Meet the staff


Waikohu Melbourne

Events & Communications


Ko Tuhoe, Ko Ngāti Porou ōku Iwi.
Ko Taiarahia te Maunga
Ko Ohinemataroa te Awa
Ko Mātaatua te Waka
Ko Te Rewarewa te Marae
Ko Māhurehure te Hapū


Marjorie Cashell

Front of house at START YS/ Mata
START - Whana Tū


Ko Aorangi me Maungataniwha ōku maunga
Ko Moawhango me Tapapa ōku awa
Ko Whitikaupeka me Ngāpuhi ōku marae
Ko Ngāti Whitikaupeka me Te Uri o Te Aho ōku hapu
Ko Tūwharetoa me Ngāpuhi ōku iwi
Ko Marjorie Cashell tōku ingoa

Kia Ora,

My name is Marjorie Cashell. I am so excited to be a part of the team here at START Youth Service as Front of House/Mata. My job includes making your application process with START as smooth as possible.
I have worked in various jobs including the meat works for 2.5 years and prior to that working over in Florida, USA at Walt Disney World undertaking an internship to complete the second part of my studies.
I have a deep passion for helping and supporting our rangatahi with whatever their dreams and aspirations are and will do everything in my power to see as many as I can heal, love, let go and grow.

“Poipoia te kakano
Kia puawai”
-Nurture the seed and it will blossom.

Sandra Carroll

HWC Administrator/ Youth Worker

Kia ora!

I have been a staff member at the Highbury Whanau Centre since 2002. Having started as a volunteer, I secured a position as a Youth Worker in the Alternative Education programme in 2003 and have worked alongside young people in that role since then. I hold a qualification in Youth Work, and have extensive training in Adolescent Brain Development, AOD education, Sexual Health and Administration.

I am the HWC Administrator, and I run Reception as the ‘Hub of HDUB’.

I am dedicated to supporting young people through the difficulties they may face by helping them to reach their potential. I LOVE my job!

Julene Duerksen-Kapao

Bachelor of Communication
Grad Dip Education
Head of Teaching and Learning, Te Hiringa Alternative Education

Kia ora! I joined the fantastic team at HWC in May 2018. I have worked in youth development, secondary education and doing life alongside young people since 2001. Although I grew up in California, USA my heart is firmly grounded in Aotearoa, specifically the Manawatu. I believe rangatahi should have meaningful learning pathways positive relationships, new experiences and the opportunity for second chances in environments of growth.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Corey Woon

Te Hiringa Alternative Education Youth Worker


Tēnā tātou katoa
Talofa lava
Malo lelei

Ko Ruapehu te Maunga
Ko Aotea me Kurahaupo ngā waka
Tīehutia te wai ko Whangaehu
Ko Ngāti Apa o ngā Wairiki te iwi
Ko Rangiwhakaturia te hapu
Ko Whangaehu te marae
Ko Corey Woon tōku ingoa

Since 2013 I have been working as a youth worker, primarily working alongside youth in Alternative Education and encouraging them through being an active role model within the programme. Prior to taking on this role, I worked as a teacher aide at Takaro School and also studied part time at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, gaining my Level 4 Certificate in Social Services. I have also had an extensive coaching career spanning many different clubs from Under 6 grade through to Senior A rugby, and through these roles I gained valuable knowledge from working with people of all races, ages, genders and abilities.

To say I am passionate about working with young people is far too cliché. What we do well as a team, and individually, is build relationships with our rangatahi. Our rangatahi are always at the center of all our planning and we each try to build lasting relationships and create lifelong memories with our students. It’s those memories from their experiences at Te Hiringa that keep our ex-students, coming back through our doors to touch base years after moving on. When that happens, we’ve done our mahi.

