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


Ngā Kaimahi | Our Team

About us

Ngā Kaimahi | Our Team


Denise Graham

As the previous Fundraising Manager, and now 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.

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 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 finding solutions that create better and brighter outcomes for marginalized people and their communities, is a fundamental approach for the mental health and well-being sector, and I am 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 māma and nana, of each and every one of them. I love writing stories and am a published author. My whānau and I also love camping, boating, fishing, and cooking.

Kaiwhakahaere Hui Akoranga | Events Manager

Sarah Urquhart (Duncan)

I have come on board as the Events Manager. I am really excited to be working with the PADA team as I am passionate about their mission to eliminate the stigma surrounding perinatal mental health.

In 2007 I became a mother for the first time and experienced postnatal depression. The lack of education and support I experienced became a shaping influence on my next 15 years, which found me involved in organizations such as Parents Centre, Bellyful, Mothers Network, Kindergarten Associations and school committees.

Prior to having my children I trained as an early childhood teacher and then went on to gain post graduate qualifications in education with a focus on educational psychology. The various roles I have had over the years have often involved event management and facilitation and have lead me back to advocating for mental health and educational needs of diverse learners.

I live in the Northern suburbs of Wellington with my three children; two college aged and my youngest is in kindergarten. In my spare time that is not hanging out with my family, I like to run around the local trails of Wellington with my friends as a way of keeping physically and mentally fit.

Kaiwhakahaere Kohi Moni | Fundraising Administrator

Amanda Knight

PADA’s work is fully funded by grants and fundraising and my role is to ensure that funding continues, so PADA can continue our important mahi. Having been involved with Playcentre Aotearoa for 10 years with my children, I am excited to continue in a role supporting whānau, especially in the early days of parenting. I have a passion for diversity and inclusion, particularly ensuring every person has what they need to access to, and fully participate in, their communities and places of learning.

Originally from Christchurch I have lived in Wellington for 10 years with my husband and two primary aged boys. In my spare time I love adding to my growing board game collection. I also love to make and create things, from experimenting with new donut flavours, to knitting and crafting for friends and family.

Kaiwhakahaere Pūtea | Finance Manager

Situation Vacant

PADA are currently seeking a new Kaiwhakahaere Pūtea | Finance Manager based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. To learn more about this role go to our Ngā Tūranga Wātea | Vacancies page.

POU-Ā-TARI | Office Administrator

Situation Vacant

PADA are currently seeking a new Pou ā Tari | Office Administrator based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. To learn more about this role go to our Ngā Tūranga Wātea | Vacancies page.

About us

Ngā Kaiako | Our Educators

Kaiako Māori | PADA Educator Māori/Kaumātua

Joanne Teina

Ko Joanne Teina taku ingoa
Ko Pirongia me Taupiri aku Maunga
Ko Waipapa me Waikato aku awa
Ko Kahotea taku marae
Ko Ngati Apakura taku iwi
Ko Ngati Hinetu taku hapu
Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou

I am the partner of John, mother to 11, godmother of 2, and Nanny Jo to 13 mokopuna. I am a daughter, sister, aunty, and cousin to many.

I graduated as a registered nurse in 1990, and as a midwife in 1992. I was one of the first LMC Māori Midwives to practice in South Auckland and spent 18 years providing care for Māori whānau, during this time I was a founding member of Putea o Pua trust that created what is now know as Turuki Health Care in Mangere. I was Hapūtanga Kaiārahi for Ngati Whatua ki Orakei 2014- 2020 and I also helped establish Nga Maia which is the National Māori midwives organisation.

My passion was and still is to restore traditional Māori birth knowledge and wisdom to whānau. My other passion is Maternal Mental Health. I have lived experience with perinatal depression as do my daughters and nieces.

I also work as a alcohol and drug professional at the social detox at The Auckland City Mission, I contract to ADHB to provide community, pregnancy and parenting programmes. I am excited about supporting PADA to continue shining the light on the dark little corner of Maternal Mental Health through the creation and provision of our Hine Tu Hine Ora program. I am the current Kaumātua and Cultural Advisor to PADA.

Kaiako Pasifika | PADA Educator Pasifika

Jasmine Davis

Ko Hikurangi me Sili Sili te Maunga
Ko Waiapu te Awa
Ko Ngati Porou me Siufaga, Savaii Samoa te Iwi
Ko Jasmine Davis toku Ingoa

Talofa lava, I am a New Zealand born and raised Samoan, Māori and European Teine/Wahine who has grown up in the vibrant and cultural South Auckland. This upbringing of rich culture sparked my passion to work alongside, understand and support our Pasifika brothers and sisters navigate the many obstacles they face adjusting to life in New Zealand. I am a mother to two daughters, Amani born 2015 and newest addition born in July 2022.

I completed a diploma in Youth Work and more recently, a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Development. I enjoy empowering young people with the tools, resources and support around exploring and acknowledging their roots, identity and potential.

I work for a Pacific organization, Fonua Ola, as their Youth Worker, working alongside social work team, counsellors and the Hala Ora Wellbeing team who work specifically around mental health. We are intertwined and use a wraparound approach.

Being part of PADA provides a great platform to share, educate and be able to allow genuine exposure and real experiences to be shared around perinatal and postpartum depression, realizing that myself and many of my own family, friends and clients had lived through it without knowing what it was or how to get help.

I am privileged to be part of the PADA team and being able to contribute towards this movement of shedding more light around maternal mental health.

Kaiako | PADA Educator

Liora Noy

Liora is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), with a Masters in Public Health and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Liora runs breastfeeding and parenting support clinics in Wellington and in the Hutt, and teaches antenatal childbirth and breastfeeding classes. She has worked as a Tamariki Ora (Well Child) nurse and she is also an accredited facilitator of the Circle of Security parenting programme.

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 13-22. She is passionate about supporting parents affected by Postnatal Distress, having been deeply affected herself by PND. She was a peer counsellor for Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington) for 7 years, facilitated SPACE groups for mums with PND, and for the past 4 years as PADA’s Educator has been regularly writing resources and conducting presentations on perinatal mental health for a variety of providers and groups through the motu.