National Executive Board

Job Descriptions

Shaz Blackburn
Shaz Blackburn
Regional Support Groups, Public Awareness

Portfolios: Regional Support Groups and Public Awareness

Email:                 Mob: 0277115019

Hello everyone,  I have been a practicing Diversional Therapist for 12 years and I became a Registered Diversional Therapist, graduating at my first ever NZSDRT Conference in Hamilton, in 2013. I have just started a new position at Stillwater Gardens, a sister facility to one that I had been working in for the last two years, ever since leaving Christchurch and moving to Nelson 3 years ago.  I work Monday to Friday at Stillwater Gardens, a Retirement Village, complete with Villas, Apartments, Rest Home, a Dementia Unit and Hospital Level Care. I am very passionate about the role I play in Residents lives, believing in person centred care.  I am an active member of our local Support Group here in Nelson and was a member of the very successful “Canterbury Can” Conference Committee in 2018.  I have been on the NZSDRT Registration Board for over 2 years, where I have enjoyed supporting new Diversional Therapists to become registered. I am very passionate about our Society and within my role as Regional Support Liaison I will endeavour to support each group through communication, education and to remain linked to the Society’s beliefs and values, such as Registration and professional growth. I look forward to working with you all.

Ronalyn Turqueza
Ronalyn Turqueza
Newsletter - Public Awareness

Portfolios: Newsletter and Public Awareness

Email:                 Mob: 0221953346

Hi All,

I hope everyone is safe and well!

My name is Ronalyn, working as an Activities Coordinator at BUPA Harbourview Carehome in Porirua, Wellington.

It is a great honour to be the newsletter editor. To make this one successful, I earnestly encouraged each and everyone to share articles and stories that are relevant to NZSDT Inc. Just flick me a message! 😊

It is a privilege to work with you all!

Yvette Hughes
Yvette Hughes

Portfolios: Society History Collection and Public Awareness

Email:                 Mob: 021944959

I am a Registered Diversional Therapist currently working as Team Leader for a Rest Home
on the Kapiti Coast. I am passionate about Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and I am a
Facilitator for this evidence-based group program for people with Dementia. I approach my
role as Diversional Therapist with love, empathy and passion. As New Zealand’s population
is aging, it is becoming more critical to have a structure in place where the elderly is cared
for in a way that enrich their lives. Diversional Therapists provide this extremely important
service with the meaningful therapies and activities we offer to the people in our care. I am
originally from South Africa and I am honored to be serving on the Executive Board and
have an opportunity to be a voice for all Diversional Therapists and activities staff in
beautiful Aotearoa.

Garissa Greenough
Garissa Greenough

Portfolios: Policies, Procedures and Public Awareness

Email:                 Mob: 0274755950

I am a registered Diversional Therapist, I have been working with a group of octogenarians
and nonagenarians for more than half decade, some of them have been addressing me as
GeeGee, (sounding like my initials) they connected me with the old notion for a horse, I love
it !
I studied History and Tourism, and had a solid career in the tourism field. When motherhood
called, I leapt into the journey. Even though I was quite busy managing the household and
contributing to my sons’ school I still found free time to volunteer for community groups, such
as Playcenter, Plunket and Hospice. I met a community nurse in a Senior Citizen Heath Talk where she said I would be great company for people young and old who were cared for in hospitals or residential settings. Not long after that I happily accepted an activities co-ordinator position offered by my current
company and have never looked back since.  I have been attending several courses (MOOC) about dementia offered by the University of Tasmania. I also attend workshops and trainings organised by NZSDRT, with a keenness to gain a further understanding of the disease and diversional therapy.

Once again, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to those of you for your confidence in
electing me. I look forward to contributing to NZSDRT, and supporting the Board to advance
matters of importance to our members.

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson

Society Lawyer


Thomas Co. Director

Michael has an LLB/BA from the University of Auckland and was awarded the Senior Prize in law in 2004. Michael commenced with the firm in 2006 and oversees Property and Commercial matters. He has extensive experience working on trust matters providing sound and pragmatic advice to all of his clients.

