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Our Team

The Water Safety New Zealand team is based in Wellington and is led by CE Jonty Mills. The management team comprises Neil McInnes, Capability and Investment Manager and Sheridan Bruce, Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager.

Communications and media by Ben Christie, member management, finances and administration by Christine Lim and Michelle Reidy. Executive Assistant to the CE is Sally Walker-Simmons who manages the office and is secretary to the board. 

Jonty Mills – CEO

Jonty joined Water Safety New Zealand in 2016. Previously he had spent more than 20 years in communications and external affairs leadership, operations and business development roles. He brings expertise in stakeholder management to CEO and ministerial level, with a blend of private and public sector experience.   A long-standing member of BP's Senior Leadership team and media spokesperson Jonty has a background of leadership roles in marketing, operations and business development across commercial and retail business channels.  During his time at BP, he was responsible for managing the company’s community partnerships – including Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Young Enterprise Trust and Royal Society of New Zealand – and has experience in advocacy as the interface between BP and central and local Government. He also helped embed safety as the number one priority and value across the organisation and is a strong advocate for Water Safety New Zealand’s core values and strategic direction.

 jonty@watersafety.org.nz   027 478 1836 

Mel Aiken - Senior Advisor Insights and Policy

Mel AikenMel joined WSNZ in October 2017. Previously Mel has worked across a range of Government and not for profit agencies working in research, evaluation and strategy development roles.  Mel originally hails from Whangarei in the winterless north and enjoys any activity in or around the beach.

mel@watersafety.org.nz

Sheridan Bruce – Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager

Sheridan Bruce

Sheridan is a marketing professional whose career has spanned working across the charity, small business and corporate sectors.  She has extensive experience in fundraising strategy, planning and implementation and has especially enjoyed working with fundraisers supporting their professional development. At Water Safety New Zealand, Sheridan develops community based social marketing campaigns to address Kiwi attitudes and behaviours around water safety and leads the organisation’s education programmes, specifically with the implementation of Water Skills For Life to reach all Kiwi kids in years 1 – 8 at school.

 sheridan@watersafety.org.nz  021 192 8708

Ben Christie – Senior Communications and Media Advisor


Ben began working at Water Safety New Zealand in 2016 as communications and media advisor after a ten year career as a journalist across television, radio and print. Raised in Wellington by a father who was a surf life saver and a sailor, water safety and drowning prevention is a subject close to his heart.  Ben lives by the ocean on Wellington’s west coast with his partner and two children. He is a lifelong Hurricanes supporter and a cricket tragic.  He enjoys spending his spare time with his family enjoying the outdoors and all the sporting, culinary and cultural opportunities that come with living in our capital city

 ben@watersafety.org.nz  021 770 285

Felicity Fozard - Advisor Information and Research

Felicity@watersafety.org.nz

Christine Lim – Accountant

Christine LimChristine joined WSNZ in 2013.  In her spare time she can be found mountain biking around Wellington with her family. 

christine@watersafety.org.nz

 

Neil McInnes – Capability and Investment Manager

Neil McInnesNeil joined WSNZ in August 2016 after a 20 year career in the Public Service in Wellington. Initially focusing on policy roles, Neil has in recent years been involved in organisational strategy, performance and planning in a number of agencies. Growing up in coastal Kapiti just north of Wellington, Neil was a keen beach swimmer and dabbled in surfing and diving in his teens. He now focuses on ensuring his 2 children develop water skills and safely enjoy the beaches of New Zealand. A craft beer enthusiast, Neil samples widely from the range of New Zealand beers that are now available.   

 Neil@Watersafety.org.nz   029 770 7198

 

Michelle Reidy – Team Administrator

Michelle is a proud kiwi who has 20+ years’ experience in office administration. From working in Government briefly she has also enjoyed roles in an accountancy firm and a boutique ICT company before joining Water Safety New Zealand. Outside of the Monday to Friday Michelle loves the beach, her animals, sampling good pinot noir and tries really hard to walk and cycle habitually!  

michelle@watersafety.org.nz

 

Sally Walker-Simmons – EA/Office Manager 

Sally Walker-SimmonsSally joined WSNZ November 2015. Prior to that she has worked for various organisations ranging from not-for profit, government, and various private companies around the world. Sally is an East London native and moved to New Zealand late 2007. She has kayaked and snorkelled in some of the world’s most amazing places and is still searching for the next perfect lagoon. In her spare time, Sally can be found pumping iron at the local gym, out on her kayak or sweating within an inch of her life at a Bikram Yoga studio. She also volunteers at a local horse charity every weekend.  

sally@watersafety.org.nz

 

 

 
 
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