National Executive Board

Job Descriptions

Jezka Birondo
Jezka Birondo
Newsletter - Public Awareness

Portfolios: Newsletter and Public Awareness

Email:          Mobile:

Hi Everyone, my name is Jezka, I am a Registered Diversional Therapist, currently working at Agecare Central Ltd. Maryann and Marire Rest Home in Stratford, Taranaki. It is with pride that our company is committed in providing a person-centre care based on the model of Te Whare Tapa Wha encompassing spiritual, family/whanau, physical and emotional wellbeing within a safe, and caring environment. I am originally from Philippines and studied Bachelor of Hotel and Restaurant Management. After I arrived in New Zealand, I was given an opportunity to study Diversional Therapy and was able to gain my qualifications.

In my free time, I enjoy travelling with family and friends, karaoke/singing and photography. I also love to dance and that is one of my therapy.

Working in aged care facility has open my eyes to see the beauty in the elderly people. I have learned to appreciate and value their existence even more. My heart goes out to aged care sector. As a Registered Diversional Therapist, I believe that providing a meaningful activity to the elderly is crucial to overall wellness, especially for keeping a meaningful and satisfying life. When an elderly is constantly engaged in social activities, they will feel a continued sense of being part of society.

I am proud to be a Registered Diversional Therapist and I am honoured to be a part of the executive which enables me to use my voice to empower other Diversional and Recreational Therapist in Aotearoa.

Sharlin Pritika
Sharlin Pritika
Registrar - Public Awareness

Portfolios: Registrar and Public Awareness

Email:          Mobile: 0211456769

” The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart…….”

I believe there is nothing more peaceful and accomplishing in life when you are in the company of the elderlys, encouraging and empowering them to live their life to the fullest. Hi all, My name is Sharlin and I am a registered Diversional Therapist currently working for Metlifecare as a Internal Careerforce Assessor. I am originally from the beautiful  Place called Fiji. I am happily single and have an inquisitive passion for gaining and sharing knowledge. I have been working closely with the Age care and Disability Sector for the last 14Years+.
I am very passionate about the roles I play in each individual’s life as my main aim is to improve the quality of life through the skills and knowledge I have gained. I love music, yoga and Pilates. Currently I am pursuing my Bachelor of Social Services.
Thank you to each individual who voted for me and showed your faith in me to be a Registrar.
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.

Yvette Hughes
Yvette Hughes
Historian - Public Awareness

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

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/Assistant Operations Manager/ former 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 in March 2015. 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.

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

Shabnam Nisha Narayan
Shabnam Nisha Narayan

National Registration Board Member

I am Shabnam Nisha Narayan. As a Registered Diversional Therapist working in Tauranga, I love every moment of my role. Originally from Fiji, I am happily married, and we have three beautiful daughters.  Seeing the happiness on residents when they join in activities and have fun gives me satisfaction that I am helping bring a bit of joy into the lives of others.

Having completed my DT studies and becoming a Registered DT has marked an educational milestone in my life. I have always loved to study and further my knowledge. As a National Registration Board Member, I work with applicants to become a registered Diversional Therapist.

Given the opportunity to be part of the Registration team is a great privilege, and I look forward to working with you all and helping others become qualified as Diversional Therapists. I am excited as we embark on this journey, upskill our qualifications and diversify our skills in our profession.

Roxane Ducusin
Roxane Ducusin

National Registration Board

“Accomplishment is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential and scattering a positive cause that benefit others.”

As a Registered Diversional Therapist and Registered Nurse in the Philippines, I am passionate in delivering utmost care and support to vulnerable people. Currently, I am working as a Dementia Day Programme Supervisor at Selwyn Foundation. I liaise with Community Mental Health, DHB and Ministry of health to ensure the well-being of our clients. As a DT/nurse, I develop activities through holistic approach in a fun environment to enhance their cognitive ability. I try to introduce different activity approaches for our clients; they may have dementia, but I believe that uncovering their potential through diverse activity programme will enhance their self-confidence. And, educating the family on how to manage their loved one’s condition would help foster  effective attention to client’s needs. Prior to migrating to NZ 10 years ago, I worked in the Pharmaceutical industry (Roche and Bayer) as a Medical Representative and Territory Manager. I believe that true job satisfaction and happiness is about fulfilling your potential. It is my privilege to bring joy and encouragement to the lives of my clients. My aim is to improve their quality of life and strengthen their abilities and capabilities.

Aditi Arora
Aditi Arora
National Registration Board Member

National Registration Board Member

I’m fuelled with my passion for understanding the needs of people living with sorts of disabilities and enthusiastic about adding quality of life. I always keen on learning new things and expanding my knowledge. This is how I’m determined to turn information into action. I believe mindfulness is the key to success. I’m proud to be a National Registered Board Member and Registered Diversional Therapist.

I feel each Diversional Therapist is special and have those magical abilities to change a person’s life. I would like to help other Diversional Therapists to understand how special they are, how they can feel empowered to make a difference and spread the magic around themselves. A message to all DTs- You definitely are leaving sparkles wherever you are going!