E tūtaki ana ngā kapua o te rangi, kei runga, kei runga te Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana | The clouds in the sky close over, but above them spreads the milky way

New Kaiwhakahaere Matua | General Manager for PADA

PADA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Kaiwhakahaere Matua | General Manager, Denise Graham.

“As the previous Fundraising Manager for PADA, and now Kaiwhakahaere Matua | General Manager, I am privileged to contribute to developing strategies that eliminate the stigma of perinatal illnesses at a national level. I want to set targets to improve our collective mental well-being. There is no health without mental health and increasing awareness will drive social change with the goal of improving the quality of care for all people experiencing all types of perinatal anxiety and depression.”

“Over the past 30 years, I have worked in management, leadership, and strategic planning roles within Government, NGOs, and the Corporate sectors. I also have been a small business owner.”

“In leading a high-performing team of dedicated and passionate people, and the delivery of our services, I want to ensure that all families and whānau have equitable access to information and support. My personal values and work ethics align with working within a Te Tiriti governance relationship model and I believe in, and am committed to, the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Increasing proportions of the population are being diagnosed with perinatal disorders, even where social circumstances are improving. There are many more stressors and strains on mental health, generally relating to the increased pace and complexity of life. When someone is in good mental health they experience positive emotions, positive interest and engagement with the world around them, and meaning and purpose in their lives. Evidence suggests that people who are in good mental health are less at risk of physical and mental health problems and have better social relationships and outcomes. Studies indicate that in countries comparable to Aotearoa only a minority of the population is flourishing.

Flourishing through developing positive mental health is a challenge, but a benefit for all, so collaborating with our stakeholders in the mental health sector, and working alongside communities to find solutions that create better and brighter outcomes for vulnerable people is my fundamental approach to improve outcomes for the mental health and well-being sector, and Denise says she is privileged to be in a position to contribute to this mahi.

“I am blessed with a large whānau who are an integral part of my life, and every spare moment is spent with them. I am both a proud māmā and nana, of each and every one of them. I love writing stories and am a published author. My whānau and I also love keeping active, camping, boating, fishing, and cooking.”

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that leading PADA in the coming years will bring.”

Not only do our team already love working with you since you joined the organisation in 2019, we are enjoying the passion and commitment you are bringing to your new role, and look forward to the future developments for perinatal mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Denise Graham, PADA General Manager, second from left. Pictured with PADA Kaiārahi (L-R) Leigh Bredenkamp, Elizabeth Tinkler, and departed General Manager Treena Cooper at the .NZ Mahi Aroha awards in June 2022.

Find out about the rest of the PADA Kaimahi |Staff, our Kaiārahi | Board of Trustees and Kaitohutohu | Advisory Board here. We also now have a vacancy for a Kaiwhakahaere Kohi Moni | Fundraising Administrator, see our Vacancies page.