Karla Sanders | CEO

Karla Sanders founded Sticks ‘n Stones in 2013 alongside 30 passionate teenagers committed to empowering other young people to understanding the part we all play in stopping bullying.

A Primary trained teacher, Karla spent 8 years overseas in a number of roles from classroom teaching in West Sydney in an Islamic School to working with Local Authorities to integrate Education, Health, Social Care and community groups as part of Extended Schools legislation.

On her return to NZ in 2010, Karla took up a role as a Regional ICT PD Facilitator alongside teaching a One Day School Gifted Programme.

Since 2013, Karla has been the grown up that supports our young people and our vision for a Bully Free NZ where EVERY (young) person is accepted and respected for who they are.

She has committed hundreds and hundreds of unpaid hours to growing our organisation and is the ‘glue’ that keeps everything together.

Vanessa Breen | Lead Facilitator

Vanessa is a Central Otago Native having been brought up in Alexandra, returning here to settle down with husband Trevor and raise their three children Eden, Quinn & Leo.

She has always had a passion for empowering youth and enabling them to make positive change in their lives and others.

Vanessa volunteered with us in 2016 and then came on board as a Community Facilitator in 2017 working in 3 local schools.

In 2018 she took on the role of Lead Community Facilitator and now works in all Alexandra, Roxburgh and Omakau schools teaching the Year 5 / 6 and year 7 / 8 Ambassador programmes.  She also works alongside the advocates at Dunstan High School.

Vanessa feels extremely lucky to be apart of this amazing organisation and cannot wait to see what we can achieve next!

Shelley Baird | Community Facilitator

Shelley is our Cromwell Community Facilitator and has been apart of Sticks and Stones since 2017.

She lives in Cromwell with her partner and three young children. She is also the accounts and administrative manager at NRG Health and Fitness and Chairperson at her daughter’s preschool and  secretary for SOKS at Cromwell Primary.

When not working Shelley loves to be spending time outdoors with her family and friends.

Rach Baxter | Accounts Manager

Rach has been supporting us since 2017 as the back of house, part time Accounts Manager.

Her careers have been quite diverse from retail banking, gold exploration, truck driving, to most recently, mother of two.

Rach loves to get up stupid early to get work done so she can spend heaps of time running & biking round up in the hills and promoting & working with the really cool local native flora in Central Otago.