Sr Marie Roche
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.
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.
Kia ora! I'm Emma, the Executive Assistant here at Challenge 2000.
I was raised in Auckland and moved to Wellington for University, where I have stayed put for 7 years. I studied Commerce and Arts and afterwards I worked for an accounting firm for almost two years.
My journey with Challenge 2000 started in 2020, and I feel very privileged to be part of the whanau. The passion, aroha and charism that Challenge has is inspiring and I feel lucky to be working towards a better Aotearoa.
Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi
Ko Te Whānau-a-Tūwhakairiora te hapū
Ko Hinemaurea te marae
No ngā moutere o te Kuki Airani
Puawai is a MEME facilitator with experience in teaching Te Reo Māori , facilitating Rangatahi workshops, tv presenting, performance and NCEA unit standards.
She has a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts and Māori Studies (Massey University Palmerston North) and aspires to use her qualification to nurture the development oftaiohi.
Kia ora, my name is Josh Mills and I am a Social Worker here at Challenge 2000. I completed my Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Otago in 2018.
My journey in Social Work began here in early 2019. I have a passion for working with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential. During this time my role has consisted of one to one to one mentoring, one to one education, facilitating youth programmes and community Social Work. At the beginning of 2021, I started my new role as a Social Worker at Naenae College.
Tēnā koutou katoa, ko Heath Hutton taku ingoa. I have returned to Challenge 2000 after working at WellStop, finishing my Masters of Arts at Massey University, and completing my training to become a Registered Psychologist. Challenge 2000 has been an important part of my journey since I attended a leadership development programme in 2003. Since then, I have worked in a variety of roles at Challenge 2000 and had a few stints in a couple of other organisations both in New Zealand and in Sydney, Australia.
I am passionate about social justice, with a particular interest in criminal justice advocacy, having been involved in the formation of JustSpeak. I also have an interest in the prevention of sexual violence, which was the focus of my Masters thesis. I look forward to using the things I have learnt during my Psychological study to support and assist young people and their families.
I am so grateful to be back amongst the passionate and skilled staff of this great organisation.
Talofa lava. My name is Petrina Foaese, My family and I are from the beautiful island of Samoa. I have been at challenge for 2 years and am enjoying every bit of it . 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 in the Hutt Valley colleges doing youth work with awesome rangatahi under the Youth Worker in secondary schools government support programme.
This is great as it gives me and insight i 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. Another programme I am involved in is Mates and Dates in the whole Wellington Region.This programme focuses on young people developing healthy relationships and recognising when relationships are damaging and put the young people in danger.
I am also currently studying a BA in criminology and education at Victoria university. 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.
Social Work Manager
Hi there! I have been involved with Challenge 2000 since 2004 when I came on board in my final social work placement from Otago University.
I began as a social work student and have done a number of different roles over the years.
I now work part time so I can raise my three daughters. Young people, children and families are my passion and I love, love, love! walking alongside these people in their life journey.
Kia ora. My name is Kerry, and I work as the Challenge 2000 Social Worker at Aotea College. My career into social work has been a natural progression.
After working at a local childcare centre, and starting a family of our own, I started looking after children in my home when my children were at kindergarten. I then became the supervisor of the after school care programme at my children’s primary school, while offering my services as a parent help at school during class time. From there, I got my Teacher Aide Certificate, which enabled me to secure a job as a Teacher Aide at a local college.
Funding for a youth worker became available at the college, and the college encouraged me to apply for the position, which I was successful in getting. I then gained my Diploma in Youth Work, and went on to achieve my degree in Youth Development. I found that I loved studying in a field I was passionate about – young people and their world – so I decided to go back into the classroom and extend my knowledge via a Social Work degree.
I am so very pleased to have been accepted into the Challenge 2000 whanau, as they hold the values and principles that I too hold close to my heart – social responsibility, personal dignity and social justice.
Kia ora koutou!
My name is Sara Shepherd and I am a youth worker at Challenge2000. I am also currently studying for my Bachelor of Social Work. The best part about my work at challenge is the many opportunities it provides me to connect with a wide variety of youth and families from the community.
My drive for being a youth worker here is being able to support the journey of growth and change of the young people I work with.