Mauri ora

Renee Tongs

Bachelor of Arts. Grad dip teaching (Secondary)
START - Whana tū Youth Case Worker

Tēnā koutou katoa
No te whenua o Kotarania oku tupuna
I te taha o tōku Karani Mā
Ko Tararua te maunga
Ko Manawatū te Awa
No Papaioea ahau
Ko Bree rāua ko Corban taku tamariki
Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa,

Tēnā koutou, I joined the team in August 2020. I am a Youth Case Worker have a background in social work, education and working for MSD. I am passionate about working with youth in a supportive and holistic manner. I grew up in the Palmerston North area and am looking forward to supporting Rangatahi in their goals and aspirations

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai,
Nuture the seed and it will blossom

Anjali Naran-Butler

HWC Services Manager

Kia ora!
I’ve been lucky enough to work at the Highbury Whanau Centre for over 20 years now. Trained as a Teacher, I began my journey with HWC as the Alternative Education Coordinator, and now work with an amazing and talented bunch of people across several teams and disciplines. I’m proud to say that we are passionately committed to providing opportunities for young people to positively develop and grow alongside whanau and community. #Heart. Wairua. Commitment.

Ehara taku toa it te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.
Our achievements don’t come from ourselves alone, but from the strength of the collective.


Morgan Emery

Te Hiringa Alternative Education Youth Worker


Kia ora,

Ko Tainui toku Waka
Ko Ruapehu me Pekapeka oku maunga
Ko Rangitikei me Te Waituna oku Awa
Ko Ngati Raukawa toku Iwi
Ko Ngati Manomano toku Hapu
Ko Taumata O te Ra toku Marae
Ko Manomano toku Whare Tupuna
Ko Makuini Kereama raua ko Wharepereki Tane oku Kaumatua
Ko Parewahawaha Tane raua ko Rawiri Emery oku maatua
Ko Caryn toku hoa rangatira
Ko Zinzan raua ko Bubbles oku tamaiti
Ko Morgan Emery ahau

I am a passionate Youth Development practitioner, and have worked as a Youth Worker in our Education team since 2009. I have a background in elite sport and passionately believe the values that underpin successful sporting engagement are transferable to the classroom and to life in general. I have extensive training in Adolescent Brain Development, AOD education, Mentoring and Leadership, and currently hold a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Jenine Scoon

HWC Transition Team Leader

E toru oire roto toku iwi
Ko Titikaveka, Ngatangiia, e Matavera
Te ingoa kapiti no te oire ko Takitumu
Ko Irirangi te Maunga
E ko Avana te Ava
Toku pirianga ia Autitaki e Mangaia, Kuki Arani

Kuki Arani Whakatauki
Te maata I taau ka Oranga ko te
Maata rai ia I taau ka rauka
(The more you give the more you receive)

Kia Orana

My name is Jenine Scoon, the team leader for transition service at Highbury Whanau Centre

I am of Cook-Island/Samoan descent, have three grown sons and live in Highbury, Palmerston North. I have over 30 years work experience helping people reach their potential, particularly in the employment and training area.

My role covers everything from getting a young person "work ready", to having a chat to see how things are, helping our young people to become self-sufficient, confident and independent.

Terry Clune

Youth Justice Mentor


Tēnā koutou.

Ko Taupiri te Maunga
Ko Waikato te Awa
Ko Tainui te Waka
Ko Te Kauri tōku Marae
Ko Tainui tōku Iwi
Ko Ngāti Whawhakia toku hapu
Ko Terry tōku ingoa

I have been a part of this team since 2009. I am a part of the Social Services team at HWC working with Young people, Whanau and other professionals throughout the community.
I also have a background in Personal Training, Coaching and hold qualifications in Youth Work and Personal fitness Training.
I work closely with Oranga Tamariki and Police Youth Aid to support young people within the Youth Justice arena. I assist young people to set goals with a future focus within Educational and Training placements, and improving on managing emotions and behaviours that reduce offending thinking and behaviour.


Kiria Tangaroa

HWC Community Youth Worker

Tēnā koutou.

