Our Facilitators


Photo of Ellie Bambury

Through working with young people in varying capacities over the past 10+ years, as well as speaking at parenting events/summits on topics, I’ve not only had the privilege of hearing first-hand stories of young people navigating their becoming, but also of guiding and supporting them in holistic ways as they step into their own power to grow and live more authentically. I believe it’s vital our young people are equipped with language and skills to not only process and walk their own path with their eyes open, but to also help them contribute to creating a stronger, safer, world.




Photo of Geoff

Kia ora! I'm Geoff Gilson. I grew up in Christchurch but have lived in Auckland, as well as a few other places around the world (including a cruise ship for two years) since 1999. I completed a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts in Contemporary Dance: (Unitec:1999 –2001), and an MA in Performance and Media Arts: (AUT 2016-2017).  I have been working as a dancer and circus performer for almost 20 years now and as a Mates and Dates facilitator for the last two years.  I appreciate the power that education can have in creating social change.  Specifically,  I feel that healthy relationships are a key component of a fulfilling life that can then, in turn allow teenagers to want to work for positive change in the world themselves.  My other interests include ecology, health, and physical training.




Photo of Heather

Hello, Kia ora, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Fakatalofa atu, Salaam and Greetings to all.

I have lived in central Auckland my whole life (apart from a three year stint living and working in London).  I have two adult sons and am a trained secondary school teacher. I also have a background working with prisoners to improve their literacy.  Having the opportunity to empower young adults to navigate themselves safely, respectfully and confidently through an exciting and challenging stage of their lives is just fantastic.

I feel very privileged to be part of the Empowerment Trust team.




Photo of Kathy

Kia Ora!  I have worked for Empowerment Trust for the last 6 years, as a facilitator delivering a variety of programs to help keep people safe!   I have a MA in Special Education and have been teaching and working in schools for over 20 years!  My current role as National Relationship Manager allows me to support our team across New Zealand to set up workshops that will empower and teach safety skills to all!




Photo of Lucie

In my role I am privileged and excited to be given the opportunity to foster and maintain positive interactions and connections with a wide range of schools, organisations and communities to deliver our key messages to help people navigate their lives safely.




Photo of Marge

My role as Community Outreach Lead allows me to bring awareness of our wide and varied primary prevention training options to a variety of businesses and organisations. I’m grateful to be fostering these relationships and working with progressive organisations to positively impact and broaden personal and professional safety skills for greater societal outcomes."




Nikita Hall image

Kia ora! I recently returned to Aotearoa from London, where I completed my Masters in Gender at the London School of Economics. I was also a rape crisis volunteer while in London. I am incredibly passionate about discourse and education which empowers people to make positive decisions regarding relationships and gives them the language needed to do so. I also believe strongly in the need for violence prevention and am excited to do more work in this field. Alongside my studies, I worked for a tech start up while living overseas. I’m currently fulfilling a creative dream, touring the country as a performance poet alongside my poetry partner Carrie Rudzinski, while also getting the opportunity to perform and teach poetry in high schools.




Photo of Rose

I’m Rose Archer - I'm a documentary maker and a passionate advocate for teaching our young people to live healthy relationships. My most recent film is all about bringing social and emotional learning into the education system, and has taken me to Europe and Africa to document some of the most cutting edge and comprehensive social and emotional education taking place today.

Within my community and industry I design and run workshops to build healthier workplace culture and relationships practices. I love to mentor young people through my work, and also take part in running leadership workshops for young people. 

I completed a BA in History and Psychology at the University of Auckland and Manchester University.




Photo of Scott

Hi, I'm Scott. I'm passionate about guiding youth to use their intuition and awareness to build and maintain healthy relationships. I completed a Bachelor of Physical Health and Education in 2012 and have worked in various fields of education since then. I have been a Mates and Dates Facilitator for the last three years and also have the role of Empowerment Trust's Local Designated Person for Child Protection. 