One thing I love about Challenge2000 is the feeling of Whanaungatanga - a sense of kinship and connectedness. I feel this is very much present in the way Challenge2000 works.
Challenge2000 brings people together and we are all as individuals, at our best when we are united. I strive to uphold this value in the way I work with individuals, families and communities.
Kai ka pou, tangata kia ora - Food to be all eaten, man to live.
Te moana nui a kiva te moana
Te Kuki Airani raua ko Hamoa te iwi
Mitiaro raua ko Nofoali'ii te hapu
I tipu ake ahau i raro i te maunga o Whitireia
E noho ana ahau i raro i te maru o Te Ope Whakaora
Nā te awa o Parerua ahau i whāngai
O lo'u igoa o Ebony Ngatoko.
I am a part of the MASSISS team. I have been employed by Te wero rua mano since 2019.
Being involved in the life of rangatahi is a privilege I hold close. Life is amazing when you allow rangatahi to just be their authentic selves.
Gap Year Coordinator
Talofa Lava, my name is Pelasio but everyone at Challenge 2000 calls me Sio.
I was born and raised in Auckland where I did all of my schooling. I graduated with a bachelor in Theology from the University of Auckland in 2017 and then became a Youth worker with the Society of St Vincent de Paul Youth team in Auckland. I learned so much in this role about poverty, homelessness, structural injustice and what we can do to change society.
In 2018 I moved to Wellington to join the Marist Challenge 2000 Gap and Internship programme. I am really grateful for the different opportunities, youth work training and growth I experienced during the programme.
I am now the Gap Year co-ordinator and a youth worker at Challenge 2000. My role involves mentoring, generic youth work, supporting a Youth House, part time youth ministry in the Ohariu Parish, running school liturgies, running day programmes and retreats and organising events and church activities in the Northern suburbs.
I enjoy the work at Challenge because of the different people we work and walk alongside. I am part of an awesome team that always shows up and creates opportunities for young people to engage, change and belong. It's satisfying to make a difference and to help young people achieve their full potential.
Mates & Dates Scheduling
Ko Puhangatohora te Maunga, Mangatawa te Awa, Ngatokimatawhaorua te waka, Pukerata te Marae, Ngaitu te hapu, Ngapuhi-nui-tonu te Iwi, No Otaua taku turangawaewae ahakoa e noho ana au ki Te Whanganui a Tara inainei.
Tena koe, Ko Sherrie Wharewaka-Paulo taku ingoa! At present I am employed by this wonderful organization as a Kaimahi Rangatahi, a flash word to meaning Youth Worker since the beginning of this year. Over the years I have been involved with Challenge 2000 in many different forms but this by far is my favorite. Youth work on a daily for me has many different strands but the core to enhance rangatahi to be the best them remains.
Kia ora, I'm Tamsyn, a Youth Worker here at Challenge 2000. I was raised in sunny Nelson before moving to Dunedin where I lived for the past twelve years. I graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and from Praxis with a Diploma of Youth Work. My husband and I moved to Wellington at the end of 2020 when I joined the Challenge 2000 whanau. I have worked as a Youth Worker since 2010 in Dunedin and feel privileged to have worked alongside so many rangatahi and their whanau and am excited to continue this work here in Wellington with Challenge.
My work at Challenge is with the Transition and Mentoring Service as well as supporting practice of the Youth Work team as Community Team Leader. I am passionate about seeing people discover their strengths, achieve their goals.
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.
Youth & Community Worker
My name is Bobby and I am a Youth and Community worker and also a Mates and Dates Facilitator 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.
Kia Ora I’m Eleanor and after a career in teaching I have joined the team at Challenge 2000. My role is about being available and supporting others on their journey.
This ranges from educational input for students at our school, pastoral care of students and families in the community, teaching young people to cook and sew and learn practical life skills and simply being on hand to assist others.
The most exciting thing about being part of challenge is witnessing the charism of Challenge 2000 and the Marist values in action. I enjoy my work and value being part of this team.
Kia ora, my name is Anh-Dao and I'm a Youth and Community worker, Youth House support person & Mates and Dates facilitator.
I first got involved with Challenge 2000 in 2008 when I participated in a youth leadership programme. I pretty quickly realised that Challenge was something special and have stuck round, in a few different capacities, ever since.
