film as a beneficial form to help mental health in general, as film has played a surprising role in every now and again during my lived experience.
Outside of work, I’m a film maker, actor, writer, drummer, anime enthusiast, cosplayer and ‘Doctor Who’ fan.
“the only way to get rind of my fears is to make films about them.”
Hi, I’m Emily
Reframe Wānanga is something feel incredibly passionate and really care about. I’ve been involved since we first met to talk about designing courses and have facilitated some of the wellbeing workshops at schools – I loved talking to students about their views and ideas.
I have had my own recovery journey through mental health challenges and used to work as a youth advisor for mental health services helping young peoples’ feedback be heard
When I’m not running courses at Reframe Wānanga, I’m at uni studying psychology and education, or hanging out with my incredibly fluffy cat, Ruby
I’m Alys, a dance and drama specialist who is passionate about teaching physical theatre. I love dancing and making theatre from people’s stories as I believe that everybody has a powerful story to tell and that it is empowering to share it in creative ways as an ensemble. I run a physical theatre company in Christchurch called Zen Zen Zo NZ, which works with beautiful visual storytelling. I have taught in lots of high schools and theatre companies, I love travelling and meeting new people in the arts all over New Zealand and the world.
When I’m not at Reframe Wānanga, I’m playing with my three kids, dancing, doing yoga and baking!
“Everyone has a story that will break your heart. And, if you’re really paying attention, most people have a story that will bring you to your knees” – Brene Brown
I’m new to Reframe Wānanga and will be co-facilitating workshops. I’m very passionate about mental health and have my own lived experiences with mental health.
I will be studying next year towards my level four in mental health and addiction and am really excited about that.
I am very friendly, caring and always there to help. I believe being mindful is a very useful tool for handling your mental health and practicing mindfulness can help you relax and identify what you are feeling in your body at that time. I practice mindfulness a lot and find it helps me a lot with managing my emotions and anxiety I’ve also found being outdoors and getting your hands in the dirt and soil or even taking your dogs for walks can really help you with your mental health and would love to start a workshop for gardening/horticulture.
Kia ora, my name is Judith and I am from Germany.
I have been backpacking through beautiful Aotearoa for more than one and a half years now and my journey here has been very transformative for me.
I have come to realize that the trauma and suffering I’ve experienced, ultimately, are a gift and that all my so-called patterns will one day become my greatest superpowers.
I’m very excited to join Reframe Wānanga to connect with other people on their own individual healing journeys, share stories and experiences, and empower one other.
“It all starts with us, truly. It starts when we allow our wounds to teach us about listening, self-love and compassion and to remind us of the preciousness of life. Then truth opens our hearts and our innate wisdom begins to shine through our wounds.” – Gabor Maté
Kia Ora, my name is Chloe, I grew up in Christchurch and Rangiora and have a strong connection to my community in Rangiora.
I will be involved in the journaling courses which is super exciting because journaling has been a big part of my own recovery journey. I have my own lived experience of trauma and distress which has given me an empathy and passion for those experiencing this, walking alongside young people who are experiencing this is what I love to do!
I completed a social work degree in 2019 and have been working with Stepping Stones youth ever since. Outside of reframe I love to go on road trips with my partner, be involved in my local church, watch Netflix and eat good food! I love talking about politics, social justice, body positivity and people’s life stories. I feel happiest when I’m eating dessert and with my loved ones and animals.
I’m Michelle and I help facilitate some of the workshops and provide support in developing workshops for autistic individuals.
As someone on the spectrum and with personal experience with mental health challenges, I’m passionate about supporting the wellbeing of others.
After completing a degree in psychology, I am now working towards my masters in speech language therapy, with a particular interest in social communication. A few of my favourite things are board games, books, and spending time with my two cats
Kia Ora, my name is Alanna.
I’m facilitating a few courses at Reframe Wānanga and the ‘black dog walk off’ events. I’ve experienced massive mental health struggles since I was a kid and I’m passionate about breaking down the stigma that often surrounds these experiences.
Outside of Reframe Wānanga I love to listen to music, cook/bake vegan food, learn, sing, create, and spend time with the people & animals I love – including my two gorgeous doggos!