Our Team

Jess Speechlay

Jess Speechlay

Steve O’Connor

Steve O’Connor

Supported Accommodation Manager
Sarah Boniface

Sarah Boniface

Youth Worker
Viv Campbell

Viv Campbell

Youth Services Manager
Tito Kisona

Tito Kisona

Social Worker
Felise So’oa

Felise So’oa

Missions Coordinator
D’Angelo-Gabriel Baice

D’Angelo-Gabriel Baice

Intern
Fa’afetai Avei

Fa’afetai Avei

Transitions Team Leader
Maria-Jose Isaza

Maria-Jose Isaza

Intern
Haraina Martin

Haraina Martin

Youth Worker
Eddie Condra

Eddie Condra

Chaplain
Carlida Te Awhe

Carlida Te Awhe

Intern
Erika Cortez

Erika Cortez

Intern
Wame Salabogi

Wame Salabogi

Missions
Melisha Isa’ako

Melisha Isa’ako

Social Worker
Semanaia Agafili

Semanaia Agafili

Intern
Simon Ravenhill

Simon Ravenhill

Kauri Brown

Kauri Brown

Keza Wardlaw

Keza Wardlaw

Youth Worker
Trish Dean

Trish Dean

Administration Manager
Dawn Tararo

Dawn Tararo

Jonathan Pierce

Jonathan Pierce

Capability Development Manager
Petonio Foaese

Petonio Foaese

Intern
Tamsyn Sutherland

Tamsyn Sutherland

Senior Youth Worker
Kitty McKinley

Kitty McKinley

Founder and Project Manager
Mitchel Cheu

Mitchel Cheu

Intern
Ana Baice

Ana Baice

Community and Ministry Support Worker
Shadez Moke-Belmont

Shadez Moke-Belmont

Intern
Natasha Henry

Natasha Henry

Intern
Petrina Foaese

Petrina Foaese

Youth Worker
Bobby Gibbins

Bobby Gibbins

Youth & Community Worker
Sr Marie Roche

Sr Marie Roche

Kaitiaki
Desiree Harawira

Desiree Harawira

MASSISS Social Worker
Adam Bain

Adam Bain

MASSISS Team Leader
Kat Birdling

Kat Birdling

Senior Social Worker – Practice and Quality Assurance
Rebecca Foley

Rebecca Foley

MASSISS Social Worker
Kasileta Seko

Kasileta Seko

Intern
Jacob Bang

Jacob Bang

Counsellor

Steve O’Connor

Supported Accommodation Manager

Kia ora, I am the Supported Accommodation Manager. I have been in social services roles for over thirty years, and came to Challenge 2000 after 22 years with NZ Police. While in the police, I managed police youth development and youth justice crime prevention programmes. Prior to joining the police, I was a social worker in non-government social work agencies. My last role in the police was as a National Coordinator supporting the development of community policing and helping police better care for victims, especially victims of family violence. Prior to managing the Supported Accommodation service I managed the Transition Service and previous to that I was Director of Challenge 2000 for four years.

Phone

021 192 7328

Sarah Boniface

Youth Worker

Kia ora e te whānau! I'm Sarah and I'm a youth worker here at Challenge 2000. I spent the first 17 years of my life in Invercargill. In 2018 I moved to Wellington and studied a Bachelor's in Criminology and Religious Studies. Following that, I did my Diploma in Youth Work which led me to this wonderful organization.I think all young people are incredible and have immense potential. I love walking alongside a young person and watching them recognize how awesome they are, and making the most of their strengths. I aim to listen compassionately, support them in achieving their goals, and uphold their mana so they can take control of their own journey.My work is in the Transitions, Mentoring, and YWiSS spaces. I feel blessed to be a part of this incredible whanau that works every day to make a difference.

Viv Campbell

Youth Services Manager

Kia ora. I am originally from Taranaki o Ngati Ruanui me Te Atiawa and currently living in Wellington.

I am hugely appreciative to be part of the Challenge 2000 whanau and count it a massive privilege to be part of team that is passionate about enhancing peoples’ lives for the greater good.

