Our board

Bernadette Doube is our current Chairperson: “I have been involved in the disability sector since I worked as a volunteer in a residential school at the age of 14. Throughout my career as a speech language therapist and health sector manager, I have always been passionate about working to support others to reach their potential. As Chair of the Aspire Board I feel I can use my skills and experience to add value to the people we support by working at a governance level with my colleagues.” 

Kevin Bartels: “I have been a Board Member since April 1996. I am a Chartered Accountant with my own accountancy firm, married to Deidre with two children, Dylan (15) and Abby (13). My motivation for being involved with Aspire was to help the Board with my accountancy knowledge and to contribute something back to our community in a voluntary role. I have enjoyed my time with Aspire and I believe we have a strong and productive Board and that our staff and the people we support are achieving great things. Aspire makes a difference, and that is what makes it worthwhile being part of.”

Neville Hablous: “I consider it a huge privilege to live in a place and time where the community’s most vulnerable folks are supported by all of us rather than individual families. We tend to take it for granted, but a society which funds organisations like Aspire to help those in need is a rare and valuable thing. Having a family member at Aspire means I understand what a huge relief it is for families to find there are people and organisations out there who provide support. If I can contribute to making this system work, then I’d like to do so, and that is why I am on the Board.”  

Neville Puckey: “I have been with the Trust since its inception, before the country went down the de-institutionalisation programme. It was strongly felt that we could provide better housing and living conditions than those provided in Tokanui Hospital where all our original residents came from. We started off with one house that had an attached flat and from there we steadily grew. It is especially pleasing when we actually make a difference to someone's life and I have watched many of our residents develop to heights they may never have dreamt of earlier. Our goal set a few years ago to provide high quality housing has been fantastic and I believe we are probably a leader in the field.”

Russell Drake: “I have been a Board Member with Hamilton Residential Trust / Aspire - Community Support for in excess of 10 years. My personal interest within the sector arises from having a severely disabled brother and recognising the difficulties encountered for him, and the family, while we was growing up. As my brother moved in and out of institutions during the 70’s and 80’s it reinforced to me that he could have had a far better quality of life than the systems of that day provided and hence this is why I now wish to support the sector through this governance function. Outside of Aspire I own and operate my own Employment Relations Consulting company and also serve on the Boards of both Community Living Trust and CSC Buying Group.”

(Clockwise from top left) Neville Hablous, Neville Puckey, Kevin Bartels, Russell Drake, Bernadette Doube (chair), Simone Molenaar.