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About Us

Our Mission

To eliminate the stigma around perinatal mental health in New Zealand by championing awareness and facilitating best practice in perinatal mental health and wellbeing to ensure all families have access to appropriate information and support.

PADA was formerly the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust (PMHNZ)

There was no national umbrella organisation for perinatal mental health in New Zealand. A brainstorming day was held in Wellington in June 2009. This was attended by 30 representatives from a range of agencies and organisations connected with perinatal distress issues from around New Zealand. They identified interests in, aims and objectives for a national networking group for Perinatal Distress. A ‘working group’ was conceived and the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust was born on 3rd February 2011. The organisation grew rapidly and in 2015 it was decided that a more memorable name was needed but one that still reflected our aims. After much thought, argument and finally consensus, the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust was reborn as PADA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa).

Our Vision

To eliminate the stigma around perinatal mental health in New Zealand. 

Our Team

Treena Cooper 
General Manager

After working as a corporate travel agent for 12 years, and a mum to two teenage boys, I bring valuable organisational and personal skills to my part-time role as General Manager. I started work in 2013 as the administrator and it is so exciting to see what PADA has achieved over the years.

A large part of my role is facilitating training and education through the PADA seminar series and online chats, along with overseeing the PADA team, connecting with stakeholders and reporting to the PADA Board.

Stefanie Dixon
Communications Manager

Having been affected with PND after the births of my children, I volunteered for Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington) in order to create online networks for mothers to connect with and support each other. I combine this experience along with my background in corporate, finance, fundraising, Playcentre Aotearoa and NGO work, with my passion to end stigma around maternal mental health.

Perinatal distress affects the whole whānau and wider community, and I love working with the team at PADA to embrace the power of social media to connect, and equip healthcare providers to improve outcomes for lives of whānau affected throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Originally from the UK, I now live in Wellington with my kiwi husband and two primary school aged children.

Denise Graham
Fundraising Manager

I am responsible for coordinating PADA’s fundraising activities with a focus on grants, events and sponsorship. I have a background in corporate and business management, finance, and fundraising, and these skills will contribute to the amazing work that PADA does throughout Aotearoa. It’s great to be part of a team who are committed to raising awareness and delivering quality services to new parents suffering anxiety and depression.

I have 3 children and lots of grandchildren who are an integral part of my life and every spare moment is spent with them. My husband and I own a bakery and café which also keeps us both very busy.

I enjoy boating and fishing, cooking, gardening, and writing stories.

Sharon Vaka
Finance Coordinator

My role as the Financial Co-ordinator is a part-time role of 5 hours per week. I am responsible for all things Financial. My background is in Hospitality Management which has taken me to many corners of the world. I now specialise in Accounts Management and Human Resources for a variety of small and medium businesses.

I am also mum to two precious primary school aged children. I am excited to transfer my skills to a PADA which is making a positive difference in the life of Kiwi families.

Liora Noy
PADA Educator

Liora is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), with a Master in Public Health Education, now in her final month of completing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She has most recently worked as a Tamariki Ora (Well Child) nurse. Liora runs breastfeeding support clinics in Wellington and in the Hutt, and teaches antenatal breastfeeding classes, as well as a PND class she developed 3 years ago for Birth ED.

Originally from Mexico, she has lived in Israel, California and Hawaii and has worked with a variety of ethnic populations and refugees. She has three children, ages 10-19. She is passionate about supporting parents affected by Postnatal Distress, having been deeply affected herself by PND. She has a been a peer counsellor for Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington) for 7 years, facilitated SPACE groups for mums with PND, and regularly conducts presentations about perinatal mental health to a variety of providers and groups.