Ko Patangata te Maunga
Ko Wharekahika te Awa
Ko Horouta te Waka
Ko Ngāti Porou te Iwi
Ko Hinemaurea te Marae
I te taha o tōku papa, he uri ahau no ngā Kuki Airani
Ko Kiria tōku ingoa

I started my Youth Worker journey in October 2016 here at the Highbury Whānau Centre, and have a background of working with children in the local community; supporting them to achieve in the classroom as well as in the sports arena. I quickly adapted to use my coaching and mentoring skills with teens as well as children.
I work alongside whānau, schools and agencies to support the well being of children and young people. As a Youth Worker and Mentor, I promote connectivity in the community and provide advocacy and support to assist young people to overcome adversity and make positive healthy choices for their future.

I am currently undertaking Youth Work study, and have recently been developing my skills in the social work arena.
I'm keen to help develop young people!

Kelly Mavor

Bachelor of Social Work
Registered Social Worker
START - Whana tū Team Manager

Tēnā koutou, I began my journey with START Youth Service as a Youth Case Worker at the end of 2018 when I finished my Social Work degree at Massey University. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with our rangatahi and learn about what their dreams and aspirations are. The most rewarding part of my job is empowering rangatahi to realise their potential, and walking alongside them to achieve their goals.

He aroha whakatō, he aroha puta mai.
If kindness is sown, then kindness you shall receive.

Papa Leota


Talofa lava, Kia Orana!

My name is Papa Leota and I currently work at the Highbury Whānau Centre (HWC) as the Engage worker, but worked for HWC for around 10 years previously as a Youth worker.
My soul desire has always been to provide all-round support to rangatahi (young people) within our community. My Engage role is to provide rangatahi the best opportunity to access a meaningful secondary education. I walk alongside them in their journey and to keep them engaged in education and other pro-social activities. I work with families and key school staff members to give the students the best opportunity to transition and remain within their schools. My strengths are the ability to form and maintain strong trusting relationships with young people, and to promote personal growth as they strive to achieve their goals.

Alicia Moxon

Registered Psychologist

Team Leader – Specialist Youth & Community Services


Kia ora,
I have been working with young people for 20 years and have been a part of the HWC team since 2012. I love the work, it’s my passion! I’ve mostly worked for NGO’s in the community and am highly committed to providing professional, flexible and tailored to supports to young people and equally importantly, to their families.
I work with people between 7 and 24 years of age and it's free to access. I provide assessments and treatment for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, anger management, self-harm or substance abuse. I really believe every kid matters, every kid is equally important and deserving of feeling better, feeling they have worth, have hope and a future, of feeling ‘normal’, that they can do this!
We are building therapeutic platforms for young people to feel safe and heard, and return to in times of distress, fear or upheaval. That, well, that’s my main reason for loving community.

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tātou mahi
Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.

Jodie Matenga-Philips

W.A.I.O.R.A Community Development Coordinator
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Ko Remutaka me Tuhirangi ōku maunga.

Ko Ruamahanga te awa.
Hoe ana te waka tāpu o Tākitimu.
Ko Ōnoke te moana.
Ko Kohunui te marae.
Ko Ngāti Tukoko me Rākaiwhakairi ngā hapu.
Mā te hurhuru te manu ka rere, ka ora ai te iwi o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Moana.

Tēnā koutou,

I joined the Highbury Whānau Centre in October 2020 as The W.A.I.O.R.A Community Development Coordinator.
I have lived in Highbury for 22 years with my husband and our two awesome tamariki. I’m step-mum to two wonderful young wāhine who whakapapa to Muaupoko and Nan to two gorgeous mokopuna.
My background is in Early Childhood Education which has evolved over the years to Adult Education and Community Development.

Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata,
Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina.