Outside of work, I am an avid surfer, outdoor enthusiast and dedicated meditator. I spent the start of summer 2020, exploring India and have taken on the challenge of completing 10,000 hours of meditation within the next ten years. I love combining the skills I have with the work we do and am grateful to be a member of Empowerment Trust’s valuable team.




Photo of Vanessa

Kiā ora! I am Vanessa (she/they). I am passionate about empowering people to grow healthy relationships and I am especially moved to support young people with disabilities to have healthy, pleasurable sexual relationships. I have been a sexuality educator for twenty years and recently completed my doctorate at the University of Auckland. This research project considered, amongst other things, how to decolonise our sex education in Aotearoa. I have been a policy analyst, university lecturer and researcher, program developer and facilitator on all things sexual. I love this work and the amazing people I get to work with.







Marie Jones Profile Picture

Kia ora! I am Marie, Mum of two wonderful children, who are at the heart of all that I do. Before they came along l taught for many years in primary schools both here and in the UK. I have a Bachelor of Education and Diplomas in both Early Childhood and Primary Education, as well a Postgraduate qualification in Guidance and Counselling. 

I absolutely love being a facilitator and educator in a range of settings, engaging with young people as they explore healthy relationships. I am particularly passionate about creating safe and empowering environments where everyone feels respected and comfortable to share their ideas and experiences. In addition to facilitating, I am the Regional Team Lead for Canterbury. Working alongside our team, schools and the community, my aim is to build collaborative relationships that meet the needs of all.




Photo of Rachel

My name is Rachel.  I mostly grew up in the Bay of Plenty and now live with my family in Rolleston.  I am a mum of two and have been involved in education in one way or another for over 20 years.  I currently hold a number of contracts working with vulnerable youth, parent’s groups, children with learning disabilities, teacher resourcing and facilitation with high school aged children. 

I love the diversity of my roles and I love being involved in Empowerment Trust and the programmes they offer.






photo of cornelia

I have seen again and again that we make a real and positive difference.

When I first did my Fullpower course in 1992, my view of life hugely improved because I stopped feeling disadvantaged being a woman and of small stature. I found that - in threatening situations - I could focus on the best outcome possible and use incredibly effective strategies and tools. I felt worthy, free and capable.

In 1993, I gained Kidpower International instructor certification, founded Empowerment Trust under the name of Vital Victories and adapted the programme for New Zealand with the help of NZ Police, other professionals, my partner and passionate friends and supporters.

I now have taught positive ‘People Safety’ to over 20,000 people in NZ, am on the advisory boards of Kidpower International, am an Advisor to the Empowerment Trust NZ and still love teaching people from all walks of life.




photo of maree

Kia ora, my work history and my life’s passion has always been in health and education. Having said that, my family was and is core to that work and passion. Safety with the freedom to live with self-confidence are the underlying drives that inspire me. This is why Empowerment Trust is such a good fit for me. I became involved initially as a participant in a Fullpower workshop then co-ordinated bringing Kidpower into my children’s school. I volunteered for the organisation for some time then trained to facilitate programmes. I’ve held various roles within the organisation so I believe I can speak for the integrity and efficacy of the programmes we provide. As facilitators, our Code of Conduct holds us to high standards as does our passion for the mahi. I think it is essential for us to build communities based on healthy relationships and that begins with our relationship with ourselves.




Photo of Paul J

Kia Ora, I am a local community Youth Worker in Motueka. I have over 15 years’ experience working with young people and have managed several projects with youth over this time.

Currently I work for the Empowerment Trust as a padded instructor and deliver Confident Kids and Kidpower Sessions. I Chair the Nelson Tasman Youth Work Collective and treasure being able to offer my skills and knowledge to the Youth Workers of the region.

I am passionate about the environment, creative arts and enabling Young People to have their say, be heard and to assist them to make positive changes for themselves, their relationships and their communities.




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