Loneliness NZ


Loneliness NZ is structured with a Board of Trustees who govern the Trust, and a group of Advisers who provide pro bono specialist expertise to Loneliness NZ.  We would like to express our gratitude to our six advisers, and include some of their biography below.

Note: We highly value the input of our advisers, and enjoy meaningful relationships with each one of them.  However as we do not solicit the view of each adviser for any of our actions, we do not expect any adviser to endorse every action of the Trust.

Professor Philip S. Morrison

Academic adviser
Professor Philip S. Morrison is a leading urban geography researcher at Victoria University of Wellington.  His expertise includes loneliness across all age groups; and the geography of “happiness” – the impact of place on subjective wellbeing.

Philip continues to add to his significant record of productive scholarship of more than one hundred research papers, reports, and conference proceedings.

Philip chaired the Third International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy in Wellington, September 2018.

Publications of Professor Morrison and that of his student, Rebekah Smith, which are currently most relevant to loneliness in New Zealand, have been summarised on our site:

His qualifications include an MA, Victoria University of Wellington, and a PhD, University of Toronto. Philip received the New Zealand Geographical Society Distinguished Geographer Award in  2013.

Dr Sarah Wright

Academic Adviser
Dr Sarah Wright’s passion for understanding loneliness is very evident – she’s made loneliness a significant focus of her research career! Sarah is a senior lecturer in the College of Business and Law, within the University of Canterbury. Sarah’s love of study, and of Christchurch, saw her through several University of Canterbury degrees. She followed a Bachelor of Arts with a Master of Science, and after several years in management consulting firms, returned to complete her PhD in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.

At the heart of Sarah’s research is loneliness and human relations within groups and organisations – so she has specifically looked at emotions in organisations, and social relationships in the workplace. Her research is also taking her into the organisational climate and social factors in organisations.

Sarah has numerous published works, including her PhD thesis on Loneliness in the Workplace, and journal articles on meaningful work and occupational class. Sarah has presented at many international conferences on diverse topics relating to human relationships and loneliness in workplaces. Sarah is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Management Education, serves on the review boards of the Journal of Management Education and Managerial Psychology, and reviews for Human Relations, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and the Journal of Business and Psychology.

Sarah teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of organizational behaviour, leadership, group dynamics, and management skills.

Professor Vanessa Burholt

Academic adviser
Professor Vanessa Burholt is a leading scientist assessing the impact of the physical external environment and culture on loneliness. Her focus on loneliness brought her to co-author a letter to The Lancet medical journal calling for a unified approach to address the global challenge of loneliness.

Vanessa’s successful academic career in Wales led her to be Director of several key positions: for the Centre for Social Policy Research and Development at Bangor University; for the Centre for Innovative Ageing at Swansea University; and for the pan-Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research.

Additionally Vanessa was on the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing in the capacity as a public appointed research member.

Highlights of Vanessa’s numerous awards include: Fellow of the Academy of Social Science, Senior Research Leader for Health and Care Research Wales; and her twice win of the College of Human and Health Science outstanding contribution to research award.

In late 2019 Vanessa joined the University of Auckland as  Professor in Gerontology in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

With more than 50 published articles and book chapters, Vanessa has wide-ranging interests such as loneliness, support networks, intergenerational relationships, social exclusion, rurality, migration of older people and attachment to place.

Dr Denise Taylor

Academic Adviser
Dr Denise Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington.

Denise is a qualified pharmacist with practice experience in community pharmacy, general practice, hospital pharmacy and academia. After working in the UK for many years, Denise returned to New Zealand in February 2018, with significant experience working with national health organisations to improve the safer use of medicines in general, and specifically in mental health via the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.

Denise was programme lead for the Pharmacist Prescribing Course in Bath, UK, with responsibility for design, implementation, teaching and assessment, as well as Interprofessional Education.

Denise’s prestigious professional achievements include becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society UK and a Faculty Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society UK.

Denise’s interest in loneliness and social isolation comes as part of wider research interests in social prescribing, and mental health, including dementia and the health of seniors. She has completed projects in social prescribing for people with mild to moderate mental health problems, and pharmacy perspectives of social prescribing.

Other research interests include the public perspective of medicines, and an evaluation of health services. These have led Denise to projects on Green prescriptions for older and frail adults, antibiotic prescribing, shared decision-making in mental health and interprofessional education facilitator training.

Orquidea Mortera

Diversional Therapy adviser
Orquidea Mortera is a highly passionate person. She is keen to share her knowledge and skills to bring positive outcomes that can benefit people through Diversional and Recreational Therapy. Orquidea’s substantial experience as a Diversional Therapist in the healthcare and seniors aged care sector has led her to the appointment as President of the New Zealand Society of Diversional and Recreational Therapist Inc since August 2018.

Orquidea currently holds the position National Diversional Therapist at Summerset Group Holdings Limited. She was previously with the Selwyn Foundation Group where she introduced the very successful Baby Buddies community outreach programme through which the Selwyn’s care home residents host mums and their babies and toddlers each week. Amongst many other positive outcomes, having these meaningful interactions helps alleviate social isolation for residents and mothers alike.

The New Zealand Aged Care Association has well-recognised Orquidea; she was the winner of the 2017 Community Connections Award, and a finalist for several awards in preceding years. Orquidea was also amongst the regional medallists for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealand local hero of the year.

Orquidea has a Bachelor in International Relations (Human Rights) from the Mexican Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla. She is currently registered with Unitec, participating in the Bachelor of Health and Social Development (Diversional Therapy), as the first pilot program with a major in Diversional Therapy, the only of its kind in NZ.

Lisa Rudolphe

Fundraising adviser
Lisa Rudophe has over 10-years experience as a professional fundraiser for non-profit organisations.  She is the Head of Development for the Auckland Museum, and was previously Head of Sponsorship and Fundraising.

Lisa is responsible for general management and delivery of all strategy, development and fundraising activity and management of stakeholders on behalf of Auckland Museum. She manages large volume programmes with portfolios including trusts and grants, capital campaigns, bequests, membership development, sponsorship and individual giving.  

Prior to Auckland Museum, Lisa was Manager Fundraising Special Events for the Cancer Society.  

In 2015 she won the prestigious FINZ (Fundraising Institute of NZ) Supreme Excellence Award for Fundraising.  She has also been winner of the 2015 FINZ Trust and Grants Excellence Award and winner of the 2017 FINZ Excellence in Sponsorship award.