Stephen Jones | Co-Chairperson

Stephen joined the Sticks ‘n Stones board in 2017. He took on the role of co-chairperson in 2022 and retained this into 2023.

Stephen grew up in Invercargill and moved to Dunedin in 2017 for university. He graduated from the University of Otago with an LLB (Law) and BSc (Majoring in Psychology) in 2021. He has since moved back to Invercargill where he is a practising solicitor.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys travelling, meeting people, being outdoors and playing different sports – Stephen has witnessed, growth, challenges and adaption since coming onto on the board and is thrilled to see this continue into the bright future of Sticks n’ Stones.

Matt Hesson | Co-Chairperson

Matt took on the role of Co-Chair after spending his first year on the Board.

Matt has a passion for people and leadership which naturally means that he is loving being on the Board of Sticks n Stones. In fact, it is actually his second bite at the cherry as Matt was one of the original group of young people who founded this kaupapa back when he was a high school student in Alexandra.

Now working in Human Resources in Wellington, Matt continues to be passionate about making Aotearoa New Zealand a place where bullying is a thing of the past and instead we have inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.

Matt loves a good quiz, playing/listening to music and playing/watching sport.

Cameron Duffield | Treasurer

Cameron is the Treasurer of Sticks ‘n Stones after joining the Board in early 2023. Born in South Africa but raised in Auckland, he studied Accounting at Massey University and is now working full time (as an accountant, surprisingly!).

In his spare time, Cameron enjoys attempting to bake, op shopping, drinking coffee, and watching lots of cat videos.

Being a part of a not-for-profit organisation is a new experience for Cameron, but one he is honoured to be a part of and one where he is looking forward to making real changes to real people who need it.

Abby Golden | Secretary

Abby works as an Registered Nurse in Dunedin Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. She has served in various positions on our board since 2018.

Raised in Central Otago, Abby has been involved in Sticks ‘n Stones since 2016 when she was still in high school. Here, she facilitated workshops and helped to develop several of our initiatives alongside a team of other passionate young people. She loves working with all of the incredible people who have been involved over the years.

Abby is a strong advocate for an authentic youth co-design philosophy and has enjoyed being a part of an organisation where she has been able to make positive change not only in her community but across New Zealand, creating an environment where young people’s voices are heard and valued in the youth sector.

Om Gupta | Board Member

Om Gupta, currently works at BJ Ball NZ, he joined Sticks and Stones’ board in 2023. While studying at the University of Otago saw him actively engaged in non-profit work. Eager to collaborate with exceptional and passionate individuals at Sticks and Stones, Om aims to use his experience with the youth in various industries to bring innovative strategies and insights to the organisation’s mission.

Outside of his professional life, Om enjoys in outdoor activities and anything related to the ocean, you can call him anytime to go fishing. Om is keen to learn from the board and help drive the organisation to new levels.

Timothy Chevtchenko | Board Member

Residing in Dunedin, Timothy is currently studying at the University of Otago and is doing a BaCom – Double major in Marketing & English.

Timothy is ecstatic to be a member of SnS and looks forward to contributing as much as he can towards creating a better space for youth!

Heidi Renata | Board Member

Made in 75, Heidi Renata is the Founder, Chief Energy Officer of INNOV8HQ and popular motivational speaker, whose illustrious career spans over 25 years, with 13 years at the forefront of technology in the ICT sector.

Her story as a Culturally Curious Wahinepreneur was inspired by her life journey, launching INNOV8HQ and developing a business model that innately reconnected Heidi to her māoritanga and what it means for wahine māori in business. This unique experience has formed the foundations for her business and personal life and she now works with indigenous communities, developing leaders and enterprises around the globe.

Heidi is also an internationally accredited Life Coach and is on a variety of Advisory panels for Government and Education agencies, in addition to a diverse portfolio of governance roles.

Nikki Hurst | Board Member

Ko Ahumairangi te maunga e rū nei taku​

Ko Mānukanaka Hoturoa te moana e mahea nei aku māharahara​

Nō Pukekohe, nō Waiau Pa ahau​

E mihi ana ki ngā tohu o nehe, o Whānganui-a-Tara e noho nei au​

Tū mai Te Ahūmairangi ​

Tū mai hoki tātou​

Ko Nikki Hurst, toku ingoa

Nikki leads the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, providing research, representation, connection, policy advice / information and advocacy services for more than 230 community, health and social service organisations across the mōtū.

Born and bred on the southern side of the Mānukau Harbour Nikki is passionate about youth development by young people, for young people, about young people. She has a background in child therapy, research, academia and finance.

Most importantly she is Mum to the most excellent 13 year old son, and spends a large chunk of time driving between hockey turfs, drama club and D & D games – which she loves. Nikki inhales fiction as a form of junk-food for her soul, and as a foil to her obsession with news and politics.

Charlie Aston Eggleton | Board Member

A kiwi boi from Whakatāne currently residing in Melbourne.

Current project manager and former youth worker, Charlie is highly relational and intentional. His brain and web browser often can be found with over 20 tabs open.

He has heart for all youth development and diversity equity and inclusion.