Tito Kisona

Social Worker

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti aroha o tätou tamaiti mahi – let the uniqueness of the child guide our work(whakatauki)Mihi mahana kia koutou e hoa ma! Malo ni! My name is Tito Kisona, I am of Tokelau decent, bornand raised in the greatest city ever Cannons Creek - Porirua! A community that has fostered theimportance of who I am, my culture and faith.I am a father of 4 children, a set of twins, a girl, and our foster son (yes, it is a busy household) and a husband to one! (ha ha) – so the daily art of multi-tasking and having flexibility whilst remaining personable, positive and approaching tasks hands-on is a 24.7 thing and definitely transferable in other aspects of my work. My first experience at Challenge was my final placement in my social work studies. What I was drawn to was the awhi shown to me by the staff here. I was based as a Social Worker at Taita college which reinforced my ‘why’ I am a social worker, what it also did was confirm the alignment in the work challenge does and I align well with the values that guides me.As a new practitioner my hope is to work in a capacity where the above whakatauki is upheld -acknowledging the Mana Rangatahi and their whānanu carry and the uniqueness of who they are. Regarding my social work practice, this is my starting point, my first right answer – the next step will be the journey together.I look forward to creating intentional connections with those I walk alongside, I am excited about growing as a social worker in an environment that privileges people – their Mana, their stories, their potential first.Totō hau tokiga nei, auā na tupulaga e fai mai – plant a seed today, for our future generations(Tokelau proverb). Fakafetai.

Felise So’oa

Missions Coordinator

Talofa lava, I have been at Challenge since 2001 and am a full time youth worker. My days are filled with a variety of adventures with a variety of people! I mentor individual young people, I am responsible for the important work of coordinating “missions” for Challenge 2000 – working with young people in the community and helping those in need with fixing things, gardening and clearing sections, moving, building things. I also help out at retreats and camps. I also lead the “Challenge Works” project that allows some of our young people to learn a range of skills that will help them to move into meaningful employment as well as generating some money to put back into our young people in the community.

D’Angelo-Gabriel Baice

Intern

Fa’afetai Avei

Transitions Team Leader

Talofa Lava, Malo ni and Kia ora.
I'm Fa'afetai, one of the social workers and team leader for the transition to adulthood service here at Challenge 2000.
My Challenge 2000 journey started back in 2015.  I've had the privilege of working as a MASSiSS Social Worker across colleges in Porirua and Lower Hutt, coordinating pastoral teams in schools, to working alongside rangatahi and their whanau in the transition to adulthood space. What I love about Challenge 2000 is the organisation's strength-based vibe, can-do attitude and the breadth of services offered.

Maria-Jose Isaza

Intern

Hola! Cómo estás? I am Maria one of the interns here at Challenge 2000.

Pequeñas cosas sobre mi! Well, I was born in Colombia and when I was 4 years old I moved to Ecuador with Mom and few years later moved to New Zealand with my family in 2019 and we have lived in Wellington since then. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister,yes! I’m the middle child.

I met Kitty and Steve a couple of years ago under very difficult circumstances and they welcomed me and my family into the beautiful family that they are which they introduced me to what Challenge is and what they do.

I always felt intrigued of what would it be like to be part of Challenge 2000 and a couple of months ago I decided to join to Challenge 2000 to the Intern Programme because they offered me the chance to experience new things,try and explore different things, find my pathway, my purpose in life and I can also help others which I’m passionate about.

Haraina Martin

Youth Worker

Eddie Condra

Chaplain

Kia ora I’m Eddie and it is my privilege to have been part of Challenge since it’s small beginnings in Johnsonville in 1988.

I am from Ireland originally and now also call Aotearoa New Zealand my home. I have many different jobs here – including mentor to the staff, chaplain, marriage celebrant, sailing teacher, superviser, retreat giver and other roles where I share in the life and death moments of those who work at or are served by Challenge 2000.

It is a wonderful community of life and hope, that inspires me in my ministry.

Carlida Te Awhe

Intern

Kia Ora, My name is Carlida, I am an intern at challenge 2000, my purpose here is to support young people, & mentor students who need the help whether it be in education or social activities.

Also building up my portfolio to become a cop once I leave challenge to pursue my career.

Erika Cortez

Intern

Hola! I am Erika, one of the interns here at Challenge 2000. I was born in Colombia and moved to New Zealand in 2011 and have lived in Wellington since then.I joined the Challenge 2000 intern programme because they offered me the chance to experience new things, find my pathway in life and I can also help others.

Wame Salabogi

Missions

Melisha Isa’ako

Social Worker

Talofa lava, Kia Ora! My name is Melisha Isa'ako.

I'm stoked to join the Challenge whanau as one of the MASSiSS social workers based at Taita College.

My move to Challenge at the beginning of 2022 was an opportunity I couldn't resist and upon reflecting on past experiences in leading youth development programmes, holiday programmes, youth ministry and working as a social worker in the health sector for a number of years - it was time for me to fully emerge myself where our rangatahi are at... in college!

Since being based at Taita no day is the same and I'm loving it!

I'm honoured to share space with our young people and I'm grateful to be part of their journey in whatever capacity they allow me to.

Here's to more spaces for our young people to thrive, be seen and heard!

Ia manuia!

Semanaia Agafili

Intern

Simon Ravenhill

Kia ora

My name’s Simon and I’m a youth worker at Challenge 2000.

