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:
Founding Trustee and CEO of Loneliness NZ
Cathy Comber 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, at the University of Cape Town, and in various departments in the University of Auckland. Through her roles Cathy was 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 (with two years of Psychology), a sociology course, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management (Human Resource Management). Currently Cathy is working towards the Masters of Counselling with the University of Auckland. She has completed 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.
Dr Spencer Scoular
Dr Spencer Scoular 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.
Loneliness NZ was privileged to have Fiona Sykes as a founding trustee, serving between April 2018 and December 2020. She has a keen interest in ensuring that the community can access appropriate social support.