Carol RyanChief Executive

Carol Ryan

As Chief Executive of Hearts & Minds my work has been complimented by my business background and more than 20 years experience in the community sector. I have a passion for working with people who are committed to making a tangible difference, see the potential and value in all people and a world full of possibilities for creating new pathways for healthcare delivery, social inclusion and sustainable living. By being involved with many boards and working parties, currently chairperson of Shared Vision North Harbour, interim chairperson for Health Link North (Ex Community Health Voice North Shore), and Waitemata PHO Board Director, I am provided with opportunities to view the world from a variety of lens that inform and interconnect with the work of Hearts & Minds.

Amberlee WhartonOperational Manager

Amberlee Wharton

Hearts & Minds' focus on inclusive wellbeing for individuals, families, and communities motivates and inspires me. One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is measuring the positive outcomes achieved when people and communities are informed, resourced and connected to achieve their full potential.

I am passionate about the vital role the community sector plays in strengthening social outcomes and gain great joy from the synergies generated when the talents, perspectives and hopes of diverse populations come together to achieve shared goals. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology, followed by an Honours Degree (1st Class) in Sociology. I am a passionate lifelong learner and delight in the insights and learnings gained from the rich diversity of individuals our organisation connects and engages with on a daily basis. The Hearts & Minds belief in the intrinsic value of all people and communities resonates strongly for me, and I am pleased to be a part of a diverse and dynamic team that is passionate about making a positive difference for all people at a community level.

Xiaoying ZhangAccountant

Xiaoying Zhang

Ni Hao! Hi, I am Xiaoying. I was born in Qingdao, China. I arrived in Auckland in 2004 with my family. I have extensive voluntary experiences where I was a volunteer librarian in China and a volunteer treasurer in NZ.

Learning is a crucial part of my life. I graduated from Shandong University in 1989, majoring in Archive Management. I got my Accountancy Degree from Massey University twenty-three years later. Now I am a CPA qualified accountant.

I enjoy my work. I am passionate about contributing my time and knowledge to the community.

Sylvie TierneyNorth Shore Strengthening Families Coordinator

Sylvie Tierneyl

I qualified as a registered nurse and worked for a number of years at the ADHB as well as abroad in various disciplines. I also gained Project Management and Change Management certification.

The role of Strengthening Families coordinator consolidates all my varied skill sets and life experiences, allowing me to stay focused on supporting and empowering families.

Karen BarnettWellbeing Navigator

Karen Barnett

Hi my name is Karen and I am delighted to be part of a team that places the wellbeing of people at the front and centre of community life. I have a passion for the community sector, gaining a Certificate in Community Work from AUT and more recently shifting my focus to the therapeutic field. I have recently completed a Diploma in Counselling with distinction and a Bachelor of Counselling. Prior to joining Hearts & Minds, my natural interest in supporting people to achieve their full potential drew me to a range of professional roles in the health and community sectors, both here in New Zealand and overseas, where I gained insight into the many factors that can impact on individual and collective wellbeing. My professional and life experience has equipped me well for my current role as Wellbeing Navigator, which reflects my personal commitment to a whole-of-person approach to wellbeing, ensuring that each person is heard, valued and supported on their wellbeing journey.

Stephen BakerProject Manager Shared Vision

Stephen Baker

Greetings! My name is Stephen and I am pleased to take on the role of Shared Vision Project Manager for the North Shore and Rodney regions. I am strongly motivated by the purpose of Shared Vision, which is to promote mental wellbeing across our region, and am excited to facilitate opportunities for connecting, learning and sharing at all level across our communities. With a background in consultancy, leadership and management, I have been a supporter of Shared Vision for over 8 years. As a proud father of three boys, I have been involved in a range of community activities including Surf Lifesaving and Football Refereeing, which has given me a passion for the important role communities of all shapes and sizes play in generating wellbeing for the people of our region.

Vivian ChowHealth & Support Navigator

Vivian Chow

I was born in Hong Kong and migrated to New Zealand in 1994 with my family. I spent most of my childhood and educational years in Auckland, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My interest in wellbeing emerged during my year 12 Health Classes where I was first introduced to different aspects of health and the importance of resilience. I went on to pursue this interest and now hold a degree in Social Work from the University of Auckland. I have since worked in various community sectors and feel very privileged to have a bi-cultural background. I have the ability to speak in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, which enables me to reach out to benefit more people in community. My role and motivation at Hearts & Minds is to improve individual and family wellbeing by ensuring they have the best pathway to advice, information and support.

Sarah BartlettHealth & Support Navigator

Sarah Bartlett

In covering Vivan’s maternity leave I have stepped into a very warm, caring and committed staff team. This group is dedicated to deliver the best of themselves and what can be offered both through this agency and out there in the community. The priority is always to provide support and a step up from wherever clients are at. For myself I gained a Bachelor of Social Work early on in my career and stepped sideways into community development with a crime prevention focus. In the past decade, I embarked on my own self healing journey and this facilitated my re-discovery of my own calling to work with others now in a healing capacity. Outside my role at Hearts and Minds I do this using EFT (Tapping) and Reiki energy healing modalities. As the Health and Support Navigator here I am delighted to connect and network with the many and varied agencies out there supporting people to live better, more fulfilling lives and to enable the clients who come to us to find the services to meet their needs.

Fran SullivanWellbeing Administrator/Hub Coordinator

Fran Sullivan

Kia Ora my name is Fran and I am delighted to be a part of the Hearts & Minds team where the whole-of-person approach is aligned to my passion for wellbeing. I am a recent graduate from Otago University where I gained a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology and with a background in hospitality, I am pleased to have the opportunity to combine my people skills and my education to make a meaningful difference at a community level. My position here includes coordinating our wonderful Wellbeing Hub, as well as providing administrative support for our Wellbeing & Resilience programme; together these roles provide me with the opportunity to work alongside a rich diversity of people to generate wellbeing in our community.

Kotaro WatanabeIT Coordinator


Hi, I'm Kotaro, I was born and grew up in Japan. After spending 10 years in Singapore, I came to New Zealand with my family in 2014. I (and my family) have been loving this country since day one. My role at Hearts & Minds is web administration and IT coordination. I completed a graduate/post graduate diploma in Information Technology before joining Hearts & Minds. I really love living in Auckland where I have found that there is a real sense of community. As a newcomer to New Zealand, I received kindness and support from the community, which motivates me to pay it forward. My role at Hearts & Minds provides me with the opportunity to support the wider vision of the organisation: to promote, develop and strengthen wellbeing in our communities.

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