The Committee


Back row: Tim Steel, Diana Halsted, Elizabeth Ellis, Ann Hodson, John Stevens,  Jan Blayney,  Kathleen Willis
Seated middle row: Carla Wild
Seated front row: Heather Macfarlane,  Jillian Wellings, Elizabeth Kay,  Adrienne Olsen,  Sheryn Shackleton


Elizabeth Kay holds a BA in Language and Literature, GDArts and BA Hons (First) in Art History from Victoria University and taught History of Architecture at Victoria for 15 years. As a partner in Crispin Kay Architects, she undertook project management, landscape and interior design. She is currently Manager Ancillary Services for The NZ Anglican Church Pension Board. In 2012 Elizabeth wrote A Wonderful Scheme to mark the Pension Board’s first 40 years, and in 2013 A suitable residence, the story of the house built for Bishop Hadfield in 1879. She served on the Arts Encompassing committee for ten years, six of them as Chair. She has a strong interest in conservation and leads a community project transforming an unofficial tip site back into a Town Belt native forest.


Dr Jan Blayney completed a PhD in Classics at Victoria University before working in a series of roles in Victoria’s Centre for Continuing Education, developing and managing diverse courses, seminars, conferences and certificate programmes, as well as overseas study tours in Classics and Art History. From 2002 to 2006 Jan was Director of Continuing Education and Executive Development and also managed a TEC national quality assurance training project. She then turned to consulting and project management work in the wider tertiary sector. Jan is passionate about lifelong learning; and her interests include art, films, food, wine, reading, travel and walking.

Elizabeth Ellis graduated Bachelor of Arts, Victoria University and worked for the Department of Trade and Industry and Trade Development Board before accompanying her husband on what was to be 14 years in Japan. Volunteer roles with CWAJ (the College Women’s Association of Japan) included publicity and curating assistance for the large exhibition of contemporary prints it holds annually in Tokyo. As a recruitment consultant she was an active member of Foreign Executive Women and the ANZ Chamber of Commerce. Returning to New Zealand, work in the social services sector included assisting individuals with disability find and retain employment. Now retired, she is pursuing interests volunteering in the arts, and in conservation as a guide at Zealandia.

Diana Halsted has a BA from Victoria University in English and Social Sciences. She has had a career in Social Services working with children and families both in government and in the NGO sector. From 1991- 2006 she was the Director of a Child & Family Support Service in Southland. Currently she is a Board member of the New Zealand Family & Foster Care Federation. She is interested in people, particularly New Zealand people and their history, and she has a long-standing interest in art.

Ann Hodson, a Victoria University Science Graduate, taught at Hutt Valley High School, Leulumoenga Fou High School, Samoa, and Scots College where she was Senior Dean and HOD Science until serving as VSA Field Representative, Bhutan, 1991-1995. Ann was Manager Volunteering, Cancer Society Wellington, 1996-2014. She spent 1982 as a volunteer with Ryder Cheshire Foundation, India. Other volunteer experiences include short term roles in East New Britain and Indonesia, selector for VSA and Gap, board member Volunteer Wellington, Volunteering NZ and NZVWO. She was voluntary sector representative on DIA Volunteer Support Committee and Cancer Society National Support Services Advisory Committee. Her interests include travel, theatre, films, and reading.

Heather Macfarlane is a retired cartographer. She began work when maps were drawn by hand, specialising in topographic mapping. Mid-way through her career she shifted focus to the management of third party use of both topographic and hydrographic data in digital form, and retired in 2006 after 43 years of service with Land Information New Zealand and its predecessor agencies. Heather has a BA in Social Sciences and has been involved in the volunteer sector in both church and secular agencies all her adult life. Her interests include art appreciation, theology, reading, and relaxing with friends over good wine and food.

Adrienne Olsen is a Victoria University graduate and is the owner of Adroite Communications, a New Zealand-wide communications, public relations and business development company. She manages many national projects for Adroite’s clients, and is the editor and author of a number of business and law publications. A trustee of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation since 2000, she has led a number of community organisations. When not engrossed in work, Adrienne enjoys developing gardens, cooking and eating, good design and travel. She also has an occasional stall, Green Wellies (all puns intended), at Wellington’s Hill Street Farmers Market.

Sheryn Shackleton has worked as a docent and volunteer in six international museums and has also trained guides, lectured and been a course coordinator. In Bangkok she was Guide Chair, in Singapore Docent Coordinator for all three National Museums and was on the Executive Committee in both these postings as well as in Sydney. She has a degree in communications from Toronto and had her own public relations company specialising in lobbying and community launches. She has studied Asian art and culture extensively during postings in Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand and Hawaii. In Hawaii she also worked for the Department of Health, lobbying for developmental disabilities. In New Zealand she has been the President of the Laura Fergusson Trust.

Tim Steel qualified as an accountant with a BCA from Victoria University. He was a taxation manager with a major accounting firm, a significant bank, insurance companies and fund managers. He is currently providing taxation and accounting services to a wide variety of clients and is also the treasurer and adviser to a number of non-profit and charitable organisations. He enjoys playing tennis, skiing, reading and an occasional bike ride when the weather permits.

John Stevens who was until his retirement in 2013, the honorary solicitor for The Friends, practiced law in Wellington for 46 years. He acted for local, national and international clients, with a particular emphasis on compliance, governance and other issues for professional and trade associations, along with advice to a number of the larger Maori land owning entities. Representing these clients led him to being engaged in advocacy to officials, ministers and select committees. Currently John is assisting officials with consultation on and preparation of a major re-write of Maori land law. Dividing time between Wellington and Golden Bay, when in Wellington he plays as much croquet as he can as well as being involved in his church community and enjoying music and art.

 Jillian Wellings is a Charter Member of the Friends of Te Papa. She has a strong background in the voluntary and charity sectors with a focus on education and the arts. She has served as Chairman of the Board of Management, as well as President of the Parents’ Association, of Samuel Marsden Collegiate and as Chairman of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Wellington Committee, in addition to volunteering for numerous organisations, including Victim Support and the Cancer Society. After raising four children, Jillian and her husband now spend a lot of their time pursuing their keen interest in the arts, music, travel and walking.

Carla Wild is a professional minute taker working for private clients and through three agencies. She has been a long time committee member of the Friends of Old St Paul’s, is a Culture Club Ambassador for the New Zealand Festival Culture Club (previously the Friends of the Festival) and has been a volunteer for several other arts and cultural groups. She has a BA in French and enjoys travel, walking, sewing and reading.

Christine Turner (Replaces Kathleen Willis, pictured) Prior to coming to New Zealand in 1970,  worked as a bilingual secretary in Geneva, Switzerland, initially at the Fiduciaire Suisse and then at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations and Consulate-General. Settling in Wellington, she worked at the NZ Institute of International Affairs before joining the administrative staff of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at Victoria University of Wellington, where she held positions as Secretary to the Registrar, Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor, Assistant Registrar and Secretary to the University Council.  She has extensive experience of committee work at senior management and governance levels, and of events management. Christine is a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand and holds a BA in Languages and Literature from Victoria University of Wellington.  Her interests include the arts, music and travel.


Photo credit: Bill Beale