I was so excited to return back to the team in 2018 whilst completing my Bachelor in Social Work.
No day is the same here which means new learnings and many different challenges everyday!
I feel extremely fortunate to be part of a team that's committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, working towards social justice and making a positive difference in Aotearoa New Zealand.
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.
Kia ora readers, Zach Ready here, believer, hip-hop artist, and servant of Challenge2000. I was first introduced to Challenge through an awesome whanau wedding in early 2019. Fate would have it I started working for Challenge in late 2020.
Prior to Challenge, I made the most of a decade-plus long career in the events industry, the last seven years in a managerial role. This included work alongside the NZSO, RNZB, Arise Church, WOW, WCC, the NZ Govt etc. I have also been active as a hip-hop musician since my early twenties, emceeing, co-producing, mentoring, DJing and so on. I have collaborated with Stic of Dead Prez, Kool G Rap, and more locally the likes of Chris CK of Raw Collective fame, and the legendary DJ Sir-Vere. Over the years I've had the opportunity to perform in Europe and Asia, as well as in my hometown of Wellington. In addition to music & biz, I would say fellowshipping, travelling, working out & nutrition are great passions of mine. With a quality over quantity approach to travel, I have been to close to 30 countries. Highlights include reaching the top of Kilimanjaro. Walking along the great wall of China, visiting the pyramids in Egypt, and attending music festivals in Spain, USA, Australia and Sweden. To date, I have completed three marathons, including the Queenstown International, and have also done volunteer work in parts of Africa, as well as helping out with annual appeals for the likes of St. Johns and the Wellington Samaritans back home in Aotearoa.
I sometimes joke that I couldn't wait for the world and was actually born inside a 'Housing New Zealand' flat. I am of mixed British and Scandanavian descent, predominantly Irish, and consider myself an Earthling, rather than segregated by race or cultural background. Coming from a solo parent background I see myself in a lot of the rangatahi, families and community we work with, and this is what drives the way I relate to others and my passion to help them. If you're yet to see the documentary 'Aroha Noa' about the history of Challenge2000, I highly recommend checking it out through Maori Television's on-demand service. Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki e tiaki i nga wa katoa!
Transition Services Manager
Kia ora, I started my journey with Challenge 2000 as a social work student on my first placement through the Master of Applied Social Work degree provided by Massey University.
I have since completed my first placement and have been working for Challenge 2000 full time as a transition worker. This role gives me the privilege to walk alongside young people to prepare them for their transition into adulthood. This transition can be a difficult time for many young people due to some inevitable major life changes. Challenge 2000’s transition program allows me to help prepare young people before this transition period to support them on their journey to becoming an adult.
Challenge 2000 works to make young people the best versions of themselves and welcomes all that comes through our doors. I know this because I too have been on the receiving end of this and have felt heavily supported as both a staff member and as a placement student. Challenge 2000 is a great workplace to be a part of as it not only does amazing work to support young people in the community, but also supports the professional and personal development of its staff members.
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 ahusband to one! (ha ha) – so the daily art of multi-tasking and having flexibility whilst remainingpersonable, positive and approaching tasks hands-on is a 24.7 thing and definitely transferable inother aspects of my work. My first experience at Challenge was my final placement in my socialwork studies. What I was drawn to was the awhi shown to me by the staff here. I was based as aSocial Worker at Taita college which reinforced my ‘why’ I am a social worker, what it also did wasconfirm 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 willbe the journey together.
I look forward to creating intentional connections with those I walk alongside, I am excited aboutgrowing as a social worker in an environment that privileges people – their Mana, their stories, theirpotential first.Totō hau tokiga nei, auā na tupulaga e fai mai – plant a seed today, for our future generations(Tokelau proverb). Fakafetai.
Hello everyone, I'm Matt and I work with Challenge 2000 as a Youth Worker. I graduated with a degree in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Derby in England in 2006, became a mentor for Year 11 students and then made the transition to qualified teacher.
I moved away from England in 2011; spending a year in Beijing, China, six years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and most recently a short spell in Koje, South Korea, before coming to New Zealand in December 2018.
Working for Challenge encompasses all of my interests in youth work; education, support, justice, growth and responsibility, and I am excited to work with our young people to support them as they navigate their life journey.