Michael Rongo

HWC Transition Worker

Youth Transition to Independent Adulthood

Ko Kapakapanui me Whitireia ngā maunga,
Ko Raukawa te moana, Ko Waikanae te awa,
Ko Kurahaupo me Tainui ōku waka,
Ko Whakarongotai me Takapuwahia ōku whare Tīpuna,
Ko Te Atiawa me Ngati Toarangatira ōku Iwi,

Tēnā koutou,

I was fortunate enough to join the team in July 2019. I am a Youth Transitions Worker which means I support rangatahi in achieving Independence in the adult world. I have a strong passion for helping people along their journey and have a talent of bringing out the best in people with a large focus on positivity.

Ahakoa he iti whetū ki runga ki te rangi nui pōkēkēao ūhia kia ngaro, e kore e ngaro.

Even though the stars shining in the nights sky might be obscured by a passing cloud, they will never be obliterated!


Astryr Halligan

HWC Transition Worker

Youth Transition to Independent Adulthood

Ko Wai Au,
Ko Ngati Hamoa raua ko Engarangi toku iwi
No Papaioea ahauKo toku toru tamariki
Ko Astryr Halligan toku ingoa
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa,

Tēnā koutou, Talofa Lava, I have newly become part of the team in March 2022 as a Youth Transitions Worker and have a background in Social work, particularly in the education sector. I am half Samoan and half English and come with a lot of life experience that helps me closely relate to those whom I work with. I know that it’s not always easy being a teenager and am passionate about supporting our rangatahi through any struggles they may face and aiding them to achieve their hopes and dreams in a holistic manner. I gain enjoyment from seeing those in my local community thrive!



Hikmatus Talumepa



Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Mahawu ko Tatawiran ko Lokon ngā maunga
Ko Tondano te moana
Ko Miniahasa te iwi
Nō Sulawesi ōku tipuna
I tipu au ki te whenua o Initonīhia (Indonesia)
Kei kawakawa au e noho ana
Ko Mikayla taku wāhine
Ko Amelia taku tamāhine
Ko Hikmatus Talumepa ahau

I have had the utmost privilege and blessing to join the incredible team at START, and be a part of an organisation that champions community kinship and positive transformation. My intrinsic values lie within building relationships and to interpersonally connect with our rangatahi. It is a long-standing passion of mine to inspire and influence our youth to achieve their full potential, goals and dreams.

Lottie Savage

START Whana tū - Youth coach

Tēnā koutou,
Ko Tapuae-o-uenuku te maunga
Ko Wairau te awa
Nō Waihahakeke ahau
Ko Savage tōku whānau
Ko Lottie tōku ingoa

I’m the newest addition to the START whānau, I became a part of the team in June 2021 as a Youth Case Worker.
I was born and raised in the top of the South Island but have been settled in the Manawatu since late 2019.
I’m excited to work with the rangatahi of the Manawatu, helping support them to achieve their goals and participate fully in their own lives!

Rawi Katene

Youth Worker

Tēnā Koutou, My name is Rawi Katene I have been involved with Touch Rugby in the Highbury Community for many years supporting my partner and our children who have gone on to represent Manawatū and New Zealand . I am currently studying at Massey University doing a bachelor of Social Work. My passion is to work within the community supporting our youth and our most vulnerable whanau. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do this while I study. I am now mentoring youth on the engage program at the Highbury Whanau Centre advocating for our youth, whanau and schools here in the Manawatu. The team at the Highbury Whanau Centre are an amazing group of people who have been supportive from day one.

Denae Te Huna

Youth Mentor

Tēnā Koutou,

Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Aotea te waka
Ko Matahiwi te marae
Ko Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi te iwi

Ko William-Ariki rāua ko Amira-Rose ōku tamariki
Ko Denae Te Huna ahau

In August 2021 I was fortunate to join the team at Highbury Whānau Centre as a Youth Mentor, specifically working in Youth Justice. I have grown up in Palmerston North and have been amongst the JYT Touch Modules that we run through HWC. My ultimate passion is being able to support and walk alongside our rangatahi on their different pathways and through the different challenges they face and I'm grateful that this is exactly what my role allows me to do.