I moved to New Zealand from England in early 2018. My background is in dance, specifically b-boying (breaking). In England the main part of my dance career was made up from being involved in dance and arts projects designed for young people.

Since moving to New Zealand I have become part of the dance scene and regularly teach, perform and compete.

As well as dance I also draw, paint, carve and produce music. I enjoy sharing these passions and helping others find ways of expressing themselves.

Kauri Brown

Kia Ora, My name is Kauri Brown I'm Maori & Tongan and I'm a youth worker here at Challenge 2000.

Most of my mahi is in High school doing one on one mentoring with our Rangatahi. It's something that I am extremely passionate about and grateful to have this opportunity.

I come alongside our young people to show that there is someone who believes in them which is a great blessing to my life as I see a lot of myself in the rangatahi coming from the same background.

Malo Auptio

Keza Wardlaw

Youth Worker

Trish Dean

Administration Manager

I come to Challenge 2000 with a background in legal accounting and I have been a volunteer with Challenge 2000 since the beginning in 1988. I have been involved in leading parish youth group activities and have been a member of the Pastoral Development team in the Johnsonville Parish. I was delighted when the opportunity to work at Challenge 2000 became available in March 2010. I am thrilled to be part of a hard-working team who has the interests of young people and families at heart. Every day I stand in awe at what our young staff and young people achieve.

Dawn Tararo

Kia ora, Sabaidee.

My name is Dawn Tararo, I have joined the MASSISS team at Challenge 2000 and I will be based at Porirua College as the Social Worker. I am of Laos descent, a small country in South East Asia. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. My whānau and I moved to New Zealand in 1991. My husband and our three daughters live in Porirua East and have been there since. We are Porirua proud!

Between having our daughters, I have been in Social services for over 8 years in different NGO’s. I take pride in any mahi that I undertake. I am still as passionate as I was when I decided to study Social Work in 2013.

I am a people person and I love a good chat! I am easy-going (sometimes the odd blonde moments) which allows me to connect and build relationships with people from all walks of life. I enjoy spending quality time with my whānau.

I look forward to supporting our rangatahi at Porirua College to guide them to be the best version of themselves. I am excited to become a part of the Challenge 2000 whānau.

“poipoia te kākano kia puāwai”

“nurture the seed and it will bloom”

Khop Jai.

Jonathan Pierce

Capability Development Manager

Hello, I’m Jonathan. In January 2018 I came from NZ Police to Challenge 2000 as the Capability Development Manager.

I am responsible for developing and maintaining the infrastructure and organisational requirements of the agency, including data collection and reporting capabilities, and further developing our relationships with other agencies. It is my responsibility to ensure these amazing people have the technology, resources and information they need, at their fingertips, so they can focus on their day-to-day work helping the community.

Petonio Foaese

Intern

Tamsyn Sutherland

Senior Youth Worker

Kia ora, I'm Tamsyn, a Youth Worker here at Challenge 2000. I was raised in sunny Nelson before moving to Dunedin to go to the University of Otago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and via distance learning from Praxis with a Diploma of Youth Work. I live in the Northern suburbs and I enjoy spending time with friends and whanau, exploring new places, walks in the bush, reading, baking and eating good food.I joined the Challenge 2000 whanau in 2020 when we moved to Wellington in 2020. My work at Challenge is with the Transition and Mentoring Services as well as supporting practice of the Youth Work team as Community Team Leader. I am passionate about seeing people discover their strengths and achieve their goals, it is a privilege to work alongside so many rangatahi and their whanau .

Kitty McKinley

Founder and Project Manager

I am the Founder of Challenge 2000, which I established in 1988 as a local youth initiative to support young people to develop and achieve their potential and older people to serve and thrive not just survive. I did not expect Challenge to reach thirty years of age! But here we are and here I am!

For the past forty years I have worked with young people, families, agencies, businesses and interest groups to assist them to overcome challenges positively and to function in a life giving, participative and just way.

At the moment I manage a lot of Challenge projects and also do a fair bit of troubleshooting and advice at a local and national level. I also provide training programmes, facilitation services and supervision on a myriad of topics. The money goes back to Challenge to support those who struggle.

My philosophy is that “love works” sooner or later. So with a bit of that and a bit of knowledge and professionalism all things are possible.

Mitchel Cheu

Intern

Ana Baice

Community and Ministry Support Worker

Talofa lava, I'm Ana from South Auckland. I moved to Wellington at the beginning of 2023 for a new exciting career pathway.
My role at Challenge 2000 is as a coordinator for the Internship project and Youth Ministry.