In his spare time Michael is a passionate football player coach for Waitakere City Football Club and supporter of Tottenham

Roszanne Davidson
Roszanne Davidson
National Conference Liasion, Cultural Advisor Historian

Portfolios: National Conference Liasion, Cultural Advisor Historian

Email:                     Mob: 0273214211

I am a Registered Diversional Therapist from Gore. I’m married to a wonderful man Lex. I’ve 3 girls all married with 4 children each with 8 great grandchildren. Other than my family I have 2 passions.  They are:  the union -I can’t stand bad employers and seeing them treats their hard-working staff badly- and Diversional therapy. I am part of Te Runanga; the union committee that represents Maori members and ensures the voice of tangata whenua is strong in everything ETU union do. I love Conferences; it’s the only time I can do face to face networking with like-minded people. And what it can do for all walks of life.

Dementia comes close to my heart, Doll therapy, Music therapy; exploring craft are also worth a mention. People that know me know I’m a Christmas lover in craft.

Kristine Estillore
Kristine Estillore
Webmaster - Website Social Media Public Awareness

Portfolios: Website, Social Media and Public Awareness

Email:                 Mob: 0224261394

I am a Registered Diversional Therapist/Team Leader for The Ladybug,  a memory assisted lifestyle, a home exclusively for women – still under Kumeu Village Aged Care Ltd. from which I have worked as a DT since the company opened 5 years ago. We pride ourselves for being an Eden Alternative Philosophy facility wherein the Elders run their home. I’m originally from the Philippines and have been a Registered Nurse back home.  I have a deep passion for music and have been playing the piano since I was 5 in which I find very helpful in my current profession. I also play the organ, drums, guitar and a little bit of violin. I am passionate about Diversional Therapy and educating others with anything related to DT. I believe that this is a time to merge our great ideas for the improvement of our roles in the society now that Diversional Therapy is essentially booming in the Health Care Industry.

Kimm Prasad
Kimm Prasad
Vice-president - Education International Relations Cultural Awareness Public Awareness

Portfolios: Education, International Relations, Public and Cultural Awareness

Email:                                    Mob: 02102293100

I am a Registered Diversional Therapist and I am originally from Fiji. I work as the Lead Diversional Therapist, Weekend Manager at Avonlea Dementia Rest home and Hospital Care in Christchurch for 10 years now. As DT’s we face many changes in day to day basis, as we can see now there are many people presenting with early onset dementia at a very young age, residents with different cultural, religious and ethics backgrounds coming into care. We want to ensure that every individual is accepted as they are and the best quality of life we can offer.

Yuan (Suki) Xu
Yuan (Suki) Xu
Treasurer - Administration Database Public Awareness

Portfolios: Administration, Database and Public Awareness

Email:              Mob: 02102466924

Ni Hao,

Hello everyone,

It’s a great honour to introduce myself to you all. I am Yuan Xu, but I preferred to be called Suki and I

am a Registered Diversional Therapist. A little bit about me includes the fact that; I was born in China and New Zealand has been my home for the last 17+ years. I am happily single, but I am the proud mother of my doggy baby Miya. I have been working in the Aged Care sector since 2005; some of my work experience includes working in a memory support care home for 30 people living with dementia. I am a very responsible and trustworthy person with a bubbling personality. I believe that I have the skills that the society needs for the Treasurer position. From my personal life experiences and being raised by a family with strong academic background I excel in my accountancy and administrative work. I am good in communication and customer skills; proficient with Microsoft/computer knowledge, bookkeeping, attention to detail. I am passionate about my work Diversional Therapy and strongly believe in making a positive difference in people lives. Currently I am pursuing my final year in bachelor’s degree in Social Service. I am associated with Geneva Healthcare in community living as a house coordinator and a diversional therapist, and in addition my ‘doggy kid’ is registered pet therapy dog which I have the pleasure to bring along with me to work. I will assure you I will not let you down and always work to best of my knowledge to accomplish, what is best for the members of the society.


Orquidea Tamayo Mortera
Orquidea Tamayo Mortera
President - Education International Relations Cultural Awareness Public Awareness

Portfolios: Education, International Relations, Public and Cultural Awareness, National Conference

Email:                             Mob: 021818344

I am Registered Diversional Therapist currently working as the National DT for one of the biggest Aged Care organisations in the country. I am originally from Mexico, happily married and with a huge passion for making a difference in people’s lives, I have been working in the main three care Industries (Aged care, mental health and disabilities) for almost 20 years in New Zealand and Overseas. Some of my qualifications include a Degree on International Relations & Human Rights, Management and Leadership. I also do honorary advising for the New Zealand Loneliness Organisation. We are living in times where people with our skills are needed more than ever in the health care industry. I believe that is time for Diversional and Recreational Therapists to get professional recognition that we deserve in Aotearoa.

Registration Board Members