Our Team

Clare Williams
General Manager

I was born and raised in a little town called Port Elizabeth, South Africa and immigrated to New Zealand with my husband and two children in 2000. My experience in both the commercial business sectors and Not-For-Profit Social Services and Health & Disability services sectors spans across 28 years in both New Zealand and South Africa. 

Core principals which guide my work ethic and practices included continuous innovations to improve operational performance and efficiencies to ensure maximum positive impact to the communities we serve. I have lived experience of supporting extended family members with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and autism.

When I’m not working, I love spending time with family, friends and our family’s two fur babies (Bella & Dudley) and as often as the fickle Auckland weather allows I would enjoy time out on the water and camping.

Melanie Louden
Communications Manager

Prior to joining the not-for-profit sector, I spent 17 years in community journalism, working my way up from junior reporter to editor with Auckland’s Suburban Newspapers.

I left the world of journalism in 2016 and joined The Hearing House as the Fundraising and Communications Manager before moving to Surf Life Saving NZ where I was the Communications and Marketing Manager. I then returned to the disability sector, taking on the role of Communications and Marketing Advisor with the team at the Muscular Dystrophy Association of NZ, before accepting this exciting role with the Cerebral Palsy Society in 2021.

Outside of work, my husband and I have a daughter, we live in a beautiful part of West Auckland and we have a dog and a cat. I love to take photos, but don’t get enough time to indulge. I love travelling, going to live theatre, and enjoy going out for dinner, spending time with my family and friends, being involved in my daughter’s football team, and volunteering as a Board member at her football club.

Kristina Arthur
Office Manager

I originally trained as a geologist and, after completing two research contracts overseas, I came home and transitioned into administrative work in 2017.
I worked for a web development company until 2021, aligning crossover skills from academia with my new role and learning many new things along the way.
This is my first role with a not-for-profit, and I’m excited to find out what I can learn and where it will take me.

Outside of work I enjoy trail running, hiking, camping, various water sports, travel, photography, or hanging out with my friends, family, and cat!

I love a challenge, a favourite of mine being completing several ultramarathon stage races (250km in six stages over seven days).


Carol Avard
Accounts Administrator

I grew up in Rotorua and I have Solomon Island, and English heritage.
In 2003 I completed a Business Studies degree with Massey University and moved to the UK in 2007 to work in the events and finance industry.
After spending eight years in London, my husband and I returned to New Zealand to raise our family.
My experience working in the not-for-profit sector was working with Canoe Racing New Zealand in 2022.
This involved frequent trips to Lake Karapiro and assisting the Operations Manager with race days, awards ceremonies, as well as helping sort uniforms for the athletes. No two days were the same!
I enjoy engaging with families and youth, and would like to use my prior experience to help our members at the Cerebral Palsy Society.
Outside of work I am usually kept busy in the weekends taking my two children to their soccer and ripper rugby games, as well as illustrating, sewing  and travelling. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit quite a few other Pacific Island nations during my lifetime and I hope to visit again in the future.

Emily Pavey

Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser

Originally from London, I moved to New Zealand 10 years ago (it was only meant to be for a year!) and was fortunate enough to continue with my career in fundraising which has spanned 13 years.

My experience in the charity sector has encompassed many areas of fundraising, including corporate and major giving, but I’m excited to focus on trust and grant fundraising at the Cerebral Palsy Society as it’s the area I focussed on when I first began working in the sector; it feels like I’ve come full circle.  I’ve worked for a mix of causes, from Oxfam to Coastguard, from Blind Low Vision to Bellyful. My passion is for supporting charities in any way I can, using the skills I’ve picked up along the way.

Outside of work, I have two young children who keep life busy and fun, and we spend lots of time in the garden and at the beach. After 5 years in Auckland, we moved to Whitianga 5 years ago and really enjoy being part of a small, friendly community. I volunteer a little time with my local Bellyful branch (that I set up as a volunteer back in 2020), try and get to a yoga class each week, and love to read. 

Amy Hogan
Researcher and Member Support Advisor

Cerebral Palsy is a complex condition that affects movement and posture, and encompasses many levels, types and experiences. My role is to make information and resources accessible to members by writing about key ideas and topics in everyday language. Subjects include stem cells and CP, or exercise and CP.

I also work with researchers from places like Starship and Australasian Pain Science Group, to keep up to date with international experiences. My work bridges the gap between the paediatric system, adolescence and adulthood with an emphasis on everyday experiences. This is knowledge that was lacking when I was growing up with CP, and despite many advances in our understanding of CP across the lifespan, is still a major developing area.
I am a lead in the Cerebral Palsy Clinical Network which brings together people who work with CP across New Zealand to support high quality, cost effective and integrated CP programmes of care for children, youth and their whanau, with work streams including Intensive Therapies, Transition and Children’s Voices.

I work as an advocate for members utilising my medical knowledge and using research and information to assist members in understanding the complexities of CP better. My primary goal is to be informative but interesting with a particular emphasis on quality of life, maximising independence and living well.

In my spare time I like to hang out with my menagerie of rescue and service animals, work in my garden, read and workout as much as I can.

Matthew Slade
Member Support and Programme Coordinator
Canterbury Region

I have had many roles within the Society since I joined in 2011, including managing the accounts, and various programmes.

Currently I am the Member Support and Programmes Coordinator for the Canterbury Region.

I enjoy working with, and engaging with members to make sure they get the support they require.
Whether this is through the programmes and services the Society offers, or by connecting them with external organisations, to help support their independence within their community.

Outside of work I enjoy exercising, travelling and spending time with family. 


Sara Sheehan
Member Support and Programme Coordinator

Prior to the Cerebral Palsy Society, I worked extensively as a Senior Clinical Orthotist – working with both adults and children with a range of conditions, including Cerebral Palsy.

Orthotics is a medical specialty that provides assessment, design, manufacture, and application of orthoses (braces).  During my career as an orthotist, I managed an orthotic clinic at Conductive Education and ran an in-house orthopaedic clinic.

The knowledge from this role has been extremely useful for my role at the Cerebral Palsy Society as Member Support and Programme Coordinator, and I have been able to answer many orthotic related questions.

In my spare time I love spending time with my husband and family, and also enjoy gardening, craft, including tapestry, woodwork, and DIY.

Theo van de Klundert 
Member Support and Programme Coordinator
Youth & Young Adults

I have spent the last four years working in the public sector and not for profit settings in various operations and governance roles.

I joined the Cerebral Palsy Society in April 2024, and previously worked in the Ministry of Health’s Regulatory and Monitoring Directorate, supporting the committee structure that provides bioethical guidance to the Minister of Health. I am passionate about policy, advocacy and using my skills to contribute to the creation of more equitable futures of individuals with disabilities.

I am completing a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Auckland.