Shadez Moke-Belmont

Intern

Kia ora, my name is Shadez, Ngati Kahungunu. I have been at Challenge doing some programmes and helping out for a few years now. In 2023 I am an intern and love the mahi, especially as part of the Missions team and helping with the Food bank.See you around if you visit.

Natasha Henry

Intern

Hi my name is Tasha, I’m 21, I’m from Hawke’s Bay, I am one of the interns here at challenge. I’m here to support and help young people as well as working towards my level 3 youth work certificate.

Petrina Foaese

Youth Worker

Talofa lava. My name is Petrina Foaese, My family and I are from the beautiful island of Samoa. Challenge 2000 has many values that my Aiga and I hold close to our hearts.

I am privileged to work for such a giving and loving organisation. I have always wanted to give back to my community and I thank Challenge 2000 for helping me achieve this goal. I am currently working at Taita and Aotea Colleges doing youth work with awesome rangatahi under the Youth Worker in secondary schools support programme.

This is great as it gives me and insight in what is needed out in the community to develop and harness the strengths of young people. It gives me the opportunity to work alongside youth and listen to their beautiful stories.

I graduated with a BA in criminology and education at Victoria university and I believe this study is helping me understand more about the work we do and why we love it.

Everyday is different at Challenge2000 and I am truly blessed to be part of this amazing Aiga.

Bobby Gibbins

Youth & Community Worker

Kia ora!My name is Bobby and I am a Youth and Community worker at Challenge 2000. My role allows me to work alongside young people to help them achieve their goals and aspirations in life.I encourage young people to be the best they can possibly be and am grateful my mahi allows me to engage with the whole whanau.

Sr Marie Roche

Kaitiaki

Kia ora my name is Marie and I am a Sister of St Joseph. Following a career in teaching, I first joined Challenge 2000 in 1991 when there was just four of us! After being the Rimutaka Prison Chaplain for 21 years, I have returned to Challenge 2000… as everyone does.

My role here now as Kaitiaki is about being available to people in the house and community and doing whatever needs to be done. I am loving being back here at Challenge 2000.

Desiree Harawira

MASSISS Social Worker

Adam Bain

MASSISS Team Leader

Kia ora, I'm Adam, a social worker and MASSISS Team Leader here at Challenge 2000. I was raised in the Wairarapa before moving to Wellington to complete my social work degree. Over the last 15 years I have worked for both Government and NGOs in health, early intervention services and care and protection.

I am passionate about social justice for our young people and I look forward to continuing this work at Challenge.

Kat Birdling

Senior Social Worker – Practice and Quality Assurance

Hi, I’m Kat. Having recently completed my Masters of Applied Social Work I am here at Challenge 2000 working with a range of young people and their families to achieve their unimpeded potential. I love variety, and believe that with Social Work I have found my niche’, with no day, like the people I work with being the same. Working with Challenge out in the community enables me to put my dynamic approach to work, while advocating for the social justice and solidarity which drives me.

Rebecca Foley

MASSISS Social Worker

Hi I’m Rebecca Foley excited to be part of the MASSiS Social Worker for Challenge 2000 based at Aotea College in Porirua.Over the past 12 years I have been based in the Family Violence sector supporting women and children. The knowledge and community connections I have made in this time will support my position in Challenge 2000 with youth and families.I feel life is about having fun and learning daily and growing our passions. You will find I love being active. The bush is my happy place for trail running, thinking and sometimes getting lost. In winter and summer I get out on the waves and surf, it's never too cold to surf. I am always up for trying different cultural food and growing my own food.As everyday can bring challenges, I will have the time to listen and support where I can or find together those that can help. Don't be shy to come and share my food that I have made out of my garden and for those that like chocolate you will find I have that to share too.

Kasileta Seko

Intern

Talofa lava. My name is Kasileta Seko. I'm originally from the beautiful Island of Samoa. I was raised in Marton since I was 6 and I am currently living in Wellington.

I am proud to have attended and lead St Peter's College Palmerston North.

I am an intern at Challenge2000. I took this gap year program because I wanted to help give back to the community, as well as to help me figure out what I want to do in the future, and I know that Challenge2000 will help me with that. I am excited to see what Challenge2000 has in store for me.

Jacob Bang

Counsellor

Kia ora, my name is Jacob, I’m a counsellor here at Challenge 2000. I was born in South Korea, grew up in Dunedin, and now call Wellington home.I first became involved with Challenge 2000 through the Challenge Marist gap year programme in 2013 and have stuck around ever since – first as a volunteer, then as a youth worker, and now as a counsellor. I am currently working part-time while finishing my final year towards a Masters in Counselling. Outside of work/study, you’ll find me working on a bunch of art projects or fishing off the rocks at Mākara.I realise that I’ve been given far more than I can give, and it’s a privilege to walk alongside our young people in pursuit of a life lived to the fullest.