Loneliness NZ

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Loneliness NZ is structured with a Board of Trustees who govern the Trust, and a group of advisors who provide specialist expertise to Loneliness NZ.  Our Trustees are:

Cathy Comber

Passionate about empowering people to grow

Cathy has been dedicated to uplifting individuals – in their personal lives, and their careers; and to bringing out the best in teams.

She contributed to Lifeline Aotearoa for over seven years, initially as a Helpline telephone counsellor with suicide Intervention skills, then co-facilitating the Foundation Training, and formally mentoring new counsellors. She has been a trustee, and Chairperson, of LifeKidz Charitable Trust – an after-school and holiday programme for special needs children. Cathy is currently a Trustee on the Board for TalkLink Trust – which provides assistive technology for the disability sector. 

Cathy has significant experience in the senior management of large organisations, Initially in the University of Cape Town, and more recently for over fourteen years in various departments (including the School of Psychology) in the University of Auckland, 

She has been responsible for managing corporate services with a focus on commercial and financial management, and strong customer service delivery.

Cathy’s tertiary qualifications include a BCom and Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management (Human Resource Management). She has completed some Psychology and Sociology courses; and a significant number of courses in leadership including the tertiary sector New Zealand Women in Leadership programme.

Although Cathy enjoys challenges she now looks for less arduous tramping outings than the two 100km Oxfam Trail Walk Fundraisers she completed with her teams. Spending time with her extending family gives Cathy pleasure.

Cathy is the CEO of Loneliness NZ.

Dr Spencer Scoular

Passionate about lifting the wellbeing of all New Zealanders

Spencer transforms organisations – to make them better. He is excited by the possibility that Loneliness NZ has to transform the wellbeing of all New Zealanders by delivering long term strategies to treat loneliness and improve social wellbeing. By targeting loneliness and social wellbeing, Spencer believes it is possible to prevent and intervene before more serious mental health conditions arise.

Spencer is by training a high-end management consultant.  He is a former management consultant with the world’s leading management consultancy (McKinsey & Company), and co-founded Partners in Performance (UK) – a specialist operational turnaround consultancy. These days he has a portfolio career, which includes operating his own management consultancy. He also spends about half his time working pro bono on the key outstanding problem of science: how to unify all the sciences.

Spencer’s tertiary qualifications include a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class) from the University of Canterbury, and diplomas in accounting/finance and stockbroking.  He was awarded a Prince of Wales Scholarship to Cambridge University based on his grades across all subjects at all universities in New Zealand, and was third in the New Zealand Senior Mathematics competition as well as being Dux of Nelson College. Spencer is an active investor in the New Zealand start-up community and last year had the top return on paper of the 160 members of ICE Angels. Spencer enjoys tramping, squash, and spending time with family.

Fiona Sykes

Passionate about suicide prevention

Fiona has a keen interest in ensuring that the community is aware and can access appropriate social support.

Since immigrating to New Zealand in 2004, Fiona has worked in market research at both agency and corporate level and is now working as an Insights Manager at a tertiary institution.

Fiona has extensive experience in community research in South Africa, having worked on projects on women’s health and the palliative care of HIV/AIDS patients. 

She has a degree in Health and Social Sciences, majoring in Psychology and Industrial Psychology, and has completed several post graduate papers in Marketing. 

Fiona has trained as and worked as Lifeline volunteer telephone counsellor. And through personal experience has supported some of those close to her through mental health problems.

Fiona enjoys spending time with her family, making delicious food and crafts.