In the short time, I have been here my passion for working with our young rangatahi has continued to grow immensely. I love my role, the people I work with and there is no place I'd rather be.

Reweti Arapere

Master of Maori Visual Art
Youth Transition Worker

Ko Ngāti Tūwharetoa,
Ko Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga
Ko Ngāti Porou ōku iwi.

Ko Tongariro te maunga,
Ko Rangitīkei te awa.
Ko ngā marae o Te Reureu te ahi tū tata,
He ahi kaa mai te Rawhiti, he pahii tangata.
Ko Ngati Pikiahu-Waewae te hapu.

My passion is working with rangatahi. I have been working as a Residential Youth worker for the last decade and have just recently moved to working in the HWC youth transition. I have been practicing Maori Visual Art both nationally and internationally for the last 18 years. My passion is seeing rangatahi reach their potential. I am a first generation Kura Kaupapa Kid that enjoys a good wananga to discover new connections or be a mediator between the past, present and future regarding Te Reo Maori and customs. I was born and grew up in Welcome Bay Tauranga Moana around Tangaroa(ocean god) then returned to boarding school Fielding.

Kei tua o te awemapara, he puaotanga hōu.(beyond tomorrow breaks a new dawn).

Shailah Anderson


Ko Ōtātara, Hikurangi me Heipipi ngā maunga
Ko Tūtaekurī te awa
Ko Whanganui a Orotū te taiwhenua
Ko Ngai Tatara toku hapū
Ko Tangoio toku marae
Ko Takitimu toku waka
Ko Ngāti Kahugnunu toku iwi

Kia ora e te whānau

I have been weaving in and out with both START Whana Tū and Highbury Whānau Centre since 2019. I have had the privilege to wear many different hats within the organisation. Starting as a student on placement, to policy writing, to now supporting the organisation as a compliance officer.
I have a BA in Psychology with Massey University, a Diploma in Māoritanga with Victoria University and soon to complete my Masters of Social Work Applied with Otago University. My drive to pursue my studies is fueled by my passion and desire to serve my community and innovate creative ways to enable my people to heal, flourish and thrive.

“When you’re in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you’ve been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom”

Peter Butler

Executive Manager

Ko Tongariro te Maunga
Ko Taupō Nui-a-Tia te Moana
Ko Te Heu Heu te Tangata
Ki te taha o tōku nei Māmā; Ko Ngāti Hine me Ngāti Waewae ōna Hapū
Ki te taha o tōku nei Pāpā; Ko Ngāti Whitikaupeka, Ngāti Tamakōpiri me Ngāti Tūrangitukua ōna Hapū… Nō te Iwi ō Ngāti Tūwharetoa āhau

Kei ētahi atu peka whakapapa ka hono e au… Ara, nō Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Paoa me Ngai Tai hoki.

I also host, Welsh ancestry….

Being brought up in the urban Māori environment of Highbury in Palmerston North, at a time when urban drift was at its peak, has empowered a strong connection to our community. My close knit whānau suffered the loss kuia & koroua at a time of change and instability (1970s – 1980’s) and so, too, lost much of the whānau mātauranga of Te Ao Māori. In my adult years, I have strived to regain that knowledge and share this with my hāpori and whānau.

I have been involved within Youth and Community Development for the past 26 years and currently fulfil the Kaihautū role of the Highbury Whānau Centre; a unique organisation, seeded from the aspirations of the breakthrough document “Pūao te Ata tū” and born from the desire of urban whānau to support their children. Passionately representing my community, we utilise our kaupapa, kaimahi and whānau alike to be creative and committed in the pursuit of equitable opportunities for our youth to develop, grow and thrive… within our forever evolving world.

We draw from the strength and legacy of our Tīpuna to constantly strive in the face of adversity, and the understanding of the need to ‘adapt or die’.